Facebook (FB) has launched cloud-streamed games in the Facebook app and on browser, which are playable instantly, with no downloads required. These cloud-streamed games can be played right alongside those playing instant games in HTML5.
The access to cloud games on Facebook will roll out in the US, initially across California, Texas and Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states including, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia.
The access will be expanded to regional areas in the coming months as Facebook scales the infrastructure needed to roll out cloud gaming across the US.
The cloud-streamed games are playable in the same way as the games are played in Facebook’s Gaming tab or from News Feed. There will be no need for any special hardware or controllers and the game are playable with a mouse and keyboard on desktop.
The free-to-play cloud games are currently being launched in Beta on Android and the web players at fb.gg/play. However, it is not currently launching for iOS users. The first set of games will be available later in the week.
These include sports, card, simulation, and strategy games including Asphalt 9: Legends by Gameloft; Mobile Legends: Adventure by Moonton; PGA TOUR Golf Shootout by Concrete Software; Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale by Qublix Games; and WWE SuperCard by 2K Games.
Dirt Bike Unchained by Red Bull will be added in the coming weeks. The variety of game genres will be expanded in early 2021 with the addition of action and adventure games.
Facebook for the first time is also introducing player names and gaming-themed avatars for players to represent themselves in game instead of using their full name and profile picture. The cross-play between the downloaded version of the game and the cloud version on Facebook can also be enabled.
In April, Facebook had launched a dedicated mobile gaming app called Facebook Gaming that allows users to watch and create live gaming streams, as gaming industry witnesses’ sharp growth driven by the coronavirus lockdowns. It claims to currently have more than 700 million monthly users.
Until now, Facebook’s gaming brand was only accessible as a tab inside the main Facebook app, and as an independent website.
In December 2019, Facebook acquired Spanish cloud gaming startup PlayGiga for about 70 million euros as part of its increased focus on the video gaming market in recent years.
The social networking giant had begun its expansion into video gaming in 2014 with the acquisition of virtual reality or VR headset maker Oculus for $2 billion.
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