Facebook has launched an HTML5 based Instant Games feature, that allows users to play games through Messenger or in the News Feed. Facebook has tied up with some of the best publishers to get games on the platform.
The developer partners at launch include Bandai Namco, Konami, Taito, Zynga, King and Gamee. The games available include classics such as Pac-ManGalagaArkanoid and Space Invaders. There are brand new titles available as well, including Brick Pop and Shuffle Cats Mini.
Koichi Ishii, president at Taito Corporation said, “Back in 1978, the first game in the world which the enemy character attacks the player character was named, Space Invaders. This new cross-platform gaming experience combined with us, one of the oldest game companies in the world, will create a new formula for all game fans. We are very happy and excited about this partnership to let game players around the world play Space Invadersagain.”
Kimihiro Horiuchi, head of global marketing at Konami Digital Entertainment said, “We believe this new cross platform gaming experience provides a new and unique discovery surface for our games and will delight and entertain our players around the world.”
There are seventeen titles available at launch. Competitive play and single player mode is supported. The games can be initiated in group chat as well. A controller icon appears below the text input field, to start playing the game. Once a round is played, users can be challenged for a rematch, or you can post and share your scores. You can play solo in the News Feed. The games can be searched for in the Facebook Messenger search field. The Instant Games feature is a follow up on the Basketball and Soccer games previously released on Messenger.
The games support leaderboards for multi-user chat within Messenger. The games are HTML5 based, and are loaded on demand. This does not increase the file size of messenger, but there is a delay every time a title is started.
Facebook says new titles and new ways of playing are coming soon. For the developers, Instant Games is a closed Beta program, and interested parties who want to bring their gaming content to Facebook Messenger or News Feed can do so by registering here.
In October last month, Telegram had launched an HTML5 based games on its instant messaging platform.
Gamee is one of the few developers providing gaming content on both conversational platforms. Telegram features persistent leader-boards in group chatting and solo play as well, but did not manage to partner with the major publishers that Facebook has got on board.
The update is supposed to be available in thirty countries around the world from today, but the rollout does not seem to have reached India as yet. We will be keeping a watch to try out the new games ourselves.