Facebook gaming, and social gaming in general, is not the revenue behemoth it used to be. Most players are now moving to mobile, and that's a problem that Facebook has to overcome. The social network recently invited some big names in social gaming out for dinner to toss around some ideas, and one is a potential winner.
All Things D reports that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook games boss Sean Ryanmet met with some of the top Facebook games developers to discuss the future of the platform. Zynga was notably absent, but Facebook invited other major players, including Kixeye, Disney and Electronic Arts, to the dinner. The talk focused on ways that Facebook could further monetize games with the developers reportedly doing most of the talking while Zuckerberg listened.
According to the report, a major talking point was concerned with the current cut Facebook takes from all in-game purchases. Right now, Facebook takes a 30 percent cut from all sales. Developers suggested that the social network introduce a sliding pay scale that reduces the cut Facebook takes from new developers to help bring in new talent. Those who become successful will have the cut Facebook takes from their revenue slowly increase until it hits the standard 30 percent.
In all honesty, it's a good idea. It would help Facebook undercut mobile platforms that take the same cut from developers. It might not be as promising as mobile is these days, but some game developers may choose to go with Facebook first if the revenue cut is lower to start with. Drawing in more game developers could also lead to a Facebook gaming renaissance of sorts that would see revenue and innovation return to the platform.
The report doesn't go into much detail on other matters discussed, but one hopes that Facebook would start to take mobile seriously. It's efforts thus far have been mediocre at best. To its credit, it has improved enormously since first starting out. Now Facebook has to figure out way to effectively monetize its mobile platform. One such idea would be to run mobile games through its mobile platform in App Center, and collect a cut of the in-app transactions.
2013 will be the first year that Facebook has conducted its gaming business without its exclusive partnership with Zynga. The social games maker wasn't bringing in as much revenue as it had in the past, but it was still an important partner. That being said, Facebook and Zynga will still continue to work closely together in the new year. The social network will just have to broaden its network of partners to include more social game developers.