Surprise! Facebook Credits and Apple’s iTunes Play Nice With Each Other.

Facebook has Credits, Apple has iTunes, and then there’s the plethora of points and coins found on the major consoles and online services.

For game players, it’s the equivalent of traveling in Europe before the Euro.

Even if you are playing the same game by the same company, players must buy a different set of currencies when moving between Facebook, iTunes and the consoles. The hurdle is significant given that the free-to-play model is considered a good chunk of the industry’s future.

But there are signs that a pact is forming, even if it’s at a very unofficial level.

Chris Early, Ubisoft’s VP of Digital Publishing, told me the night before E3 kicks off that both Facebook and Apple have agreed to honor currency purchased on each other’s platforms for the same game. The one condition is that it costs the same for the consumer on every platform.

Early said we’ll likely see this first for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, which he tells me is being released over the next years on multiple platforms, including Facebook, mobile, console and the Internet.

The new pact means that if a customer purchased $20 worth of Ghost Recon Credits on Facebook, Facebook would still earn its 30 percent cut of the revenue, but players would be able to access the points in the Ghost Recon game on Apple devices. The reverse is true as well. Ghost Recon does not yet support micropayments on the console, so it would not use credits purchased elsewhere.

Early said Ubisoft will be responsible for managing a player’s current balance across all the platforms.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik