Facebook launches free-to-play cloud games in beta in the US

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(Pocket-lint) – Facebook is getting into cloud gaming, with free-to-play cloud games, launching in beta starting 26 October.

Unlike rivals like Google, which offers a standalone cloud gaming service, Facebook is adding cloud games to its app – some of which you can play right now for free. Keep in mind this isn’t Facebook’s first foray into games. Remember those Flash-based titles, and later, the HTML5 Instant Games? They still exist and are available alongside cloud games on Facebook.

Simply go to the Gaming section of Facebook, and if you see a game, click on it to start playing. Facebook will introduce “cloud playable ads” demos in the news feed, too, to lure those who never go to the Gaming tab. Facebook said it developed a cross-progression system linked to your Facebook login, so you can start playing on the web, move to the mobile app, and your progress will sync.

Facebook

Facebook’s free-to-play cloud games are accessible via the web and the Facebook app on Android. They’re not on iOS right now, with Facebook saying it is “barred” from having games launch in the browser. The games are also only launching in the US. They will get a limited rollout to start in states like California and Texas as well as other states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

The roster of initial titles includes Android ports, like Asphalt 9 and Mobile Legends: Adventure, as well as PGA Tour Golf Shootout and Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale. More will launch “in the coming weeks”, like Red Bull’s Dirt Bike Unchained.

Facebook

Eventually, Facebook’s cloud games could be integrated with Facebook Gaming, a Twitch-like streaming service. The idea is a streamer could start playing a cloud game on Facebook, then send a share URL to someone, and start playing with him or her on stream.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.


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