Facebook takes mobile games into the cloud

Facebook takes mobile games into the cloud

Monday, October 26, 2020

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SAN FRANCISCO,United States(AFP) — Facebookon Monday put its spin on cloud gaming by letting players instantly hop into an array of mobile games at the social network without downloading apps — but won't be offering the service for Apple iOS devices.

Vice president of play Jason Rubin noted thatFacebookis not spinning off a cloud gaming service along the lines of Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud, which offer console-quality titles hosted online.

The newFacebookcapability is designed to let players start games at the social network then switch to downloaded mobile apps without losing any progress it wouldn't synch with iPhones due to "control" exerted by Apple, according to Rubin.

"Unfortunately, we're not launching cloud games on iOS, so only Android and web players will enjoy integrated cloud games onFacebookwhile we work on alternative options for iOS," Rubin said in a blog post.

"Apple treats games differently and continues to exert control over a very precious resource. "

Excluding iPhones and iPads from theFacebookcloud games offering is the latest dig at Apple for its tight grip on the App Store, which is the sole source of content for the company's coveted mobile devices but takes a 30 percent cut of transactions.

Some developers say Apple takes too big a bite of the revenue and maintains rigid policies that may hamstring services competing with those of the iPhone maker. Fortnite-maker Epic Games has taken Apple to court over the practice.

Apple has argued its App Store delivers billions of dollars to independent developers, and that its practices are reasonable compared with other digital marketplaces.

Only those playing with Android-powered mobile devices or through web browsers will be able to integrate with cloud games onFacebookfor now, Rubin said.

Games made available in the cloud atFacebookcan be accessed instantly in the application or in browsers, according to Rubin. Some 200,000 people per week played cloud-streamed games atFacebookduring a trial run in a few regions, according to Rubin.

"We love console and PC gaming and both formats will be around for a long time," Rubin said.

"We believe cloud gaming will increase — not replace — the options to jump into great games."

Gaming atFacebookdates back to its early days when "Farmville" by Zynga was an obsession for many users.

The initial set of games includesAsphalt 9: Legendsby Gameloft and PGA TOUR Golf Shootoutby Concrete Software.

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