Facebooks ventures into cloud gaming, but only on Android OS

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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US-based social media giant Facebook has launched a free to play cloud gaming by allowing players to instantly jump into an array of mobile games in the platform without downloading apps, but the service won’t be available for Apple iOS devices.

Vice president of Play at Facebook Jason Rubin noted in a blog post that, “we’re not spinning off a separate cloud gaming service. All cloud-streamed games are playable in the same way you play games now on Facebook whether it’s in our Gaming tab or from News Feed.”

As per Facebook, the new launch doesn’t require any special hardware or controllers to play. The players can control it using their hands since they are initiating with native mobile games. If needed one can also play these games with a mouse and keyboard on the desktop.

“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,” Mr. Rubin said in the blog post.

The new Facebook feature is designed to allow players to start games at the social media platform initially and then switch to downloaded mobile apps without losing any progress. But in the case of iPhones, it wouldn’t sync because of certain policies of Apple, according to Mr. Rubin.

Facebook Cloud gaming
The new launch doesn’t require any special hardware or controllers to play.

“Apple treats games differently and continues to exert control over a very precious resource,” Mr. Rubin added, so it is not a viable path to launch in the App Store.

Apple exclusion

Excluding iPhones and iPads from the Facebook cloud games offering is the latest dig at Apple for its tight grip on the App Store, which is the sole source of content for the company’s coveted mobile devices but takes a 30 percent cut of transactions.

Some developers say Apple is having huge share of the revenue and maintains rigid policies that may limit services competing with those of the iPhone maker. Fortnite-maker Epic Games has taken Apple to court over the practice.

Only those playing with Android-powered mobile devices or through web browsers will be able to integrate with cloud games on Facebook for now, Mr. Rubin said while they are working for an alternative option to bring it on iOS.

Facebook’s gaming feature is smaller in scale when compared to the premium cloud-based game streaming services like Google’s Stadia, Nvidia’s GeForce NOW or Amazon’s Luna, which are competing for users in a high-growth market.

As per the blog post, more than 200,000 people played cloud-streamed games Facebook per week during the trial run in a few regions.

The first set of games includes Asphalt 9: Legends by Gameloft and PGA TOUR Golf Shootout by Concrete Software, Mobile Legends: Adventure by Moonton, Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale by Qublix Games; and WWE SuperCard by 2K. Access to cloud games on Facebook will be rolled out in the US initially.