September 3, 2013
Facebook has partnered with game engine Unity to infiltrate the world of Web and mobile 3D games. The social network is releasing a software development kit with Unity that will allow game makers to incorporate Facebook tie-ins into games. Game developers for Unity will be able to create Facebook hooks for Web, iOS and Android. The ultimate goal is to attract more developers to build a wider array of games for the Facebook platform.
With the tools that developers use to incorporate Facebook tie-ins into games, game makers will potentially be able to attract more gamers. The software development kit also allows developers to port mobile games to Facebook with a single line of code.
“The tools include plug-and-play social hooks, like an option to let users post stories back to Facebook or invite their friends, and provide this class of game developer with ways to expand and grow audiences through distribution inside the social network,” explains CNET.
The release is part of Facebook’s attempt to attract a new type of developer and gamer to its platform.
“It hasn’t always been clear that gamers on Facebook wanted to play core games,” said George Lee, Facebook Games product manager. However, Lee notes that more than 90 million Facebook users have installed the Unity 3D browser plugin, up from 30 million six months ago.
The partnership between Facebook and Unity could encourage more Facebook users to take up gaming.
“The company made a small fraction of its second-quarter revenue, or $214 million, from its games business, but it maintains that games keep members active and that Wall Street likes it when Facebook grows the number of members coming back on a daily or monthly basis,” explains CNET. “The games business also indirectly brings in revenue through mobile app installs, a relatively new ad format that Facebook says is popular with its game developers.”
The partnership was announced earlier in the year with the goal of both guiding Facebook users through the Unity installation process and directing people to core games.