Playfish's European Studio boss John Earner has told MCV that whilst the switch to Facebook Credits is proving painful, he believes it will eventually increase the number of players prepared to spend within the social gaming sphere.
The company recently struck a five year deal with Facebook which will see Credits become the exclusive currency within Playfish games.
Earner said: Ultimately, it will be a good thing. Short term it's painful, of course, but mid to long term, anything that takes the friction out of the purchase process will work to our advantage. It's so easy to use that I can imagine in 6-12 months we will see a large lift in conversions from non-spender to spender.”
The pain”, of course, comes through Facebook taking 30 per cent of all transactions in commission, compared to the six per cent claimed by PayPal, which Playfish used in conjunction with its own currency, the Playfish Cash Cards. The company hasn't commented on what will happen to these in the light of its new deal, but they seem likely to be phased out.
The pain comes with a promise”, continued Earner. And that promise is that over time we're going to see massive increases in those conversion rates. I don't think that's a pipe dream. It makes a lot of sense.”
Facebook's revision of payment systems follows hot on the heels of some major policy adjustments that affected the virality of games on its platform, and Earner, whilst not critical of the changes, suggested that, for a while at least, Playfish and its peers could do without any more significant shake-ups. I think there's a certain amount of stability that Facebook's got to offer its development community to justify increased investment.
The changes they made are necessary and I understand them, but the way they get announced and the rapidity with which they get made or unmade sometimes is disconcerting.
I'm sure it's very hard to be sitting on something that's growing that quickly, but the health of the platform needs increased stability. On payments, for example, we need to be assured that the deal is the deal and that it won't change in six months.”