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Facebook teams up with Unity to build its own, dedicated desktop gaming platform

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Games on Facebook — at some point of time in long history — were an integral part of what actually made it a ‘social’ network. But as gaming saw rapid leap into the mobile world and became a more hard-core stuff than just casual social networking one, the revenues which came along Facebook’s and those game’s developers’ ways, vanished.

However, a latest announcement on the company’s developers blog has confirmed towards the company, getting back into gaming, but with much more thrust. The social networking behemoth has hence joined hands with Unity, to build its own, dedicated desktop gaming platform, to take on the likes of Steam and others. Both the companies are also working together to expand Facebook’s set of game developer tools and services and give Unity developers new ways to reach and engage the millions of gamers on Facebook.

As an extension of the existing relationship, Unity will integrate support for the Facebook platform, including an all-new PC gaming platform currently in development.

A post today by Jack King Choi further explains the partnership,

Unity and Facebook are joining forces to build new functionality into Unity that streamlines the process for exporting and publishing games onto Facebook. This will allow Unity developers to quickly deliver their games to the more than 650 million players who enjoy playing Facebook-connected games every month — a massive and highly-engaged gaming community that enabled Facebook to pay out over $2.5 billion to just web-game developers in 2015 alone.

Apart from what we have put up here, there aren’t many details available about what this platform would actually do. However, TechCrunch’s Josh Constine talked to both the companies and drew out the following, very interesting conclusions :

  • The platform will run on different types of PCs, not just Windows like the Games Arcade test
  • The desktop platform provides a distraction-free gaming environment uncluttered by other Facebook features like the News Feed
  • It will support the traditional casual Fb games, mobile games ported from iOS and Android, and Unity says it will likely support more “immersive” hardcore games like you typically see on Steam or consoles, as there’s no plans for a limit on genres or specs right now
  • It will offer discoverability so gamers can find titles to play
  • Facebook will provide a revenue split for game publishers, though it’s unclear if it will deviate from the industry standard 30% it’s used in the past

Starting today, the company is selecting a limited group of developers to receive immediate access to a closed-alpha build of the new export to Facebook functionality in Unity version 5.4. New developers will be on-boarded on an ongoing basis throughout the testing period.

Interested developers can apply here by August 31, 2016 to request immediate access and begin testing the alpha build of the new export to Facebook functionality in the Unity Editor.

Editor-at-large and co-founder at The Tech Portal. He is a tech enthusiast with interests in new-age technology fields like Ai, Machine Learning, AR/VR, Outer Space and related stuff. Drop him a mail anytime, very reachable.

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