Facebook has officially announced its new pilot program to share the mobile games of small- and medium-sized developers across the world. The social networking company will start to work with selected game developers and offer advertising support for their mobile games in ad placements across Facebook mobile apps.
Last week, Facebook started its run to turn into a mobile games publishing house through worldwide distribution of mobile games from game studios in return for a portion of the revenue.
On Tuesday, Facebook revealed the experimental program at the Casual Connect conference in San Francisco. The company is calling out all developers who may have an interest to take part in the effort. However, it did not divulge details on the revenue share.
The notion behind the test run is the increasingly expensive campaign of entry-level mobile developers to look for their target audience or a large following, especially with the top tier of mobile platforms dominated by large game studios during the previous year. Facebook caters to more than 800 million mobile users every month and immerses more than 260 million people to play games on its gaming platform. With that in its arsenal, the company says it offers mobile game developers a distinctive position to aim for high-quality gamers.
The Mobile Games Publishing program now has 10 developers, such as Brainbow, Kiwi, and Space Ape. Even though Facebook started the project to target independent developers who have limited resources to vie against big game studios, French gaming company Gameloft entered the program with the game Kingdom & Lords.
Facebook has ramped up its campaign to determine the maximum amount of revenue it may gain from the app ecosystem through its social graph and ads. In its latest quarterly earnings report, Facebook said mobile platforms accounted for 41 percent of its overall advertising revenue, equivalent to $656 million USD. With that same amount, Facebook could earn $2.6 billion in one year. To highlight that figure, Facebook practically had no revenue from mobile platforms during the same period last year, because it relied on sponsored stories in the newsfeed of mobile devices.
Up until now, Facebook did not take full advantage of the lucrative revenue from in-app purchasing generated from Android and iOS mobile applications. The reason mainly is Apple's and Google's control over the world's largest app stores and their 30 percent cut on purchases from app developers. Thus, a revenue cut in return for ads distribution through Facebook's Mobile Games Publishing program still taps into and reduces the generated revenue of mobile game developers.