There are now 250 million gaming users on Facebook, the company paid $2 billion to developers over the last year, and over 100 developers took home over $1 million of that money, as reported by WebMediaBrand's site Inside Facebook. Facebook's big news at the conference was that it's ready to pay developers in local currency. Ryan acknowledged that Facebook's niche is in casual games, like Farmville. The latest in this line is Candy Crush Saga from King.com, of London, England. But by being the home of such games Facebook is at the center of a $3 billion business, he said. WebMediaBrand's Appdata site tracks Facebook game usage. Its numbers are revealing. The top developers are mainly the names you know including Zynga , Microsoft ( MSFT) and Yahoo! ( YHOO) along with some new European-based game makers such as King.com. Ryan wants to grow Facebook with what he calls "core" games, which are deeper, more similar to console games, adding that a number of such titles will come out on Facebook soon.
What Facebook is trying to do is climb up the stack of complexity, from the low-end casual and social games played by my daughter to the high-end console strategy games played by my son. All I can say is if it can get those two together it will be a first. And, like a family dinner, it won't last. At the time of publication, the author was long YHOO, NWS and AAPL. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.