Facebook has announced its own PC gaming platform, Gameroom, dedicated to the casual titles that already exist within Facebook’s "Games Arcade".
The app, which users of Windows 7 and above can download now, is reminiscent of Steam, but instead of titles like The Witcher 3 or Hitman you’re more likely to find titles like Farmville or Candy Crush. Facebook has stated that games joining the service need to be below 200MB in size, although they will consider games up to 500MB.
It’s a move that makes good business sense. Valve’s Steam service may have 125 million active users, but Facebook has 1.75 billion members on its site, and if a portion of them decide to check out this app, cleverly marketed towards the casual games market that no storefront really caters for yet, Facebook could do very well out of the 30% revenue cut they get from all games they host on the service.
For developers, Facebook’s announcement of Gameroom at the Unity game development conference is another potential inroad to a new audience. At the moment many of the games on Gameroom are the same games you’ll see on Facebook’s desktop site, but this could easily expand, and it’s hard to bet against Facebook when advertising the service is as easy as dropping a notification onto 1.75 billion peoples News Feed.