Facebook partners with Unity to build Steam-like gaming platform

(Picture: Flickr)

Not content with its social media juggernaut status, Facebook has announced a partnership with Unity Technologies to create a downloadable gaming platform for desktop PCs. Developers using Unity, a popular engine for 2D, 3D, VR and AR games, will now find it easier to publish and export games directly onto Facebook.

The Facebook PC gaming platform aims to allow developers to easily port their iOS and Android games through Unity. The idea is to broaden the social network’s game offerings, which till date had been strictly casual. FarmVille, anyone?

However, the new platform will look to move beyond the casual space – and the venture may eventually target Steam’s 125 million users. Facebook gaming has lost ground in recent years to mobile apps as a larger percentage of its users access the network via smartphone. That said, the company can offer game developers something priceless: user data. The Facebook Login tool lets a game company customise your playing experience through profile information.

For its part, Facebook claims that 650 million of its users play games connected to the social network on a daily basis. This user base allowed the company to pay web game developers $2.5 billion (Dh9.2 billion) last year.

Developers can apply to receive access to a closed-alpha build of the new export to Facebook functionality in version 5.4 of Unity. New developers will be taken on board throughout the testing period.