Facebook takes cloud gaming to Apple devices through web app

Facebook gaming Service

Social media giant Facebook is rolling out its budding cloud gaming service from Friday for its iOS users.

According to The Verge, Facebook’s nascent cloud gaming service for iPhones and iPads will be provided through a web app. Users will be able to add it to their home screens like a native app. The site will also let users play simple web games like Solitaire and match-threes and stream more graphically intensive games like racing ones.

But as far as Apple’s rules are concerned, the question that how users will be able to find it is still unclear since third-party developers like Facebook are barred from steering their app users to websites featuring purchasing mechanisms that aren’t Apple’s own.

Facebook’s library of web games, which include HTML5-based ones alongside more advanced titles that stream directly from the cloud, uses the social network’s custom payments system called Facebook Pay to accept in-game purchases, as per The Verge.

Facebook’s decision to bring its cloud gaming to the iOS platform comes after the similar approach of Amazon and Microsoft, which have also released Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, for their respective cloud gaming services to get around the App Store.

The previous year, Facebook protested again Apple’s decision of blocking its attempt to put games in a standalone app for iOS and said it would look into alternatives; following this Apple shortly changed its rules to allow for cloud-based games as long as they were submitted individually as apps to the App Store for review.

“We’ve come to the same conclusion as others: web apps are the only option for streaming cloud games on iOS at the moment,” Facebook’s vice president of gaming, Vivek Sharma, told The Verge in a statement.

“As many have pointed out, Apple’s policy to ‘allow’ cloud games on the App Store doesn’t allow for much at all. Apple’s requirement for each cloud game to have its own page, go through review, and appear in search listings defeats the purpose of cloud gaming. These roadblocks mean players are prevented from discovering new games, playing cross-device, and accessing high-quality games instantly in native iOS apps — even for those who aren’t using the latest and most expensive devices,” he added.

For the unversed, Facebook is not a giant platform for gaming yet, as it has mostly focused on courting streamers to broadcast their gameplay for fans to watch. But last year it acquired a cloud gaming startup and released a handful of free-to-play titles like Asphalt 9, and other titles like Assassin’s Creed: Rebellion, and stated that 1.5 million people play its cloud games per month.

Meanwhile, Facebook might have found a solution for getting its cloud games on iOS, but there are still huge barriers that the company has to tackle for the limitations that have been imposed by Apple’s Safari browser on web games, as per The Verge.

The limitations are: Sound is turned off by default, games cannot send notifications, and graphics are not as powerful as they can be in native apps.

Also Read: Facebook launches newsletter platform Bulletin

The Verge reported that a Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on its growth plans for the gaming website, but Apple’s rules strictly state that developers cannot send users from a native app to a website with payments technology other than its own. (ANI)

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