Gareth Davis, platform manager for games at Facebook, talked about best practices for game developers at GDC. He indicated that of Facebook’s 425 million mobile users, 60+ million of those people have discovered games and apps through mobile devices.
Davis argued that app discovery is a large part of the Facebook mobile platform. He noted that Facebook has simplified mobile billing allowing in-game payments for social games to be processed in just one or two steps, allowing the amount to show up on the user’s carrier bill.
The Facebook mobile games team has been expanded to over 40 people and investment continues in native applications. Also, Facebook has already paid out over $1.4 billion to app developers.
While Facebook is on over 2,500 different mobile devices, it ensures that the same API, the same set of social channels and the same distribution is used across all devices. Davis also noted that the company’s analytics are hugely important for making social games work.
Properly monetizing the game involves a variety of virtual goods, from cheap items for casual players to expensive stuff for the “whales” to buy. Davis added that Facebook users are now 70 percent international and so game designs should take that audience into account, especially the growing Asian markets.