Facebook is the newest tech giant to enter the world of cloud gaming – but what the company has to offer is vastly different from what its competition does. Unlike Amazon or Google, which both offer standalone cloud gaming services for a fee, Facebook is introducing cloud games into its existing app, some of which are currently playable.
“We make free-to-play games, we make games that are latency tolerant, at least initially,” said Jason Rubin, Vice President of Play at Facebook. “We don’t promise 4K, 60fps, so pay us $ 6.99 per month. We’re not trying to get you to buy a piece of hardware like a controller. “
According to Rubin, Facebook is exploring the cloud because it opens up the types of games it can offer. The company started making games like Flash-based hits more than a decade ago FarmVille However, before moving to HTML5 for the Instant Games platform, these two technologies are relatively limited to smaller, simpler users.
According to Rubin, expanding to the cloud means more complex games that the company can continue to deliver quickly and seamlessly. These HTML5 games are not disappearing, but are available alongside the new cloud offers in the Facebook app. (It should be noted that Facebook took over the Spanish cloud gaming service PlayGiga last year, paving the way for this rollout.)
“The platform will allow the 300 million players to keep playing the games they like, but we believe they will branch out and play more complex games as well,” says Rubin. Free cloud games will be released in beta on Facebook starting today. The first number of titles mainly include Android ports like the 3D Racer Asphalt 9 and the idle role play Mobile Legends: Adventure.
Rolling Out in the US – Facebook says this will include California, Texas, and states in the Northeast and Central Atlantic. And they will be available on both the internet and the Facebook app for Android. “We’re not on iOS right now, which is a big problem for us,” says Rubin. “We are prohibited from Facebook starting the browser and playing the game.” (It is also a topic for cloud games on iOS.)
Aside from the types of games available, the core experience for Facebook users won’t be very different. You go to Facebook, see a game you like, click on it and start playing right away. However, today’s rollout also has some useful features, including a new cross-progression system tied to your Facebook login. When you start playing Asphalt 9 For example, if you download and then download the mobile app via Facebook, all your progress will be carried over as it is tied to your login.
Facebook’s approach to cloud games is philosophically different from competitors like Google Stadia or Amazon Luna. The company isn’t working on its technology or trying to secure large exclusive games. Instead, it feels more like an extension of what Facebook already offers: quick, easy-to-purchase titles that can fill up some idle moments in your day.
Even so, Rubin seems optimistic that the service will grow to the point that this could change. For example, when it comes to exclusivity, he says:
We’re not trying to lock people up. We don’t have to because we don’t charge a fee to try these games and you’re already on Facebook. An exclusive in the classic sense – meaning you can only play this game on the platform – probably doesn’t make sense to us.
I think once the platform has a large user base some of these developers are going to say, “I think we should add some features that take advantage of these features that we’ve never had before.” We’ll see these games on the platform Do really well, and other developers will say, “That was an idea we should follow.” And at some point a game company will say, “We should build a game that can’t exist anywhere else.”
I think the game will eventually exist. I think exclusivity will happen, but we don’t need that.
While the current focus is on free games, he says, “There may come a day when it makes sense for us to offer a premium game.” However, the company initially wanted to make these games as easy to play as possible. Getting free is usually pretty easy.
And while it’s still theoretical at the moment, it could eventually integrate with Facebook Gaming, the company’s Twitch-like streaming service. “What if a streamer was playing a game that was playable on Facebook and that streamer said, ‘I want to play with one of you who wants to play. “He picks one of those people, sends them a URL, and Jill plays with him on the stream,” says Rubin. “That’s cool. There’s really no reason why something like this can’t happen. “
That’s a lot of ifs and at the moment, Facebook’s cloud offering isn’t exactly the most exciting service. But it doesn’t have to be. One of the big differences between this and the competition is that Facebook isn’t trying to sell you games. The business model is very different. On the Internet, Facebook has reduced in-app purchases by 30 percent, while Android doesn’t cost anything. It also costs money that is made through advertising. The goal of these cloud games is not to sell you a subscription, but to keep you on Facebook.
“We give away a lot of things for free because that’s business for us,” says Rubin. “Don’t underestimate the fact that people on Facebook engage with communities. We do that. “
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