Social game developer CrowdStar is cementing its existing status as the lead test partner for Credits, Facebook’s virtual currency. The two companies have signed a deal where the developer will exclusively use Credits as the paid virtual currency in all of its games for the next five years. It has already been using Credits exclusively since this past December, and claims that its average revenue per user (ARPU) has gone up by almost 50% as a result.
CrowdStar has been in a good position to try out Credits, because it gained most of its users last fall; developers that got established earlier have tended to invest more money in their own monetization services. Many are concerned about the cost of Credits, including the 30% fee that Facebook takes out of all purchases of the currency as well as the loss of control and breakage. By starting fresh, CrowdStar has less to lose even as it sees what it can gain.