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Israel Trade & Economic Office, Embassy of Israel

Official Blog Network

Where is Facebook going for new games? Israel

Five of the developers of Facebook‘s ten largest social games in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) come from srael, and the company is now in Israel looking for more.

Roy Goldenberg of Globes covered Facebook’s growing interest in Israeli gaming companies:
Facebook is building on the Israeli gaming market: five of the developers of Facebook’s ten largest social games in the EMEA come from Israel. Herzliya-based Plarium  is one of the ten fastest growing games companies on Facebook worldwide.

These achievements today brought Facebook to Israel for the second time in six months to find the next game hit, and to send a clear message to Israeli gaming developers: We want you.

“Israel is a very advanced country for gaming on Facebook, Facebook head of European platform partnerships Julien Codorniou, who is heading the company’s gaming developers conference, Game On. “The last time we held this conference in Israel, 500 programmers came, making it our biggest event outside the US.”Plarium logo

Codorniou looks beyond gaming on Facebook, and points to Plarium as a company which symbolizes the industry’s future. “Casual games are a big hit, but we’ll see that the next thing will be hard core games, such as Plarium’s ‘Total Domination’ and ‘Stormfall’,” he says, adding that a game like “Stormfall”, which did not exist six months ago, is now one of the 20 fastest-growing games on Facebook worldwide.

Until one or two years ago, Zynga , the developer of Farmville and other games, was a byword for games of Facebook, but Codorniou says that it is now just one of the companies in the field. “The situation has changed. Today, 70% of growing gaming companies on Facebook come from Europe,” he says.

Facebook is definitely a gaming powerhouse, with more than 250 million players a month, 11% more than in 2012, making it a larger gaming platform than all games consoles combined. 130 Facebook games have more than one million active players a month, with the average gamer playing more than three games a month.

In view of the website’s success, Facebook current target is mobile. Codorniou says that for a social game to succeed it must first go through Facebook’s online platform, and then to its mobile platform, and only afterwards to Apple and Google app stores. But what might be perceived as competition against Apple and Google is actually cooperation.

“We want to be one of the biggest traffic creators for the app stores,” admits Codorniou in commenting on the possibility that mobile games developers should promote their wares on the Facebook app by a direct download key. “23% of the time people in world spend on mobile is on Facebook. There is no doubt that gaming companies want to be part of this share,” he says, adding that 80% of the top ten Android and iOS apps interface with Facebook accounts.

For the full Globes article click here.