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Local Currency Payments Preview for Game Developers

March 25, 2013ByYongyan Liú

As we announced in June 2012, we are moving from Facebook Credits to local currency pricing. Local currency payments simplifies the purchase experience for users, improves the performance of the payments flow, and makes it easier for developers to price virtual goods for a global audience.

We are migrating all game developers on in Q3 2013 and want to provide ample time for you to review the new documentation before we launch local currency payments. After launch, developers will have a minimum of 90 days to implement the updated payments infrastructure to continue accepting payments. In the coming weeks, we will provide further updates on when developers can begin integration.

Why we're making the change

When Facebook Credits launched in 2011, developers needed to price virtual goods in $0.10 USD increments, which did not provide the pricing flexibility that developers wanted. For some game developers, credits also introduced a secondary currency on top of an in-game currency. With local currency payments, developers set prices based on a person’s preferred currency like Euros or Japanese Yen for a more seamless purchase.

Faster performance and flexible international pricing

We are simplifying the purchase experience for users, and also making the transaction process faster for developers. The updated Facebook Payments requires fewer callbacks to complete transactions and improves caching for a quicker payments flow for users. Plarium, a Tel Aviv-based games developer, saw promising results from early testing with local currency payments.

Local currency payments also provide more flexibility and control for international pricing of in-game goods and virtual currencies. Developers can now price directly in international currencies without the $0.10 USD restrictions, thus making it easier to set consistent prices for non-US users.

For example, a developer can now choose to price 1500 “pirate rubies” for $9.99 USD or 1600 “pirate rubies” for $7.99 EUR for roughly the same value.

Using Facebook Credits, the developer would have had to price 1500 “pirate rubies” for $9.90 USD or €7.72 EUR. International pricing often changed on a daily basis due to market fluctuations.

What developers need to do

Developers should start reviewing the local currency payments infrastructure today to prepare for the breaking change later this year.

Developers who price in multiple international currencies should plan well in advance for integration and testing. If you currently use Facebook Credits as your in-game currency and you wish to continue to offer a virtual currency to users, you will need to develop your own and plan ahead.

Learn more about the updated Facebook Payments in this overview and our developer FAQs on local currency.