Blizzard Entertainment has announced a partnership with Facebook, tying Blizzard games to the global social platform. Beginning next month, Blizzard is adding Facebook logins and Facebook Live APIs to all of its games.
This means you can login to Overwatch, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Starcraft II, and Diablo III via your Facebook account. In addition, players can stream their gameplay directly to Facebook Live within each gaming client.
"Blizzard games are best when played with friends, so it's important to us to provide our players with features and services that make it easy and fun to share their experiences with each other," said Blizzard executive vice president of corporate operations Gio Hunt. "We're working closely with Facebook on this integration for Overwatch, as well as our other games, and we look forward to sharing further details on our plans as development progresses."
"Blizzard has a passionate community of players, and an incredible track record for launching innovative and high-quality gaming experiences," said Facebook global games partnerships director Leo Olebe. "Our collaboration on Overwatch demonstrates Facebook's commitment to partnering with AAA game companies, while further empowering Blizzard gamers to connect and share the content they're most passionate about with the friends they play with around the world."
Facebook Live has been part of Facebook's push to get companies and individuals streaming live video natively on its platform, and Blizzard Entertainment is a pretty big partner. Blizzard has already hosted a few events on Facebook Live, including the Heroes of the Dorm collegiate tournament and some Overwatch launch events.
Twitch is still the primary streaming platform for many gamers, but alternatives like YouTube Live and HitBox are trying to carve out a piece of that pie. YouTube had the weight to cut into Twitch a bit, but Facebook has a larger platform to work with. The social media site has become the de facto way for many people to get news, pictures, and video, allowing Facebook to dictate the terms to those who make the content. For better or worse, this Blizzard partnership may push things further in Facebook's favor.