Failing to grasp the nerve of the masses in the mobile gaming ecosystem, Facebook is yet again trying its hand at expanding the scope of its ‘social’ game network on the platform. That said, the social media behemoth has today launched its dedicated desktop gaming platform called ‘Gameroom’ in direct competition with Steam and others. The platform is currently in beta and available for users worldwide to download on their Windows 7 desktops and above.
Facebook first hinted that it was working on a dedicated gaming platform back in May but these speculations were strengthened when it announced its partnership with Unity a couple months back. Both companies had then said that game community could look forward to a possible integration and development of not only a desktop platform but also an enhanced set of game tools and services for Unity developers.
Using the new Facebook Gameroom, users can now seamlessly experience both web games, ported mobile and native games built exclusively for the platform. This PC platform will focus purely on an immersive gameplay experience for its players, free from the clutter of the newsfeed. The Gameroom is also expected to provide better performance in terms of memory consumption and app launch timings.
The dedicated platform is also extremely easy to setup. You just need to visit the official Gameroom website and download the gaming client for your desktop computer. Once through, you just need to run this .exe file, which will first download the necessary files and install them to setup the Gameroom. You will then be logged in using your Facebook credentials and catapulted into the world of Facebook games once again(hope this also doesn’t get stocked up with annoying Candy Crush notifications!)
Facebook also took center stage at Unity’s game development platform conference to announce the integrations that the two companies have been working on for the past couple of months. It is no hidden secret that Gameroom has Unity support baked right into the platform but developers will be delighted to know that Unity 5.6 will bring with it support for Facebook early next year.
This integration will allow developers to take full advantage of the desktop’s processing power and bring high-quality games to the PC. It will aenable them to directly export their games to Facebook Gameroom as well as other WebGL standards. Also, if developers prefer, they can also develop games natively for the Gameroom — which is being touted to be easier compared to HTML5.
When the Facebook target build is active in the Unity Editor, you can use the Facebook SDK for Unity API to share content with Facebook friends, access the Graph API, and more. You will also be able to use the Unity IAP service to handle in-app purchases on Facebook,
reads the official blog post.
Facebook’s launch of the Gameroom puts in direct compeition with the most abundantly used native desktop gaming platform Steam. The latter currently has an active user base of over 125 million, with millions playing popular multi-player games such as Dota 2, Counter Strike, Skyrim and others. Facebook, however, aims to bring this gaming and social experience to the masses. The company doesn’t want to keep it restricted to a tight circle of game enthusiasts but also wants others to experience the joy of one upping your friend in games like 8 Ball Pool and Candy Crush Saga everyday.