The video game industry is in a strange place during the COVID-19 pandemic. While game development generally has taken a pause, the demand and entertainment sides of the industry are thriving as people shelter-in-place. Facebook is looking to capitalize on the interest in gaming by releasing the Facebook Gaming mobile app.
As reported on the New York Times, The Facebook Gaming mobile app released on Monday. The app gives users access to the plethora of content creators who use the Facebook Gaming platform, many of whom were signed to exclusive contracts with the platform. The app will also have games one can play as well.
The focus on releasing the mobile app is based on the company’s desire to become the primary source of gaming entertainment for its users. Currently, it is behind YouTube and Twitch, both dominant for PC viewers. By releasing a mobile app in the current moment, Facebook is hoping that users will focus and engage more with its platform rather than being distracted by others.
According to the report, the app’s release was sped up due to the general increase in demand for gaming entertainment in the current pandemic. Framing it under Facebook’s motto of “connectedness,” head of the the app Fidji Simo stated “[Gaming is] entertainment that’s not just a form of passive consumption but entertainment that is interactie and brings people together.”
Currently, the app is only available for Android users. The iOS version will be available as soon as its approved by Apple.