Facebook to Let Game Makers Use Local Currency Pricing

Facebook Inc. (FB), operator of the largest social network, will let game developers sell virtual goods based on local-currency prices, instead of Credits, the digital tokens now used for purchases on the site.

With the change, which is being rolled out this year, developers that sell items within their games, such as a digitized animal or beach ball, can now tailor pricing for countries around the world, the company said in a blog posting today. Credits was started in 2009 and most game developers have made their own virtual currencies, so they no longer need the system, according to the Menlo Park, California-based company.

Facebook is working to attract more users by streamlining the purchasing process for developers. While the company will move away from Credits, it will still process digital-goods transactions and take a cut of 30 percent on the sales.

Starting next month, Facebook also plans to offer monthly subscriptions for buying virtual goods rather than relying on one-time payments by users. The early games using this feature include Zynga Inc. (ZNGA)’s “Pioneer Trail” and “FarmVille.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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