Remember when everyone and their dog got hooked on playing Farmville for about five minutes then sauntered off to play some proper games? Facebook certainly does, as it's announced sizable plans to move into PC game distribution, with a deal with game engine Unity that will see it competing closely with gaming giant Steam.
Primarily looking to win back the casual gamers it lost to the smartphone explosion, Facebook's gaming ambitions will allow publishers to offer their iOS and Android apps through a dedicated gaming portal, with "hardcore" titles a possibility on desktop machines. A new build of Unity will allow devs to quickly export their existing games to a Facebook-friendly format.
Building on an existing deal Facebook has with Unity through Oculus Rift, the Steam-competitor will have a cleaner interface than Facebook's social network has, removing the distractions of the news feed and focussing on the games themselves. Working across PC and Mac, discovery options for new games will be built in, with Facebook offering a revenue split with devs. [Facebook]