How to Make a Facebook Game Successful

How to Make a Facebook Game Successful

Three years ago, I presented on how to make a Facebook Game successful. The presentation, “Cracking the Facebook Code,” examines the important role marketing plays in successful Facebook games and teaches how to use it to generate tangible results. “Cracking the Facebook Code” was intended for the 2009 Game Developer’s Conference; the statistics may be dated, however, the message is current.

How to Make a Facebook Game Successful Through Marketing: A Presentation Abstract

More than half a billion Facebook users collectively install over 20 million apps daily. Combined, these apps generate roughly $500 million in yearly revenue, making Facebook an attractive platform. But, with 2.5 million developers competing for this market, and the top three (Zynga, Playdom and Playfish) already claiming over half of the revenue generated ($300 million), how is success possible for a new developer?

As a non programmer who published a 3D game engine demo to Facebook that was met with a degree of success, I began thinking there must be steps one can follow on how to make a game on Facebook successful–a Facebook formula. And so I began analyzing what I did that worked and compared it against what other successful developers had done.

A Facebook game’s success largely correlates to how a developer allocates his/her project resources. Many developers get bogged down in production and neglect the importance of design and marketing. My research and experience has shown that developers who devote at least 50 percent of their time and budget toward design and marketing, achieve more favorable results.

There are many ways to use the production phase more efficiently. Two examples include leveraging free software and stock content, as well as outsourcing. The additional time saved can be spent on design and marketing tasks, such as: building an audience, planning in-game revenue sources, advertising, etc. Understanding how to do each of these things are critical components to success.

By focusing time and budget on marketing and design and less on production, developers can maximize their games’ results. “Cracking the Facebook Code” examines successful developers’ strategies and provides concrete examples on how to make a game for Facebook succeed by spending less time getting it to market and more time attracting a loyal user base.


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Emmy Jonassen is a marketing pro who helps indie developers build adoring fanbases. Marketing people who love buzz words call this "lead generation."

1 Comment


about 11 years ago

Amazing! I have been interested on developing a game for facebook lately, thanks for this :)!


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