FreeToPlay.biz The Business and Design of Free-To-Play Games

13Oct/100

VGSummit 2010: Facebook Credits Talk

Speaker:

Deborah Liu, Manager of Product Marketing, Facebook

DEBORAH

Benefits of FB Credits for users

  1. Familiar payment experience
  2. Unified virtual currency - more demand for that currency, more money put into system
  3. Secure place to store payment info - overhead of mental energy incurred entering multiple payment info is a drag on economy - takes friction out of process
  4. New ways to pay and earn - if we add a gift card, it's available across all games

Mahjong Dimensions Example

  • Buy 2x boost - you have sufficient credits - make purchase... no pulling out credit card, etc. Just use your stored balance.

Millionaire City Example

  • Buy millionaire gold... need to buy FB credits... Visa card is stored, I make payment instantly and get my gold

Benefits for developers

  1. Reduced payment friction - in the discretionary goods space you want to remove as much friction as possible
  2. Seamless integration with Facebook platform - we don't want the 6th person a 5 person team hires to be a payment processing person.
  3. Users with stored payment methods - no hump that user needs to get over to give you their payment info in a new game... if someone has spent before, FB has their info. 5-10x greater monetization among users that already have a stored payment method (whether that is FB Credits or your own cross-game method).
  4. More payers

Where are FB Credits now?

  1. 200+ games and applications
  2. 75+ developers
  3. 22 of the top 25 games
  4. More than half of all game experiences

Arkadium and Digital Chocolate introduced:

Jessica from Arkadium

  • Have 5 games on FB, use FB Credits as their exclusive hard currency
  • Wanted seamless integration experience for our users, payment process to be easy
  • As a developer, Credits API easy to work with
  • Our players are very casual gamers - we didn't want to confuse them with multiple types of hard currencies

A couple ways they've integrated FB Credits

  • Changed Mahjong Dimensions to a 1 minute play experience... needed to add ways to enhance game experience
  • Social aspect of game is leaderboard
  • We introduced Game Boosts... highly consumeable... score multipliers, etc.
  • Found users are very very willing to pay to have these boosts in their gameplay
  • With a game called Ultimate Fan, we wanted to experiment with purchasing a virtual item like a plane or blimp or snowman that will give you an entry into a sweepstakes (you can also do it for free with a soft currency)
  • We launched it last week and it was very successful
  • Also implemented Credits via the purchase of downloadable casual games - with Solitaire Heaven, we offer users the ability to download any of our solitaire games and play them offline. In traditional casual downloadable space we'd lose 50-60% of the sale to distributor. In FB, we only lose 30%.
  • Final example is Writer's Blox - we offered the ability for users to subscribe for additional puzzles

Lessons learned working with credits:

  • Price premium items in Credits only - when offered a chance to buy something with soft currency, players do anything to avoid paying
  • Set price anchors so buyers have a reference point - set initial prices and leave for a month or so, then offer a pack of those items for slightly less so they can understand it's a deal for them
  • Keep content fresh - retire items, introduce new items weekly or daily, place things on sale
  • Make items valuable and consumeable - address a pain point, nothing evergreen (buying it once and having it forever means they are less likely to buy again), advance gameplay

Thomas from Digital Chocolate

  • Started in 2003 as mobile games developer
  • Put out over 1M SKUs per year... #1 publisher on iPhone with 80 titles last year
  • Moved into social gaming 18 months ago
  • Grown to 15M MAU, 2.5 DAU across their FB titles
  • #6 social company by DAU

Why Credits?

  • Trusted partner
  • Universal payment interface
  • Single point of contact for payments
  • Resources shifted from payments to games

Lessons Learned

  • UI Flow
  • Pre-educate Credits

Results

  • Superior revenue (graph shows revenue before and after FB Credits implementation - goes up after implementaiton) :)
  • Increased ARPPU

The future

  • VIP Games Network - has over 8M DAU - all partners use FB Credits. Much higher ARPU and significant conversion.
  • A localized purchasing experience - really important given FB's international reach.
  • Deeper integration - working on FB stored value cards for holiday season.
  • SaaS interoperability - Mobile, etc - FB Credits everywhere.

Back to Deborah

  • Opening up FB Credits to more developers.
  • Starting today, we can on-ramp 3-4x as many developers every week as we've been bringing on in the last 6 months.
  • Hope to work through backlog in developer applications over the next few weeks.
  • Go to developer.facebook.com/credits to apply
  • Announcement #2: Increasing payment options and increasing liquidity in the system
  • More than 20 new ways for people to pay for Facebook Credits through partnership with PlaySpan
  • International markets very important - new payment methods will capture some of those
  • Should open up more audiences for developers who work with FB Credits

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