Facebook Adds Instant Games Titles, Multiplayer Video Chat

Since Facebook introduced Instant Games on its Messenger platform, its library has grown to 70 games, including “Tetris,” Blackstorm Labs’ “EverWing” and, now, Rovio Entertainment’s “Angry Birds.” Facebook is also now allowing users to live stream their sessions; when a user goes live in an Instant Game, it will stream to his Facebook page and stay posted when he goes offline. Facebook is also debuting an integrated video chat for multiplayer games, which will initially debut only with Zynga’s “Words With Friends.”

VentureBeat reports that the game will stay posted “so that folks who missed it can still re-watch it.” Those people “will be able to like and comment on the broadcast,” but there will be no emoji floating across the screen as in live event streams.

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“Right now we’ve decided that we don’t want to interrupt gameplay,” said Messenger product manager Mike Weingert. “It’s a bit of a different use case than when you’re streaming an event. Basically, at the top left hand corner, we show that there are likes and reactions and emojis coming in, but we don’t actually send them across the screen.”

Next year, in addition to “Angry Birds,” Instant Games will add Sega’s “Sonic Jump,” “Disney Tsum Tsum,” and a new version of GungHo Online’s “Puzzles & Dragons.” The new multiplayer mode with video on Messenger will enable two players to “enter a game together through a video call, and then play together while their face cams are still displayed in the upper right corner.”

Facebook global director of games partnerships Leo Olebe said that influencers may also want to create a social gaming experience. “I absolutely believe that the streaming community, the influencer community, will have the opportunity to see this as something they want to pick up on,” he said. “We know that video is extraordinarily important to discovering and sharing. We wanted to make sure to tap into that and give our users the chance to show off the games they’re playing and the games they’ve fallen in love with.”