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Facebook launches cloud gaming for desktop and Android, but says Apple is not allowing the it on iOS

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Facebook has launched cloud gaming on its desktop site and Android app.

A limited number of users were invited to try out free games without having to leave Facebook or download the game onto their devices.

More than 200,000 people have already played the five available games: Mobile Legends: Adventure, PGA TOUR Golf Shootout, Asphalt 9: Legends, Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale, and WWE SuperCard.

But, as Apple and Facebook continue to face off, the service is not available for iOS.

‘Even with Apple’s new cloud games policy, we don’t know if launching on the App Store is a viable path,’ Facebook Play vice president Jason Rubin said in a blog post.

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Facebook has launched five titles for cloud gaming, Mobile Legends: Adventure, PGA TOUR Golf Shootout, Asphalt 9: Legends, Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale, and WWE SuperCard

The company will build its offerings slowly, Rubin said, starting with sports, card, simulation and strategy games, all of which can handle latency issues.

‘Cloud game streaming for the masses still has a way to go, and it’s important to embrace both the advantages and the reality of the technology rather than try to oversell where it’ll be in the future,’ he added.

He also promised the goal wasn’t to replace streaming services like Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud or more established gaming systems.

‘We love console and PC gaming and both formats will be around for a long time,’ he said. ‘We believe cloud gaming will increase — not replace — the options to jump into great games.’

As Facebook’s beef with Apple continues, cloud gaming won’t be available on iOs. ‘Apple treats games differently and continues to exert control over a very precious resource,’ said Apple VP Jason Rubin.

Excluding iPhones and iPads from cloud games offering is Facebook’s latest dig at Apple over what it views as restrictive App Store policies.

‘While our iOS path is uncertain, one thing is clear,’ Rubin declared. ‘Apple treats games differently and continues to exert control over a very precious resource.’

Some developers complain Apple’s 30 percent cut of transactions is too big a bite of revenue, while others gripe about streaming games having to be submitted for individual review and use in-app purchase to unlock features.

Epic Games locked heads with Apple by encouraging iOS users to buy ‘V-Bucks’ for Fortnite, from its own website.

‘Even with Apple’s new cloud games policy, we don’t know if launching on the App Store is a viable path,’ he continued.

‘Of course, ‘there is always the open Internet,’ Rubin said, quoting a line Apple used in its updated App Store guidelines last month.

But, he added, ‘there are limitations to what we can offer on Safari.’ 

The company will build its offerings slowly, Facebook said, starting with sports, card, simulation and strategy games, all of which can handle latency issues

Apple argues its App Store delivers billions of dollars to independent developers, and that its practices are reasonable compared with other digital marketplaces.

Facebook is doubling down on gaming in 2020: The social media giant launched a standalone gaming app in April to compete with Twitch and YouTube during the pandemic.

The Facebook Gaming app, which arrived ahead of schedule, allows users to follow other gamers, watch live streams and leave comments.

‘We’re seeing a big rise in gaming during quarantine,’ developer Fidji Simo told The New York Times.

The platform currently offers games in a separate tab of the main Facebook app, but the new roll out is a standalone service that is for ‘a focused, gaming-only experience for people who want deeper access,’ she said.

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