Facebook Is Making Its Own Version Of Steam

Image: Facebook.com/arcade

Several years ago it seemed like games on Facebook was going to be The Next Big Thing. But that battle has since well and truly been won by apps, which is fantastic for anyone who truly hated FarmVille.

But Facebook hasn't given up on games just yet. Overnight the company announced it was teaming up with Unity to make a new service that developers might be a little bit interested in.

In a post earlier this morning, the social network said it would be working with Unity to allow developers using the latter "new functionality ... that streamlines the process for exporting and publishing games onto Facebook".

But perhaps the most interesting aspect is how Facebook is building what they're calling an "all-new PC gaming platform", which is code for a new way to display Facebook's games its hundreds of millions of users.

For developers, the fun lies in being able to export games from within Unity rather than having to deal with Facebook's SDK. Devs can sign up until August 31 for an alpha build of Unity 5.4 that will let them push out games to the mobile and desktop versions of Facebook, although all your games must be built in Unity 5.4.

It could be a real interesting move for indie devs, particularly in Australia — the prospect of being able to push out a game simultaneously to iOS, Android and Facebook vastly expands the amount of users they might be able to hit at any one time. And down the road the prospect of more proper games appearing on Facebook, instead of the free-to-play trash that most commonly appears in my notifications, is intriguing.

A beta version of the Facebook Games Arcade is already available for download, although it requires Adobe Flash Player which is instant deal-breaker as far as I'm concerned. In the early stages we'll probably only see more versions of 8 Ball Pool, Super Apple Shooter and random casino games, mind you.


    Hope you like ads, boys and girls.

    On a more positive note, Unity-based games have been surprise gems over and over, so I think I'll remain sceptical for now, so I can see what eventually comes out once the service has been allowed to breathe for a bit.

    Also, it solves the problem with VR at the moment - your single-player experience that's extremely isolating to actually work can be made social almost instantly.

    I finally get to be Lister of Smeg.

    Love to see some form of base building RTS with multiplayer

    Facebook's already made their own version of Steam once with the Oculus Store, so I guess they have some experience here.

    If it requires me to have a facebook account I guess it's already lost one customer. It was bad enough when Blizzard started trying to integrate all the social media junk into their games. I can't see it being good when Facebook is setting up the platform :(

    And now they have all your data from your game time to sell too. Because facebook needs to get it's Orwellian hands in everything that is the internet. The only person who is everyone in your friend list on facebook is facebook. When all is facebook everyone is facebook. OBEY

    Won't be cross platform. Facebook can shove it.

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