Facebook has been working on extending its reach over the gaming community. The company has expanded into PC gaming with its Gameroom feature. The feature was announced in August and now the company has announced support for Unity in the Gameroom developer beta. The company has also confirmed that Unity 5.6 will ship with Facebook support in 2017.
"With Facebook Gameroom, Facebook is introducing an easier way for developers to bring high-quality games to the PC to take full advantage of the CPU and GPU native power," the company's official blogpost on the subject stated.
Simply put, Facebook Gameroom for PC gaming project is a native Windows project available as a free download, including web, native and ported mobile games to players worldwide.
Within the Facebook Gameroom, players can experience both web games and native games built with the API and comes with features such as:
- Ability to continue game progress across different platforms.
- Choice between high, low and medium graphics.
- Less than 10-second loading time as per the company's claims.
- Zip bundles within 10MB.
- Ability to upload all creative assets in the app centre.
Currently, games hosted on Gameroom cannot exceed 200MB, with a 500MB option available on a case-to-case basis.
Facebook's venture into PC gaming seems primarily aimed at competing with Steam, Valve's popular gaming platform. While Steam's extensive software development is well known, Facebook's project is still in beta, but the social networking site will likely have an edge over the gaming platform due to its wide audience reach.
The company has opened up the build to developers so that Facebook Gameroom functionality becomes a serious proposition for gamers by the launch of Unity 5.6 in 2017. To develop games for the platform, developers will need a minimum SDK version of Unity 5.0. Older versions of Unity will support a WebGL interface. Developers will take a 30 percent revenue cut, same as Steam PC gaming system.
TheNextWeb estimates that Facebook's gaming offering could bring in as many as 1.75 billion consumers.