Facebook Introduces The Gameroom: A Potential Steam Competitor

Facebook released its Gameroom software, which will essentially move games off Facebook and onto a semi-independent platform to improve performance and encourage game development.

Gameroom was developed primarily by Facebook, but with aid from Unity. You can create games directly for Gameroom with the Unity 5.0 SDK or newer, as well as the Facebook Unity SDK. After you create a game for Gameroom, you can upload the software to Facebook for others to download and play. Facebook currently limits games to 500MB in size, though.

Older versions of the Unity SDK can also be used to create games for Gameroom, but they require you to publish the games in WebGL.

Native Gameroom games use the familiar Windows.exe file type, and could technically run without Gameroom. For these files, Gameroom essentially functions in the same way that Steam or GoG does, in that it manages game downloads and installations. Gameroom can also run Flash and HTML5 clients for games hosted on Facebook or independent servers.

Although Flash and HTML5 games will continue to be available for you to play on Gameroom and on Facebook itself, Facebook is attempting to lure developers into porting the game over to Gameroom and a .exe file. Facebook said that creating games for Gameroom using Unity software takes less time than HTML5, and it also provides performance and debugging benefits.

It should also be noted that Gameroom is technically capable of hosting full PC games like we are accustomed to seeing on Steam or GoG. Right now, the software is rather young and games are limited to a rather small amount of data. The software currently targets people that enjoy the online Facebook games, which are unlikely to need more than 500MB of data. By simply removing the size limit, however, there isn’t anything to stop Facebook from selling AAA titles through Gameroom in the future.

Gameroom is now available for download from Facebook.

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
12 comments
    Your comment
  • problematiq
    It's difficult for a steam alt to popup. As it is people are more willing to pay an extra 5-10$ for the same game to purchase it on steam and keep their existing library in the same place, as oppose to using 4-5 applications.
    7
  • canadianvice
    Filthy casuals xD

    That's all this is going to be, you must know that.
    4
  • sixto1972
    It wishes it could replace steam. Oh boy... farmville...... right.....
    9