Facebook seeking game partnership chief

Ubiquitous social-networking platform bolstering developer/publisher outreach with new industry-facing division.

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The rise of social-networking juggernaut Facebook has fostered the growth of many a casual game and casual game developer, not the least of which is Zynga and its wildly popular management sim Farmville. Now, it appears as if Facebook is looking to formalize its game-industry outreach, recently listing a job opening for the Head of Game Partnerships position.

Facebook may soon have a new boss looking out for Farmville.
Facebook may soon have a new boss looking out for Farmville.

"Facebook is seeking a leader for our Strategic Partner Development team to build and manage a high performance team, develop and enhance successful partnerships and influence internal and external partners and industry stakeholders in the gaming industry," the job listing reads. "You'll be called upon to help both large, incumbent gaming companies as well as venture-backed gaming start-ups develop innovative social gaming experiences building on Facebook Platform."

Facebook's emphasis on its games apps comes after a falling-out with the development community over the past year. The source of the friction arose in late 2009, when Facebook dramatically scaled back the number of notifications sent out from games such as Farmville, a key driver of traffic for the titles.

That issue was reportedly compounded in May, when Facebook adopted a new policy in which it required companies to use its proprietary online payment platform Facebook Credit--of which the social networking platform takes a 30 percent cut. As part of the fallout of that decision, one of its largest collaborators--Zynga--threatened to pull its games from the platform entirely. However, that situation came to a resolution in May, when Zynga entered into a five-year strategic partnership with Facebook.

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