Facebook Working with Unity to Build a Desktop Gaming Platform

Facebook and gaming haven't exactly made the best bedfellows. Shallow distractions like Farmville and Candy Crush might have drawn in huge hordes of casual gamers, but they attracted the frothing ire of the industry and much of the dedicated/hardcore crowd. It's gotten better recently, with the blue giant acting as an amplifier for streaming videos, but the relationship is still somewhat strained.

This is obviously something which Facebook are keen to rectify, as they've now teamed up with game engine company Unity to create a Steam/Origin-esque desktop gaming platform. Unity and Facebook have already worked together to help developers create in-browser games for the platform. Starting from now, developers can apply for a limited alpha so that they can build and export games to the app first.

It will still be geared towards a more casual market, but the scope for more sophisticated games will be far wider, which will be encouraging for anyone who despaired of the 2002-flash-game sheen sported by games like Farmville. The other encouraging thing is that this will be a dedicated platform, so if you're going on Facebook to play games, you won't have to angle around the news feed, or the 300 people trying to chat with you.

The system will also support mobile games for Android and iOS, but amazingly Unity have also said that, given there's no spec limit, we could even be seeing the kind of hardcore fare you get on Steam and Origin. Facebook are planning to offer a revenue split to coax publishers in, 30% is the industry standard, but they haven't said what there's will be yet.

Of course, even with Facebook integration taken into account, trying to transcend the casual crowd and tempt hardcore gamers in will be a hell of a mountain to climb. People like Steam. No, sorry, people love Steam, from the game sales to the interface to the easy moddding to the massive, sprawling library of games on offer. The real sticking point is going to be the amount of developers Facebook can draw in, especially if they make the interface simple, easily navigable and easy to integrate with VR.

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