Earlier today, Facebook announced a new cloud gaming initiative that is being launched in beta. The test will start small, with only five games that are only available in parts of the United States, but Facebook clearly has plans to expand it from here. Several new features and improvements to the Facebook Gaming app are being rolled out alongside cloud games, both on the web and on Android.
Facebook announced today that it is launching player names and avatars that people can use to represent themselves in the game. Facebook makes it clear that player names do not replace real names on Facebook, but do exist as a representation of users in the games they play. For example, Facebook friends will still be able to see your real name and next to your username.
Facebook is also launching the cross game in games that use the Facebook Login for games. Essentially, this allows you to synchronize your progress and purchases on the Facebook version of these games and any dedicated applications that the game may have. In addition, we’ll see the launch of playable cloud ads, which appear to be an extension of Facebook’s cloud game launch and its previous HTML 5 playable ads. The idea is to allow developers to offer a demo of their game as an ad, potentially attracting more players than just standard ads.
Facebook says that with these ads in the cloud, developers can create ads using the game’s code, allowing them to launch new ads in less time and with less money. Companies that use playable cloud ads early include 2K, FunPlus, Gameloft, Glu Mobile, Gram Games, Rovio and Wildlife Studios, so stay tuned for them when browsing Facebook.
Finally, we have a series of discovery improvements aimed at the Facebook Gaming app and webpage that should help developers find more players. New features include “favorites, new discovery units and updated notifications”. Combined with the other features listed above, it looks like the hope is that more developers can find players for their games. Watch these changes come to Facebook Gaming today.