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Facebook has officially announced it’s working with Unity to build a dedicated, downloadable desktop gaming platform. This step will allow publishers to offer their iOS and Android titles on desktop.
Unity Technologies, the largest global development platform for creating 2D, 3D, VR and AR games and experiences, and Facebook are 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.
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.
Starting today, we’re 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.
Facebook is well-known for its social gaming revenue, reaching a peak of $257 million in payment taxes in Q4 2014. Then the company suffered a decrease of 60 million when players switched to mobile app stores. Still there are 650 million active users each month, so there’s definitely a rationale for this Steam-like project.
The history of the project goes back to May, when the initiative was called “Facebook Games Arcade”. Now it’s just called ‘new Facebook PC gaming platform’.
TechCrunch revealed some of the details on the project:
- It 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 Facebook 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
The Oculus acquisition was one of the first step towards games market domination and now new PC platform will bring even more users, leading most probably to rocketing revenues. Let us know what you think about the project in the comments below.