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Originally posted on TechCrunch:
Facebook is testing what could finally bring it direct revenue from the mobile gaming ecosystem beyond advertising.
The company is working with a handful of small mobile game developers to do publishing by offering distribution through mobile ads in exchange for a cut of revenue, according to sources familiar with the program. Facebook confirmed it’s working on tests for new mobile game distribution, but didn’t share more details publicly.
While Facebook has been earning a little over $200 million per quarter from payments and other fees, with most of that coming from virtual currency transactions inside social games, it hasn’t been able to replicate that business on mobile devices, because Apple and Google both control the world’s two major smartphone app stores and already take a 30 percent cut on digital transactions. It does, however, earn a big chunk of revenue from mobile game developers through normal mobile ad buying, a business that made Facebook $373 million in the first quarter.