Facebook Explains Local Currency For Games

By Justin Lafferty 

Now that Facebook Credits have been nixed as the official currency of Facebook games, the company took some time Tuesday during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco to explain how the new system of local currency makes in-game purchases easier for all parties. Now, game developers have full control over what they charge users in different countries, and users can see rounded price points instead of always-changing conversions.

The change to local currency makes it so that developers can manage different price points in different countries. For instance, if a company is trying to boost sales in Brazil, it can set a different price in that country. And developers can make it so the costs in each country are rounded numbers, not awkwardly converted amounts.

The main things Facebook wanted to change with regard to the in-game paying experience was to make it more efficient for developers, as well as easier for users. Instead of seeing something like 7.37 euros, the developer can just round it to €7 or €7.50, which makes users much more likely to purchase in-game items.

If a developer does not set the price for a country, Facebook will automatically convert.

Daniel Schultz, a games partner engineer with Facebook, explained the plan to game developers:

Since we’re removing the concept of in-game credits, you will actually be selling your currency directly via our new payment API (application-programming interface) … I can set a price of $4.99 in the U.S., a price of €3.99 for those who are using the euro, and even a price of £3.69 for those who are on the British pound. Since I’m defining all these prices, all of these are static — they stay the same from day to day — thus creating a better user experience.

Facebook also wanted to simplify the way that users make purchases through games. Before, there was an additional step prior to users entering payment information, which often led to mid-transaction cancellations. Now, users can decide what to buy and how to pay, and be done with the transaction. Facebook has also enhanced its mobile paying options, which allows users to add charges to their phone bills instead of having to pay through credit cards or PayPal.

Readers: How often do you make purchases within games?

Photo by Joel Blit | Dreamstime.com.