Electronic Arts & Playfish has partnered with Facebook to use the social network's universal virtual currency system, Facebook Credits, exclusively in all its games on the site for the next five years.
The publisher follows a number of other major companies that have signed similar agreements to only use Credits, including RockYou, CrowdStar, Playdom/Disney, and FarmVille
developer Zynga. EA currently has
the third largest total audience of gamers on Facebook with over 44 million monthly active users.
This deal includes popular sims developed by EA's Playfish division (Pet Society
), as well as the company's social games based on sports franchises (EA Sports FIFA Superstars, Madden NFL Superstars
), casual portal Pogo Games (currently in beta at the social network), and upcoming Monopoly adaptation.
More than 75 studios and over 200 games on Facebook have so far implemented Credits, which is designed to be a more portable virtual currency than game- or publisher-specific alternatives. All Credits partners receive 70 percent of revenues from purchases with the currency, and Facebook collects the remainder.
"Since gaming has emerged as the most popular category of applications on Facebook, the natural next step is for EA to broaden its relationship with Facebook and its 500 million users," says EA Interactive's GM and SVP Barry Cottle.