Facebook is adamant about expanding its gaming department. The social media giant began with Oculus VR and livestreams, and now it will be including the cloud.

On July 1, Facebook announced that it would be making its game streaming free and available to 98% of the mainland United States. Also, it will be adding Ubisoft, its major game developer partner.

Facebook's Gaming Expansion

Facebook stated that it has now scaled up its cloud computing infrastructure to the extent that it can roll out the game service to 100% of the US by September.

An international rollout is also being planned. It will start in Canada and Mexico and gradually make its way to Western and Central Europe by early 2022, according to Engadget.

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While other companies such as Amazon and Google have opted for standalone cloud gaming for a monthly subscription, Facebook has created its offering into its main social network and its Android app. 

Unlike Google and Amazon that deliver console and PC games through the internet, Facebook wants to focus on smaller free-to-play mobile titles because it believes they are easier to host at its data centers.

After rolling out cloud gaming on Android in some parts of the United States last year, Facebook said that it had added 25 titles to the service since then.

Some of the titles that Facebook has added are "Roller Coaster Tycoon Touch," "Lego Legacy Heroes Unboxed," "Dragon Mania Legends," and "State of Survival."

Facebook has also added new categories to its Play section, including a list of the top games in the United States, better sorting options, and improved filtering.

Ubisoft Partnership and Boosting Facebook Gaming's Appeal

According to Facebook, more than 1.5 million people play cloud-streamed games on its platform. In North America alone, the company reports 195 million daily users. Globally, the cloud-streamed games on Facebook are played by more than 1.87 billion users.

Despite offering fewer games than its competition, Facebook wants to focus on mobile titles as it thinks it can help the platform thrive in the game streaming arena.

According to research firm NewZoo, the cloud gaming market will be worth an estimated $1.4 billion this year, and it will be worth more than $5 billion in 2023.

To boost its appeal to the masses, Facebook is partnering with game developer Ubisoft. The game subscription service of Ubisoft is already available on Amazon Luna and Google Stadia, but Facebook will only host its mobile gaming titles.

Ubisoft games available on the service include "Hungry Shark Evolution," "Assassin's Creed Rebellion," and "Hungry Dragon," with "Might Quest," and "Trials Frontier" launching in the next couple of months.

Facebook has also recently acquired Unit 2, the developer behind the game creation platform "Crayta", with plans to integrate its tools into its cloud gaming platform.

As for its infrastructure, Facebook is focusing on lowering latency caps to allow it to distribute more game genres across multiple devices, according to CNA.

Currently, it is thriving in mobile sports, simulation, card, strategy, puzzle titles, and action-adventure, but it plans to add more variety to the mix in the next couple of months.

Facebook is still working on getting its cloud gaming service onto iOS devices. Though its gaming app is already available on iPhones and iPads, it does not include playable games because of Apple's restrictions on third-party software.

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Written by Sophie Webster

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