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Major social developer CrowdStar abandons Facebook development for mobile

Major social developer CrowdStar abandons Facebook development for mobile

April 25, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

When Facebook emerged as a viable game platform a few years ago, the California-based CrowdStar was among the first studios to find success on the social network. Things have changed quite a bit, however, as today the company revealed that is has decided to abandon Facebook in order to focus on making games for mobile devices.

In a recent interview with tech site AllThingsD, CrowdStar CEO Peter Relan said, "We are maintaining the old games, like Happy Aquarium, but we don't build new Facebook PC games any more -- we are 100 percent focused on mobile."

He added that in 2011, 90 percent of CrowdStar's revenue came from Facebook, though that ratio has shifted over the past several months, and by the end of 2012 Relan expects mobile games to make up the vast majority of Crowdstar's revenue.

Relan added, however, that CrowdStar's decision to stop developing Facebook games does not mean it is ditching the platform altogether. The executive told AllThingsD that the company still plans to include Facebook integration in its mobile apps.

And while the CEO didn't explain why his company has moved away from Facebook's on PC, its social games on the platform have certainly suffered a decline in performance as CrowdStar moved into the mobile realm.

Just a few years ago, the company sat among the top three Facebook developers in terms of monthly active users, right alongside current giants like Zynga and PlayFish. Today, however, the company doesn't even make the top 10.

Over on the mobile side, things have fared a bit better -- CrowdStar's teen focused iOS game Social Girl (pictured) saw a successful launch in December, and the company has built up its mobile offerings with games like Top Girl, Tower Town, and more.

Given its shift away from Facebook, however, CrowdStar has seemingly abandoned the "Project Trident" initiative it introduced in October, which divided CrowdStar's business into three key realms: Global markets, mobile games, and Facebook.

[UPDATE: Added details regarding Facebook integration on mobile.]

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