Facebook Begins Prepping Game Developers For 3Q Conversion To Local Currencies

By David Cohen 

Facebook announced its transition from Facebook Credits to local currencies for games and game developers last June, and all game developers are slated to be migrated to local currencies during the third quarter of this year, so the social network provided some details in advance in a post on its developer blog.

More details from the blog post:

We are migrating all game developers on Facebook.com in the third quarter of 2013 and want to provide ample time for you to review the new documentation before we launch local currency payments. After launch, developers will have a minimum of 90 days to implement the updated payments infrastructure in order to continue accepting payments. In the coming weeks, we will provide further updates on when developers can begin integration.

When Facebook Credits launched in 2011, developers needed to price virtual goods in $0.10 increments, which did not provide the pricing flexibility that developers wanted. For some game developers, credits also introduced a secondary currency on top of an in-game currency. With local currency payments, developers set prices based on a person’s preferred currency, like Euros or Japanese Yen, for a more seamless purchase.

We are simplifying the purchase experience for users, and also making the transaction process faster for developers. The updated Facebook payments requires fewer callbacks to complete transactions and improves caching for a quicker payments flow for users. Plarium, a Tel Aviv-based games developer, has already seen positive results from early testing with local currency payments.

Local currency payments also provide more flexibility and control for international pricing of in-game goods and virtual currencies. Developers can now price directly in international currencies without the $0.10 restrictions, thus making it easier to set consistent prices for non-U.S. users.

For example, a developer can now choose to price 1,500 “pirate rubies” for $9.99 or 1,600 pirate rubies for €7.99 for roughly the same value.

Using Facebook Credits, the developer would have had to price 1,500 pirate rubies for $9.90 or €7.72. International pricing often changed on a daily basis due to market fluctuations.

Developers should start reviewing the local currency payments infrastructure today to prepare for the breaking change later this year.

Developers who price in multiple international currencies should plan well in advance for integration and testing. If you currently use Facebook Credits as your in-game currency and you wish to continue to offer a virtual currency to users, you will need to develop your own and plan ahead.

Learn more about the updated Facebook payments in this overview and our developer FAQs on local currency.

Game developers: Have you started the process yet of converting from Facebook Credits to local currencies?

Currencies image courtesy of Shutterstock.