Facebook Testing Game subscriptions with monthly billing

Facebook has just announced an upcoming subscription payments service. The service gives developers another potential revenue stream beyond the sale of virtual goods.

The upcoming month subscription payments service:

The new feature will allow developers to provide players with a premium game experience in exchange for a monthly fee. Like before, Facebook will take the usual 30 percent cut from the money thus made. Previously, Facebook’s payment system wasn’t set up to support subscription billing unless a developer worked directly with the social network.

Now any developer can throw subscriptions at its gamers, and pocket 70 percent from the arrangement.

The subscriptions already use local currency pricing and Facebook plans to release local currency support for in-app payments within a few months. Likewise, any games with virtual items for sale are going to be required to use local currency pricing by the end of the year.

Testing Going on:

Right now, subscriptions are being tested in Kixeye’s Backyard Monsters, as well as titles by Zynga. In Backyard Monsters, those opting for 'game subscriptions with monthly billing' are getting the access to the “D.A.V.E. Club,” which provides in-game bonuses like 1,000 Shiny (the game’s hard currency), access to special monsters and vanity items for a player’s base. Interestingly, the developer is charging the usual $9.99 for Shiny under the 'game subscriptions with monthly billing'. The idea may be to to reward the gamer to opt for the monthly subscription, a ploy which may set the upcoming subscription model on a fast adoption track. Club D.A.V.E. is seeing the upcoming subscription model in the same manner -- A model to reward loyal gamers.


The Facebook developer blog says the feature will launch for all developers in July 2012, i.e. next month.


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