Facebook generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues from third-party games its users play.The man in charge of turning that business into a multi-billion dollar business is Facebook executive Sean Ryan.
Ryan’s job got a little harder this month, when Google announced that it would be adding games to its Facebook-clone, Google+.
Google also said it would only charge third-party gamesmakers a 5% transaction fee when users buy virtual goods. Right now, Facebook charges 30%.
Ryan doesn’t seem too worried about the threat.
At a event attended by Fortune reporter JP Mangalindan, Ryan said “Google is at 5% because they don’t have any users.”
“Google has emulated aspects of our system, which is what they have the right to do,” he said. “We just need to be better.”
Major gamesmakers are already trying out Google+. Zynga, which is a Google investment, has made Zynga Poker available on Google+. Angry Birds is there, too.
A bunch of developers told games industry outlet Gamasutra that they’re keen to get on Google+ because of how it will allow users to put friends who play games and friends who don’t play games in different groups.
“People who play games on social networks typically have groups of people they play games with, who don’t necessarily overlap with ‘true’ friends they see socially,” said Jonathan Knight, SVP of Games RockYou.
Last week, OMGPop CEO Dan Porter told us why he’s not sure he wants to bring his startup’s Faceobok games to Google+ just yet.
“I think it is a lot more work than people understand to develop for a support multiple platforms and multiple API’s. So if Google paid developers to build for the platform, and those were large developers who could devote significant resources to those platforms then maybe it’s worth it. For us, it’s on the radar but the challenges are:
- It’s not clear if there is a significant audience there.
- Remember that FB has been iterating for years on game API’s and notifications so even though plus has them, they can’t be as robust. It’s a live and learn process.
- Maybe it would be good for games for young, tech influenced men if that’s who plays.
“If I had to choose another platform tomorrow I would be more likely to focus on China and Russia where there are signifcantly larger social nets with legions of game players”
Related: What is Google+?