Yesterday, Facebook announced the worldwide release of Instant Games on the Messenger app that includes classic titles such as Pac-Man and Galaga.
Instant Games was initially launched back in November last year, but was only available to 30 countries with 17 different titles. The amount of games has now risen to 50 with “more being introduced every week” according to Facebook.
Worldwide users of the app can now play turn-based games with one another and be featured in tournaments and on leaderboards, prompted by Game Bots within Messenger that help to engage players. One of the first games to utilize these new features is Zynga’s famous word game Words with Friends, an attempt to increase their influence in the mobile gaming sector after the game was unable to continue its reign when transferring from Facebook to iOS to Android.
This announcement also means that Messenger could soon be seeing many of the features announced at the F8 Conference last month which will allow developers to create deeper gameplay experiences using the newest APIs in the platform:
By using Connect Player, Choose Context, Sharing, and Customized APIs, developers can now build a variety of games that:
- Weave in leaderboards and tournaments
- Add players via threads
- Create meaningful re-engagement stories with Game Bots
- Add visually engaging and customizable game messages and CTA buttons
According to Facebook, 1.2 billion people use the Messenger app every month and this move challenges Apple’s iMessage apps. This direct competition has been proven in the introduction of games such as 8 Ball Pool, which is also available to download in iMessages App Store.