Facebook Aims at Casual PC Players With Gameroom

Facebook Aims at Casual PC Players With Gameroom

Steam, Origin, and GOG are joined by Gameroom, but not really.

Back in August, Facebook announced a partnership with Unity to create a new dedicated PC gaming platform, then called Games Arcade. Today, that platform has gone live as Facebook Gameroom, which players can download for Windows 7 or above right now.

Of course, while some might guess that Gameroom is competition for Steam, Origin, or GOG, the available games point to distinctly lighter fare. It's really built for Facebook games, seperate from the Facebook web platform. Games hosted on Gameroom may not exceed 200 MB, with games up to 500 MB allowed on the service on a case-by-case basis. This means most of games that you consider to be highlights on Steam, Origin, or GOG can't be hosted on Gameroom.

Instead, you're left with games like Words With Friends, Scrabble, Cooking Mama, and Curiosity. Games which can be classified as mobile and Facebook titles. It's questionable who the platform is aimed at, since most casual players would likely be fine continuing to play on Facebook or their smartphones.

For developers, Facebook takes a 30 percent cut of revenue, just like Steam. The best one can say about Gameroom is the potential for developers to find new audiences. The platform can leverage Facebook's own social network to bring new players to certain smaller titles. Which is how Facebook and Unity were selling the platform back in August.

"Our mission is to give people the power to discover, play and share the games they love with the people they care about," said Facebook director of global games partnerships Leo Olebe. "Unity is the world's leading game development platform. It's great to be working with them to help developers find new audiences for the games they pour their hearts into."

"Integrating tools that provide effortless access to Facebook's network is a key part of helping developers find the success they deserve," Unity Tech vice president of business development Elliot Solomon.

It remains to be seen if what Gameroom is selling will be enticing for players or developers.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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