Facebook, Gameroom, games

At its F8 conference today, Facebook announced a slew of updates aimed towards making the chores involved at the game developers end, easier. The company also introduced a group of APIs that will together help drive sharing & connected gameplay on the platform.

Gaming has slowly grown to occupy an important position at Facebook. With the huge audience Facebook has at its command, almost anything it launches becomes a hit. This is particularly true when that something is games. The company first introduced games late last year and says that they have been an instant hit. Indeed, according tot eh company, over 1.5B games have been played on Instant Games across Messenger and Facebook News Feed within the last 90 days.

In a bid to capitalize upon this growth, Facebook has launched a bunch of brand new features. First up is something it calls Rich gameplay features, which aims to to give developers more control of the gaming experiences being created by them. Now, developers can choose and customize their own start and end screens. They cal also integrate a whole bunch of new APIs that can help drive share & connected gameplay.

The company might be planning to go beyond lightweight gaming soon as well. As per Facebook:

Rich gameplay features are laying the groundwork to support a wider variety of games that extend beyond the light-weight, score-based games currently offered on the platform.

There are other updates as well. For instance, Zynga will now allow players to share great in-game wordplay moments directly within their Messenger threads. Sharing in-game wordplay moments! Who would have thought such a thing possible?

Facebook is also coming up with a new games tab, that will allow players to easily and quickly discover new games. Finally, bots will ensure that players can stay connected with their games even when they are not playing via messenger.

Facebook is also in the process of introducing a closed-beta of the new Gameroom platform SDK. This particular SDK will allow developers to easily port games tbuilt in different engines. This includes games built in the Unreal Engine, cocos2d and more.

We’re already working with developers like High Voltage Software to bring their game Dragon Front onto the platform. Written using the Unreal engine, and originally an Oculus exclusive, a 2D version of Dragon Front will launch on Gameroom in the coming weeks. Developers interested in the Gameroom platform SDK closed-beta can apply here.

Finally, the company is rolling out a dedicated games feed that will live inside Gamerooms and perform much the same function that is performed by the regular feed on Facebook. The only major difference is that the this particular feed will be all about games.

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