Social game developer CrowdStar signed an agreement with Facebook to use the social network's universal virtual currency system Facebook Credits exclusively in all of its titles for the next five years. Facebook is also working with CrowdStar to promote the developer's city-building game Hello City
This deal includes all of CrowdStar's current games -- such as Happy Aquarium, Happy Island, Zoo Paradise,
and Happy Pets
-- as well as its future releases. The firm's catalog currently reaches some 39 million monthly active users, according to figures
The Credits system, which is currently in beta, enables users to buy and spend virtual currency across all participating games and apps, offering a more portable system of digital cash than game- or publisher-specific virtual currency. The social network takes a 30 percent cut from Credits transactions.
CrowdStar began using Credits exclusively in some of its games starting in December 2009. According to the developer, its revenue earned per customer has increased by nearly 50 percent. It says this change reflects "the increased level of comfort and trust that customers have when buying currency from Facebook."
The Ireland-based studio also says Credits plays a key role in its international expansion, as it's the exclusive virtual currency used in the recently launched French, Italian, German, Spanish and Turkish versions of Happy Aquarium
CrowdStar believes that the use of Credits in its localized versions of the aquarium simulator helps it "rapidly grow its international presence by removing the burden of creating new virtual currency payment systems in each market. "
"We're delighted to be working with Facebook for the long term, and we're very optimistic about the benefits Facebook Credits brings to fans of CrowdStar games and the entire social gaming ecosystem," says CrowdStar's CEO Niren Hiro. "As more developers adopt Credits, its ease of use across applications will continue to attract more paying customers and increase profits."
Hiro continues, "Facebook Credits offers a simpler process for buying virtual items in games, resulting in happier users and more opportunities for us to grow our business. Our testing has given us confidence in Facebook Credits and has allowed us to expand our relationship with Facebook."