More Details on Facebook's New Steam-Like PC Gaming Platform

The social network is developing a "dedicated, immersive experience [built] solely for gamers."


Facebook is making new strides in the PC gaming space.

The social network announced today that it is working with game engine company Unity on a "dedicated, immersive experience [built] solely for gamers" in a move that would seemingly position it in competition with Steam.

Facebook is of course no stranger to video games, as anyone who has used the service likely knows from the spam they receive from friends. According to TechCrunch, Facebook gaming revenue has fallen of late. However, there are 650 million users who play games every month on the platform, which is up from 450 million last year, according to GameSpot sister site CNET. Gaming is a big, big business for Facebook, as the site has paid out more than $8 billion to developers since 2010.

The new desktop platform was initially announced in May, when it was known as the Facebook Games Arcade. However, it's now referred to only as the "new Facebook PC gaming platform." The video below, from YouTube user Dima Manuel, shows off what the older platform looked like during its beta.

While Facebook is not yet ready to go into specifics, representatives for the social network and Unity gave some details to TechCrunch, including that the platform will be "distraction free." This is to say, it won't include Facebook's News Feed or other features. Additionally, there will be support for the kind of casual games you'd expect from Facebook, but also more "immersive" games like those on Steam and consoles.

Facebook also announced today that it is working with Unity on measures to "streamline the process for exporting and publishing games onto Facebook." Beginning today, Facebook is inviting a "limited group" of developers into a closed alpha for this new functionality, while more developers will be added later. If you're a developer, you can apply here, but you need to do so by August 31.

Facebook was tight-lipped about all of this and CNET reported that the company declined to say when it may share new information. The company owns Oculus VR, maker of the Oculus Rift headset, but it remains to be seen what kind of integration might exist with the new PC platform, if there is any at all.

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