Facebook used to be the go-to destination for casual gamers. Then mobile took over. Now the social network aims to recreate the days when FarmVille reigned supreme with a new, Steam-style gaming platform.
The development platform comes in partnership with the popular game engine Unity, which is used to build 2D, 3D, virtual reality, and augmented reality games. Facebook previously partnered with Unity to provide support for game development on the Oculus VR platform.
According to a post from Facebook announcing the partnership, Unity will integrate support for the Facebook platform and will streamline the process for exporting and publishing games to the social networking site so developers can more quickly get their games to potential players.
The platform will support the standard games that have previously made a name for themselves on Facebook, as well mobile games ported over from iOS and Android. Games targeted to more hardcore gamers may eventually appear as well.
Earlier this year, Facebook announced its plan to build a downloadable desktop platform with the announcement of Facebook Games Arcade. TechCrunch reported the company has ditched the title and simply calls it a “new Facebook PC gaming platform.”
The beta program was made available only for Windows, but the platform coming from Facebook and Unity will be available for other operating systems. It will also strip games out of the Facebook environment and allow players to experience them on their own, without things like the news feed working as distractions.
Developers will be able to apply to take part in the closed alpha version of the Unity-powered tool until August 31st, 2106. The ability to export to Facebook will be integrated directly into the Unity Editor.