Nov 5, 2020, 8:38 am4.4k ptsInteresting
Facebook has stepped into the mobile gaming arena. Believing streaming to be the next phase of online entertainment – and competing with the likes of Google, Amazon, Nvidia, Sony, and Microsoft – the social media giant is to expand their offering. Good news for Apple and the iPhone, right? Wrong. Facebook has suggested that their games will be accessible through Facebook's desktop component and on Google's Android software only. Could this cause Apple to fall behind when it comes to mobile gaming and entertainment?
One of the benefits suggested by Facebook's gaming platform is that there are no further downloads necessary. Titles, such as Asphalt 9: Legends, can be played through the Facebook Gaming site or their app. While iPhone users can engage with the former method of play, only Google's Android users can play through the Facebook app. This represents a clear distinction between Apple and its rivals. If Facebook becomes bigger in the online entertainment field, this could indicate a problem for Apple's smartphone sales.
The reason for the lack of support on Apple's smartphones is down to the stipulations Apple place on software uploaded onto their phones. For example, cloud gaming providers must go through Apple's review team before the products are uploaded. VP of Facebook's gaming arm, Jason Rubin, suggested that Apple "exert control" over letting games be supported through their iOS software.
Mobile entertainment is important and looks to be where many facets of the entertainment industry are heading. It's not just gaming that would traditionally be done through desktops or consoles that is finding a receptive home on mobile devices, but other aspects of entertainment, such as online casino.
Indeed, when it comes to playing casino online, you can engage with table games like poker and their live versions on your smartphone. This means that you can get involved whenever you wish and wherever you are. Live casino games such as this have massive growth over the last decade with the advent of 4G and 5G, and as well as having dedicated apps on iOS and Android. Playing on mobile will still allow you to experience all the benefits you get on your home computer, including access to bonuses, and is more congruent with the move towards mobile entertainment's dominance.
Moreover, mobile gaming has already surpassed all traditional gaming combined, so smartphones are clearly where those likely to be their target audience are spending time. If the gameplay takes off through Facebook Gaming, it's unlikely that people would deliberately switch phones to play it.
However, if other developers follow suit and make more Android exclusives, bypassing iOS, then we could see an exodus towards Apple's competitors. With mobile entertainment being so important, being able to deliver this service to audiences is crucial.
Facebook are clearly playing games themselves with the announcement that Apple's exertion of control maintains a key reason why they could be skipped over for game development. This is a clear shot across the bows from one of the biggest tech companies to one of the other biggest tech companies that they need to be more amenable. As a result, Apple may rescind some of the power over the apps that are offered on its platform. Indeed, this comes after Epic Games and Apple had their own tussle over support for Fortnite.