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Submission + - Sad Day in FarmVille: Facebook's New Game Developer Program Could Trouble Zynga (

Nerval's Lobster writes: If struggling online-games developer Zynga thought things were bad before, they could be turning a whole lot worse: Facebook is rolling out a pilot program for small- and medium-sized game developers. “Through the program, we will work with select game developers and provide promotional support for their games in placements across our mobile apps,” reads a note on the Facebook Developers Website. Facebook is promising those developers access to the social network’s “800 million monthly mobile users,” a variety of analytics tools for measuring their games’ impact, and a “unique targeting ability” for finding the right audiences—all for a cut of the games’ revenue. “We will be collaborating deeply with developers in our program by helping them cultivate high-quality, long-term players for their games,” the Website added. Zynga benefitted mightily from its relationship with Facebook, but other developers have subsequently realized they can utilize many of Zynga’s tricks—and the social network’s enormous audience—for their own ends. King is now Facebook’s top app developer, largely on the strength of its “Candy Crush Saga” game. If Facebook encourages more small- and medium-sized developers to jump into the social gaming, it could fill the arena with even more competitors, which could prove bad news for the already-reeling Zynga. But for Facebook, the benefits are obvious: if any of those tiny-for-the-moment developers create a hit game, the revenues will come flooding in. That would supplement the social network’s ad revenue, all while ensuring it doesn’t need to overly depend on a single large developer with a set portfolio of games. Zynga has already been suffering from gaming-studio closings, games being shut down, and a declining user-base.
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Sad Day in FarmVille: Facebook's New Game Developer Program Could Trouble Zynga

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