Facebook Announces New Desktop Gaming Platform Partnership with Unity

Social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is getting serious about desktop gaming, announcing recently that it would partner with game development specialist Unity for a new desktop gaming platform.

The downloadable platform is sure to raise a lot of eyebrows over at Steam, which is currently the largest desktop gaming platform with around 125 million monthly users. Although Facebook is likely to concentrate its offerings on casual games (unlike the more hardcore games that are popular on Steam), there’s no reason why FB couldn’t go in that direction later on.

From the press release:

Unity Technologies, the largest global development platform for creating 2D, 3D, VR and AR games and experiences, and Facebook are working together to expand Facebook’s set of game developer tools and services and give Unity developers new ways to reach and engage the millions of gamers on Facebook. As an extension of the existing relationship, Unity will integrate support for the Facebook platform, including an all-new PC gaming platform currently in development.

Unity and Facebook are joining forces to build new functionality into Unity that streamlines the process for exporting and publishing games onto Facebook. This will allow Unity developers to quickly deliver their games to the more than 650 million players who enjoy playing Facebook-connected games every month — a massive and highly-engaged gaming community that enabled Facebook to pay out over $2.5 billion to just web-game developers in 2015 alone.

The platform will allow developers of iOS and Android games to easily port their titles over to desktop (and thus into Facebook’s ecosystem). Previously, developers had to work within Facebook’s web software development kit (SDK), but that web-based platform is likely to go away in lieu of the new system.

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Facebook shares were mostly flat in premarket trading Monday at $123.52. FB has gained about 18% year-to-date, more than doubling the performance of the benchmark S&P 500 in the same period.

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