Facebook takes mobile games into the cloud

Ruben Fields
October 27, 2020

"Facebook Gaming has launched several cloud-streamed games in the Facebook app and [web] browser, playable instantly, with no downloads required", Facebook VP Jason Rubin writes in the announcement post. The first wave of cloud games now available in the United States include the mobile games Asphalt 9: Legends, Mobile Legends: Adventure, PGA TOUR Golf Shootout, Solitaire: Arthur's Tale, and WWE SuperCard. The approach is similar to services offered by Google and Microsoft, but the social media giant isn't focusing on exclusive games and AAA titles for now.

Facebook on Monday put its spin on cloud gaming by letting players instantly hop into an array of mobile games at the social network without downloading apps - but won't be offering the service for Apple iOS devices.

The cloud gaming service will be made available through Facebook's desktop site and Android app, but not on iOS.

The service will be available from October 26 and will be in competition with the likes of Google's Stadia and Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass, which also have their own version of cloud gaming.

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The new Facebook capability is created to let players start games at the social network then switch to downloaded mobile apps without losing any progress it wouldn't synch with iPhones due to "control" exerted by Apple, according to Rubin. The service, however, will not be available on iOS.

Facebook said it believes mainstream cloud gaming has a long way to go, so the company isn't promising major breakthroughs anytime soon. The games and the service are all free and will be rolled out on the Facebook app across most platforms by October 26. At least it's free and doesn't want us to buy a stupid controller. "That's one of the reasons why we're starting with games typically played on mobile devices", says a Facebook spokesperson on their blog. These cloud playable ads include games like 2K, FunPlus, Gameloft, Glu Mobile, Gram Games, Rovio, and Wildlife Studios. The service would offer some games across platforms and users can install the games from Facebook to play even with spotty internet connections, he said. "Dirt Bike Unchained" by Red Bull is set to be added in the coming weeks. Access is rolling out across California, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia, with plans to expand access in the coming months.

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