Has Facebook become the game developer’s best friend?

From VentureBeat: Gaming is better with friends. And gaming is important at Facebook. Those are the takeaways that Brian Boland, vice president of publisher solutions at Facebook, wanted to give to game developers at the Casual Connect event in Seattle last week.

While Facebook’s audience is much broader than games, but it is in touch with a lot of gamers. More than 800 million players connect via Facebook, and 450 million people are connected to the Facebook pages of game developers. And Instant Games on Facebook Messenger have been played at least 1.5 billion times in the past 90 days.

Facebook did a survey of 6,000 players, and it found that 73 percent of them don’t mind ads in games. Those players are not expecting developers to work for free, and they see rewarded ads as away to get what they want in games without having to pay money. About 54 percent of Facebook’s audience plays games in a month, including 55 percent of all females. One in three of the players are over 45.

As a platform maker, though, Facebook has some challenges. Last week, Zynga chose to partner with Unity exclusively on Unity Ads in Zynga’s games. It’s not clear if that is bad news for Facebook, but it certainly means that the Zynga-Facebook partnership isn’t what it used to be. And while Facebook’s growth on mobile is good, its desktop gaming platform is getting weaker over time.

We talked with Boland about these topics at Casual Connect. Here’s an edited transcript of our interview…

Read more at VentureBeat.com

Updated: July 13, 2020 — 8:32 pm