Inside Social Games has an interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. There are a couple of things there that discuss their games strategy. A few sample quotes specific to games are below, but the whole thing is worth reading.
On viral versus retention (“viral strength… optimizes for apps that are very viral instead of apps that are high quality and that people want to reengage”):
…we intentionally weakened the viral channels recently, and intentionally strengthened reengagement with emails, so that there will be better apps.
On small companies succeeding:
One of our goals that we have is to make it so that you have just as good of a chance to build a good game if you’re a standalone game shop as if you’re a part of a bigger conglomerate… A lot of what we’re working on is can a small company succeed in the space.
On expecting games on FB:
I was surprised about games… I think people build platforms for utilitarian purposes and then get surprised that games are a killer app, so I don’t think it’s uncommon.
On Credits and levelling the playing field:
It makes sense that there should be one currency. If I go play a CrowdStar game right now and get Credits there, I can’t go use those Credits in a Zynga game, so that kind of sucks.
…if Zynga or any one player can allow cross payments within their games, but that doesn’t extend to other games, then that ends up being a big barrier to entry for other startups. Making it so that there is one currency that people can take everywhere levels the playing field a bit
…we’re planning on pouring all the money that we make on Credits back into things like different offers or cards that people can buy in stores, to lubricate the economy so people will buy more stuff in apps…