In 2010 the relationship between Facebook and Zynga became strained over Facebook’s demand that Zynga use Facebook Credits (and swallow Facebook’s 30% fee) for games. The relationship became so strained that Zynga was preparing to launch its own network outside of Facebook.
Like the 1962 U.S. standoff with the Soviet Union over the Cuban Missile Crisis. If things went to war both sides would lose big. But neither side wanted to back down.
Eventually Zynga did back down, swallowed the fee, and went on to its IPO.
I was reporting on the strain at the time, with sources close to both companies. But there was information I was never able to get my hands on. Emails back and forth, supposedly, that were alarming, entertaining, or just plain threatening, depending on your point of view. I tried hard, and failed, to obtain those emails.
Lawyers could get their hands on those documents, though, as part of a lawsuit. And they’d likely become public if that happened. That’s why this Facebook Credits lawsuit is more than just a little bit interesting to me. It’s mostly just historical curiosity at this point, but I’d like to know how close they were to firing the nukes.