Facebook launches a new cloud gaming service for free-to-play mobile games

Facebook Gaming has recently revealed a new cloud streaming gaming service and its a bit different than people’s expectations. This service will provide access to free-to-play mobile games instead of PC or console games like Stadia, GeForce NOW and Xbox Game Streaming.

Jason Rubin, who is the VP of Play at Facebook said that cloud gaming is the expanding of the types of games they offer and so they would start with the format enjoyed by people while playing on Facebook which is free-to-play games. That is one of the main reason why they are starting with games normally played on mobile devices. Facebook said that around 380 million people play games each month on their platform and the company has considered this as a big opportunity. Facebook’s service will not replace people’s favourite gaming hardware and it doesn’t mean that Facebook won’t compete in the same market like Microsoft, NVIDIA, Google and Amazon.

Rubin also said that they believe in the long-term future of cloud gaming but they are not going to try to wow with the wonders of their data centers, compression algorithms, resolutions or frames per second. He also added that he doesn’t want to oversell the cloud gaming future by implying platforms like Stadia or the recently announced Luna from Amazon has did.

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The end-goal of this service has a lot to do with the potential of selling advertisements. The company has outlined how  game developers deploy ‘cloud playable ads’ so that people cam try out a game on Facebook. Facebook says that these interactive demos remove the line between games and ads and are not so expensive and time-consuming to be made and allows many pieces of creative to run from one APK.

The cloud gaming service of Facebook will launch first in US, and will be available in California, Texas and Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states that will include Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and others. A wide availability is being expected later. The first set of games that can be easily accessed will include Asphalt 9: Legends, Mobile Legends: Adventure, PGA Gold Tour Shootout, Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale, WWE SuperCard and Dirt Bike Unchained. The library will later expand with addition of more action and adventure games. The cloud-streamed games would co-exist with the existing catalog of instant games in Facebook that is built in HTML5.

At present, the cloud gaming service of Facebook is available on Android and the web and this means that iOS users will miss this again. Rubin said that with the new cloud games policy of Apple, it is still unknown whether launching on the app store would be a viable path. Facebook is surely not happy for being unable to launch the service on iOS and its possible that Facebook can mimic what Amazon did to Luna. Luna is available on iOS as a PWA which is an avenue that Microsoft is pursuing and future regarding this method is unknown because of the conservative stance of Apple on cloud gaming services and web app standards.