As reported by Venture Beat, CrowdStar has confirmed a five-year agreement with Facebook that will see the game developer removing its own in-game currencies in order to allow Facebook Credits to be the exclusive premium currency offered.
While CrowdStar has been offering Facebook Credits as a purchase option in its games, like Happy Island, Hello City, Happy Pets, Zoo Paradise and even Happy Aquarium for some time now (meaning that most users will find that nothing’s changed), the situation in one game listed above, Happy Aquarium, does seem to be an interesting one.
While the interview with Niren Hito, chief executive of CrowdStar, didn’t acknowledge what would happen exactly in the game, we’re left wondering as to what the future holds for Pearls, the secondary premium currency that was relied upon in Happy Aquarium before the adoption of Facebook Credits.
There have been items released in Happy Aquarium (items purchased with Facebook Credits, mind you) that were created specifically to offer users free Pearls (the Pearl Idol, for one, allows users to receive a single free Pearl once every 24 hours). What happens to these items, or to the stockpile of Pearls a user may have been saving, once CrowdStar “gets rid of its own in-game currencies?”
That thought aside, CrowdStar has confirmed that they were given the same setup as we’ve been told in the past – Facebook will take 30% of each Facebook Credit transaction, leaving CrowdStar with the remaining 70%. While that’s a much higher rate than that taken from other virtual currency providers, CrowdStar says that with Facebook Credits “average revenue per paying user has increased by 50 percent compared to other virtual currencies.”
Why is that the case? It seems mainly due to the fact that since Facebook Credits are becoming so widespread across the social networking platform, users are becoming more comfortable investing real money in the system, as they know they can spend a few Facebook Credits in a multitude of apps at will, rather than having to purchase a lump sum of a game’s proprietary virtual currency each time they start a new game.
Regardless, the official launch of Facebook Credits (that is, outside of the current technical beta testing) will begin this summer. We’ll be sure to let you know if more big-name developers join CrowdStar and Zynga in partnering with Facebook before that time comes.
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