Some Game Developers Don't "Like" Facebook's New Virtual Currency

Facebook Inc. has been rolling out its own currency, to be used by members to buy virtual goods in games and other applications. But the move has rankled some game developers, who say the new monetary system comes with high fees and creates competition for developers who have their own virtual payment methods.

Facebook’s currency, called Credits, is being sold for 10 cents apiece and can be applied toward the purchase of virtual items, such as a “karaoke machine” for a game in which players run a virtual nightclub.

For every credit a merchant redeems, Facebook is taking a 30 percent cut.

“Thirty cents off of every dollar adds up,” says Robert van Gool, founder of 10-employee San Francisco firm Gonzo Games, who says he had considered selling virtual toilets on Facebook for a racing game until he heard about the new credits. He plans to put the game on a different platform where he also expects it to receive greater exposure.

“For a small company, the piggybank isn’t that big,” he says.

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