Crazy news of the day: Facebook gaming to be no longer a total joke

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Facebook gaming is for housewives and wankers. And previously,I would have agreed with you. A billion-and-one reskinned clones of the same bare-bones level-grinding business simulator, that's all Facebook gaming has evermeant to me. A perfect storm of bog-basic gameplay for stupid people to understand and insanely addictive but effort-free progression for stupid people to become obsessed with. Satan, thy true name, it is Zynga.

But a couple of things havetranspired. A couple of very big things. And they're going to change the face of the 'book as a gaming platform. In fact they're going to turn it into a real one, with proper games and everything...

Above: Mario Gaalaxy meets LittleBigPlanet meets a block puzzler? On Facebook?

Facebook's biggest problems as a gaming platform have always been technology and scope. Small-scale casual games are fine for the procrastination of the non-hardcore, but to get serious gamers involved would require much better tech and much bigger investments. Both of those things now look to be on the way.

That video up there is of an actual, in-existence, playable-right-now Facebook platformer called Billions. Its been developed on3DVIA's new Studio tech, which allowes proper, full-fat, 3D video games to be created for the Facebook browser. And is free to any dev that wants to use it. There's alreadyaFacebook FPSon the way, but once the Studio tools get around, we could be looking at a revolution. A next-gen of Facebook, if you will. And thanks to the second of the two big changes I mentioned, we're not just looking at Mafia Wars 3D.

Above: Maybe, just maybe

Facebook is now looking tohire a 10-year veteranof the 'proper' games industry to steer it towards becoming a real platform with real games. By the sounds of the advert, the job will entail both developing games in-house as leader of a Facebook dev team, and also negotiating Facebook publishing for established 'real' game devs from the wider industry. What does this mean? Essentially,proper game companies bringingproper games to Facebook with real game technology. Looks like, if anything, myrecentish featureon that very matter might been a bit modest in its wishlist. So which companies and games would you like to see running in your browser over the next couple of years?

David Houghton
Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.