Facebook games are big traffice drivers on the network, but much like the rest of Facebook (and an issue facing many new-age web revolutions) the questions remains: can you make money? PopCap Games issued a press release today bragging that Bejeweled Blitz, a spin-off of Bejewled limited to one minute of playtime, has reached 5 million users in its beta phase.
More than one billion sessions of Bejewled Blitz have been logged. That's an impressive number, I asked PopCap whether that actually translates into real-world dollars. Here's what the company told me.
"Well, we do monetize Blitz Facebook traffic via links and etc. immediately around the periphery of the game window, directing people to Bejeweled 2 for PC, Mac et al," explained PopCap rep Garth Chouteau to me over e-mail.
Essentially, Bejewled Blitz is a demo for the real thing. PopCap hooks you into Bejewled while checking out your friend's weekend photos, then asks for your wallet.
"And yes, beyond that we know that over time," he continued, "Bejeweled tends to grow on many people such that down the road, they may see the game for sale on a retail shelf or for rent on the seatback of an airplane and end up paying for Bejeweled in some form :)"
I haven't bought a copy of Bejewled, but Peggle…oh man.