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Games: Updates from F8

April 20, 2017ByCalvin Grunewald

Facebook Games is focused on building a global community for people to play, watch and share the games they love with the people they care about. Today, we're providing updates that help developers build and grow their games across mobile, desktop, and video platforms. Below is a snapshot of what we're announcing at F8 focused on Instant Games, Facebook Gameroom and Gaming Video.

Instant Games

Since our debut late last year, players are really enjoying Instant Games - our new HTML5 cross-platform gaming experience. More than 1.5B games have been played on Instant Games across Messenger and Facebook News Feed within the last 90 days.

At F8, we introduced rich gameplay features to give developers more control of the gaming experiences they create. Developers can customize their own start and end screens and integrate new APIs that can help drive share & connected gameplay. Rich gameplay features are laying the groundwork to support a wider variety of games that extend beyond the light-weight, score-based games currently offered on the platform.

A new version of EverWing (Blackstorm Labs), along with Words with Friends (Zynga), will be launching on Instant Games in the coming weeks.

With the forthcoming Instant Games launch of Words With Friends, Zynga will allow players to share great in-game wordplay moments (or fails) directly within their Messenger threads. In addition, Blackstorm is releasing a new version of EverWing — one of the most popular titles on Instant Games. Powered by rich gameplay features, EverWing will make in-thread updates available in Messenger that give people a preview of what's happening in-game, which is especially useful for players who are deciding whether they should jump in a boss-raid that's already in progress.

We'll also begin to roll out a new games tab to make it even easier for players to discover games. Additionally, developers will be able to leverage game bots to create engaging ways for players to connect to their games through actions they take directly within a Messenger chat — even when they are not playing!

Developers interested in the Instant Games platform that is currently available in closed-beta can sign up here.

Facebook Gameroom

Partnering with Unity, we launched the commercial release of the new Facebook build target in Unity 5.6 last month that allows Unity developers to streamline the deployment of their games to Gameroom. Gamerom supports PC games optimized for native performance and Web games built via HTML5, WebGL or Flash technology. Available for Windows 7 and above, Gameroom currently has more than 1,000 games across 10+ different categories. We recently introduced support for downloadable premium games, and we look forward to adding more games in the coming weeks and months.

To allow more developers the opportunity to bring their games onto this emerging PC-gaming platform, we're rolling out a closed-beta of the new Gameroom platform SDK that will offer developers the flexibility to port games that are built in a variety of engines, including Unreal Engine, cocos2d and more. We're already working with developers like High Voltage Software to bring their game Dragon Front onto the platform. Written using the Unreal engine, and originally an Oculus exclusive, a 2D version of Dragon Front will launch on Gameroom in the coming weeks. Developers interested in the Gameroom platform SDK closed-beta can apply here.

Dragon Front will launch on Gameroom in the coming weeks.

We are also in the early stages of rolling out the new Games Feed in Gameroom that offers players a continuously updating list of stories that are 100 percent focused on games-related content. We want to improve discovery for game developers by helping people find out about different games they may enjoy, featuring studio-created posts, videos like producers' chats and general games news.

Gaming Video

With our recent announcement to help people around the world broadcast live video to Facebook from their desktop, we are empowering people to easily bring their gameplay experiences to Profiles, Pages, and Groups. Our goal is to enable gamers and streamers to connect with each other and the games they love in more meaningful ways.

At F8, we're announcing that platform partners using the Live API will soon have the ability to share directly to Groups. With XSplit - a live streaming and video-mixing application by SplitmediaLabs, we're looking forward to the application's launch of the feature and how it will build new functionalities to existing Live API integrations. Building on our growing roster of professional esports teams streaming to Facebook Live, we're also pleased to recently welcome the Philadelphia 76ers' Team Dignitas as the latest pro team to engage and find new fans on Facebook.

Game on

With the wide variety of new products and platforms tailored for games, we want to help developers get their games in front of over 1.86 billion people who connect to Facebook every month.