Casual game network WildTangent announced on Friday the availability social games through its off-platform site, most notably several Facebook social games like CrowdStar’s It Girl. Interesting timing for the announcement, given that Friday was the day Facebook Credits integration became mandatory for social games on its platform.
It Girl has been one of Facebook Credits’ longest-standing supporters, offering it up as both the premium in-game currency and the sole means of purchasing items almost a year before the currency became mandatory. As of Friday, Facebook Credits have disappeared from the premium currency role in the game, leaving only the soft currency displayed in the main game screen. Facebook Credits are still the sole means of purchasing items from store menus. Meanwhile, on WildTangent’s games site, It Girl still has premium currency in the form of “Diamonds,” which can be purchased with WildCoins — the platform’s equivalent to Facebook Credits. Compare the two screens below for the differences (orange question mark added by us):
CrowdStar CEO Peter Relan tells ISG that that the differences between the Facebook version and the WildTangent version of It Girl are purely cosmetic. “The only change is removal from balance display from game [user interface] since Facebook is showing this info prominently to the user,” he says.
Sean Vanderdasson, SVP at WildTangent also states that its social game offerings like It Girl require players to be logged into Facebook. The reason for that is that players and developers are striving to keep the game consistent cross-platform. WildTangent is also the operator of BrandBoost, a video advertising platform that’s currently still available in several Facebook games.
Facebook’s current policy on games that run both off Facbook and through a Facebook canvas app is that the title must offer price parity between platforms. Players are allowed to purchase in-game currency off-platform and then use that currency in Facebook canvas app, if the developer’s game supports cross-platform wallets and the developer is not blatantly driving users off-Facebook to make payments. Additionally, off-platform games using Facebook Connect are not currently required to implement Facebook Credits.
Read more in our Road to Credits series: