Facebook added a dedicated game team in 2011

At GDC 2012, Facebook emphasized it still taking social games, and the developers that make them, very seriously. The company even has a full-time team of 40 employees dedicated to social games.

As expected, the Facebook Developer Day was in full swing at this year's Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. The Facebook Platform team informed conference attendees and developers about "the best practices and pro-tips for building social games" as well as "the fundamentals of building successful social games across platforms, including mobile and console, and how to deeply integrate apps with Timeline through Open Graph." In short, it was Facebook's way of promising that it hasn't forgotten about games despite all the new types Open Graph apps for Facebook Timeline.

Facebook says it is serious about supporting games on the social network and is shrugging aside claims from rivals that Menlo Park has grown so big it neglects attention to any one group of developers. During the last six months, Facebook has been improving distribution so that it is easier to discover games on the home page and through interaction with friends on the social network (see links below).

"As early as 2010, we didn't have a dedicated game team. Now we have 40 full-time people on games," Matt Wyndowe, games product manager at Facebook, said at GDC 2012 according to VentureBeat. We meet weekly with Zuck (Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg) and Bret Taylor (Facebook chief technology officer)."

Wyndowe also noted that Facebook had paid out more than $1.4 billion to third-party Facebook app and game developers in 2011, but we already knew that. Facebook revealed this tidbit when the company filed for its $5 billion initial public offering (IPO) last month. Here's what I said when looking at the numbers: "$1.4 billion paid out to developers from transactions enabled by Facebook's Payments infrastructure in 2011."

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