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Facebook changes 'right' for community - Descamps

Plus A Bit Lucky CEO is "absolutely fine" with 30% cut on Credits going to social network

A Bit Lucky CEO, Frederic Descamps, has told GamesIndustry.biz that the changes Facebook has made to its application rules in recent months can be applauded - because although it has made spreading the word about some games more difficult, he believes a fresh focus on user engagement is important.

Talking in the second part of a two-part interview, the social network game developer - one year old next month and with $2.6 million in funding from the likes of Ron Conway and the founders of Red Octane - is also happy to part with 30 per cent of the money it makes on Facebook Credits from its debut title Lucky Train.

He agreed that the backlash from the community about notification spam in the past year was "a bit issue" for Facebook.

"People give them some flak for changing stuff, and making some games less viral for some channels," he said. "But quite frankly, we completely understand that, because they have a huge population, with roughly two types of people. One that really likes games and wants to play them with their friends, with achievements and so on; and the other that couldn't care less.

"They have to, for the sake of their own survival, to make some drastic changes - and in some ways we can applaud these changes, because they were hefty. But they also confirmed the other thing that we wanted to do regarding games on Facebook, which is that it shouldn't be about who spams the most, or who finds the dirtiest tricks to get people in their game.

"We think it should really be, first and foremost about the games - the quality of the entertainment - and the engagement. When Facebook made its latest set of changes a few weeks ago, that was the very first time they mentioned engagement as one of the most important metrics for them - because it's an indication of the fun people are having."

Descamps went on to say that we felt the social network still has some work to do on the process of discovery for applications - echoing similar sentiments elsewhere in the industry on the XBLA and iPhone platforms - but added that he believed the changes it has made were well-tested and thought-out.

"The better and higher quality the games on Facebook, the more they're going to make, because we're giving them a 30 per cent cut on the Facebook credits, so the more engaging the games, the more gamers spend money," he said.

"And that, by the way, is absolutely fine with me - I get asked a lot about the 30 per cent, and if that's too high. Well, no, it's not too high. Of course Facebook has to earn it, but I want Facebook to make money - I give them 30 per cent without thinking about it.

"It's the single largest gaming platform ever created in the history of mankind," he added.

The full interview with Frederic Descamps, and chief creative officer Jordan Maynard, is available now as parts one and two.