Facebook launched a cloud gaming feature for Android and web users on October 26, 2020. Using this, gamers can play directly from the app without having to download the games.
There’s uncertainty around the availability of this feature for iOS users owing to Apple’s cloud gaming policies. “Unfortunately, we’re not launching cloud games on iOS, so only Android and web players will enjoy integrated cloud games on Facebook, while we work on alternative options for iOS. Even with Apple’s new cloud games policy, we don’t know if launching on the App Store is a viable path,” wrote Jason Rubin, VP of Play, Facebook in a blog post.
Facebook is in conversation with Apple for the availability of the games within the dedicated Facebook Gaming app. As part of the release of its new gaming app, Facebook was forced to remove certain functionality from the iOS version due to the Apple App Store’s regulations. According to Apple, it cannot grant permission with two features: watching and playing game contents.
“Apple treats games differently and continues to exert control over a very precious resource. Stay tuned as we work out the best way for people to play games when and how they want, regardless of what device they bought,” read Rubin’s blogpost.
How the cloud gaming service works
To engage its users, Facebook will be available in two formats: playable ads for developers, and free-to-play mobile games. Rubin said they recently had seen 2 lakh people playing their cloud-streamed games per week but in limited regions. So, they went with cloud gaming as it promises to deliver unprecedented access to games across every screen.
Facebook primarily is sticking to latency tolerance to compensate for its current streaming technology. As the beta will progress, there will be an expansion on the variety of games by 2021. But, for now, there will be five games available: WWE SuperCard, Asphalt 9: Legends, PGA TOUR Gold Shootout, Mobile Legends: Adventure, and Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale.
The cloud gaming feature will first roll out in the US.