Facebook Is Expanding Its Cloud Gaming Efforts with Wider Coverage and More Ubisoft

Facebook Is Expanding Its Cloud Gaming Efforts with Wider Coverage and More Ubisoft
Image: Facebook

Last spring, Facebook announced a preview for its cloud gaming service, and today, Facebook is updating its cloud gaming efforts with expanded coverage and a new injection of content from Ubisoft.

Initially, Facebook’s cloud gaming was limited to a handful of regions including the northeast U.S., California, Texas, and mid-Atlantic states like Maryland and Delaware. But now, according to a press release, Facebook says its cloud gaming service is available to 98% of people in the mainland U.S., with plans to hit 100% sometime later this spring.

Additionally, once its U.S. rollout is complete, Facebook says it will expand its cloud gaming service internationally, starting with Canada and Mexico before reaching Western and Central Europe by early 2022.

Alongside Facebook’s expanded coverage for its cloud gaming service, today Facebook also announced a partnership with Ubisoft, which will bring Assassin’s Creed Rebellion to Facebook Gaming, along with other Ubisoft mobile games including Hungry Shark Evolution and Hungry Dragon. And sometime in the next few months, Facebook Gaming is also slated to get Mighty Quest and Trials Frontier.

Unfortunately, when I visited the Facebook Gaming page, Facebook seemed more intent on pushing gambling games than new cloud-based titles.  (Screenshot: Sam Rutherford) Unfortunately, when I visited the Facebook Gaming page, Facebook seemed more intent on pushing gambling games than new cloud-based titles. (Screenshot: Sam Rutherford)

Facebook says it now has 25 different games available to stream from the cloud, and unlike competing cloud game services like Google Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud, all of them are available for free without needing to pay for a subscription.

Between its cloud gaming being free, the lack of a special designation for cloud games, and cloud games being listed alongside traditional HTML 5 games on its gaming page, Facebook looks to be trying a very different approach to introducing people to cloud gaming as a whole. An admittedly half-hearted approach, but different nevertheless.

That said, with Facebook only boasting 25 cloud games compared to over 100 for Stadia and over 200 for xCloud, Facebook seems focused on targeting more casual gamers than typical console or PC gamers. And with the lion’s share of Facebook’s cloud-based games being a few years old, right now, Facebook’s no-cost strategy is really the best feature the platform offers.

Looking forward, Facebook says it will continue to update the Facebook Gaming page with new ranked categories to better help people find new content, while also trying to reduce latency and increased performance on both Android and desktop.