After acquiring Spanish cloud gaming start-up PlayGiga in December 2019, Facebook continues its climb in the video game industry. On October 26, 2020, the company announced the launch of a cloud gaming service on its blog.
Facebook has been offering games for almost 10 years, including FarmVille which has been hugely successful. 380,000 users use Facebook games every month. Game features have been relatively limited and with the cloud they are expected to get more complex to provide a more complete gaming experience. The existing games do not need to be downloaded and are therefore immediately available. You can access Facebook Play through the social network, under the “Games” tab and in the news feed. The games are therefore played without leaving the social network page.
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The games available on Android and in the web version are not available on iOS: “We cannot use Facebook to start the browser and run the game,” said Jason Rubin, vice president of Facebook’s Play subsidiary. The added value would even be uncertain: “Even with Apple’s new policy with regard to cloud games, we do not know whether the launch in the App Store is a viable option,” continues Jason Rubin.
“We don’t promise 4K, 60 fps that you’ll pay us $ 6.99 a month.”
The games are developed exclusively in mobile format, which means that none of them require special controllers or hardware to play. However, it is still possible to play games from a computer using the mouse and keyboard. Registering for a game via Facebook Connect allows Facebook Gaming and the non-Facebook version of the application to be synchronized. It is therefore possible to start a game on Facebook and continue in the game manufacturer’s application without logging in, while maintaining the progress already made.
Another big novelty for internet users is the management of their profile. From now on, players no longer have to use their Facebook name and photo. This avatar is personalized for each game. These new features are free: “We don’t promise 4K, 60 fps, so pay us $ 6.99 per month. We’re not trying to get you to buy any of the hardware like we are with consoles, ”says Rubin. The goal is therefore more anchored in the attention economy, which aims to keep users on a platform.
Advertising on Facebook is changing with cloud games
While this is now a matter of theory, Facebook’s cloud gaming could eventually integrate with the social network’s streaming service. “In case a streamer is playing a Facebook game and that streamer says, ‘I want to play with one of you, who wants to play? “He chooses one of these people, sends her a URL and plays with it in streaming,” says Jason Rubin.
New ads will also appear in the US thanks to the HTLM5 language. These are integrated directly into the game interfaces and the news feeds. These ads are based directly on the game code: “With this new format, we can now provide interactive demos from a game’s source code that blur the line between games and ads,” said Facebook. in his blog post.
Starting this week, the platform will launch several games available on Android and the web version but not included in iOS: Asphalt 9: Legends, Mobile Legends, Adventure, PGA TOUR Golf Shootout, Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale, and WWE SuperCard. In the coming weeks, the next big release is Dirt Bike Unchained, a game developed by Red Bull.