Facebook Eyes Steam With 'Gameroom'

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Facebook is moving in on Steam's territory with a new gaming platform known as Gameroom.

Free to players worldwide on Windows 7 and above, Gameroom features Web games and native titles built exclusively for the social network. "From shooters to strategy [and] builders to bingo," Gameroom promises familiar titles like Words With Friends and Candy Crush, as well as more resource-intensive games that typically require high-end PCs or consoles.

Initially, however, games cannot be larger than 200MB, though Facebook will "consider" hosting games up to 500MB on a case-by-case basis, according to Engadget, which calls Gameroom "kludgy" and "something that's been gathering dust for awhile."

Gameroom—a partnership with the Unity developer toolset—has drawn comparisons to Valve's Steam, which boasts more than 100 million active users.

Facebook declined to comment further, instead pointing PCMag toward the company's developer website.

In its early days, Facebook developed a reputation as a casual gaming destination. But despite the shift from the Web to mobile as the app ecosystem exploded, Facebook's community of gamers is still active; they generated $2.5 billion in revenue for developers in 2015.

This Unity partnership, as well as other recent gaming initiatives, is the company's way of keeping developers interested in writing new titles for its users. Those fond of its "develop once, publish everywhere" approach can now reach the more than 650 million gamers who play on Facebook.

The social media giant over the summer struck a deal with Blizzard to bring new social functionality to games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch, paving the way for a new "Go Live" streaming feature.

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