Starting Monday, multiple cloud streaming games will be available through Facebook’s flagship application and browsers, instantly playable with no downloads required.
The social network announced that cloud games will be rolled out in the US, initially in California, Texas, and the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, including: Connecticut; Delaware; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Washington, DC; and West Virginia.
Facebook Vice President Jason Rubin said in a blog post that regional access will expand in the coming months as Facebook scales the infrastructure it needs in the US
Rubin added that Facebook Gaming will expand its cloud games to more genres, starting with action and adventure games in 2021.
For cloud games from Facebook Gaming, in-app purchases and ads are activated upon release, depending on the game format and the choice of the developer.
Rubin also touched on Facebook’s ongoing problems with Apple, saying that cloud games are not currently rolling out on iOS and will only be available through Android and desktop web players.
Rubin wrote: “Even with Apple’s new policy for cloud games, we don’t know if launching the App Store is a viable option. “Of course there’s always the open internet,” so mobile browsers may be an option, but there are limitations to what we can offer on Safari. While our iOS path is uncertain, one thing is clear: Apple treats games differently and remains in control of a very valuable resource. Stay tuned as we figure out the best way for people to play, when and how they want, regardless of what device they bought. “
One option that will be available for both iOS and Android is cloud-playable ads, which allow interactive demos to be supported within native game code and “blur the line between games and ads.”
According to Rubin, creating cloud-playable ads takes less time, money and more options. You can run multiple creative pieces from a single Android pack kit and customize the experience by swapping layers, characters and other elements.
Facebook’s beta partners for cloud-playable ads include 2K Games, FunPlus, Gameloft, Glu Mobile, Gram Games, Rovio, and Wildlife Studios.
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The Facebook Games tab has also been redesigned to include more discovery and re-engagement capabilities that allow players to find new games, revisit games they have already played, and recommend songs to friends.
Favorite new detection units and updated notifications have been added, and automated performance standards and an advanced review professional have been implemented to increase platform integrity and improve the experience for developers and gamers.
Rubin wrote, “We also added a new editorial with units that players can use to discover new games, and we’re continuing to optimize in-game ads on our platform to increase CPMs (cost per thousand impressions).”
He noted that tests are currently in progress with around 200,000 people playing Facebook’s cloud streaming games every week in limited regions. 380 million people play instant games and legacy web games on the social network every month.
Rubin stressed that adding cloud games is about expanding the existing Facebook gaming platform and that the company is not outsourcing a separate cloud gaming service. He wrote, “All cloud streaming games can be played the same way that you play games on Facebook now – whether from our Games tab or the news feed. No special hardware or controller required; Your hands are the controller as we start with native mobile games. And you can play these games with a mouse and keyboard on the desktop. Every month more than 380 million people play games on Facebook, and people will play cloud streaming games just like those who play instant games in HTML5. And if we do our job right, you won’t notice how the games are delivered. “