Facebook Inc has teamed up with Unity Technologies, a global games development platform, to build a dedicated, downloadable desktop gaming platform to compete with Steam, Tech Crunch reported. The companies will work together to allow games developers to offer their iOS and Android games on desktop. The desktop PC app could support more hardcore games, according to the report.
Streamlining Games Export To Facebook, Desktop App
The social networking company wants to expand its game developer tools and services and gives Unity developers new ways to reach and engage the millions of gamers on its social network. As part of the partnership, game engine Unity will integrate support for the Facebook platform, including an all-new PC gaming platform currently in development.
Now game developers will be able to easily build and export games to Facebook’s website and desktop app. “Integrating tools that provide effortless access to Facebook’s network is a key part of helping developers find the success they deserve,” Unity executive Elliot Solomon said.
The companies will jointly build new functionality into Unity that streamlines the process for exporting and publishing games onto the social networking site. As a result, Unity developers will be able to quickly deliver their games to the more than 650 million players playing Facebook-connected games every month.
Starting today, a limited group of developers will receive immediate access to a closed-alpha build of the new export to the social networking site functionality in Unity version 5.4.
In a statement, Facebook Inc said that new developers will be on-boarded on an ongoing basis throughout the testing period. Interested developers can apply by August 31 to request immediate access and begin testing the alpha build of the new export to Facebook functionality in the Unity Editor.
Previously, Unity developers had to work with Facebook SDK to bring games to its web platform. The social networking giant already partnered with Unity to support Oculus VR game development.
The new PC platform will run on different types of PCs and will provides a distraction-free gaming environment. In addition, it will support the traditional casual Facebook games, mobile games ported from iOS and Android. According to Unity, the platform will likely support more “immersive” hardcore games, Tech Crunch reported.
Moreover, Facebook will provide a revenue split for game publishers.
Facebook and Social Gaming
Gaming is predicted to generate $99.6 billion in 2016 alone, according to a report published on Wearesocial.com.
Facebook has a massive and highly-engaged gaming community that enabled the social media company to pay out more than $2.5 billion to just web-game developers in 2015. The company saw a huge in social gaming payments last quarter as gamers moved to mobile app stores. According to Tech Crunch, the social networking company made a peak of $257 million in payment taxes in the fourth quarter of 2014, versus $197 million last quarter.
Still, the social networking giant has 650 million users who play games each month. The company paid more than $8 billion to game developers since 2010. According to the report, the social media company could get control over a huge part of how people use the internet with new and revamped gaming platforms.
In other news, Facebook Inc CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview that he regrets buying Oculus for $2bn in 2014 for getting into the virtual reality space, and instead he should have had the foresight to build out a team in-house early on. Another regret he has is the late realization that virtual reality was worth investing in.