Facebook, Unity team for cross-platform mobile gaming SDK


Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is teaming with gaming engine Unity Technologies for a new cross-platform software development kit enabling game makers to integrate social and identity features into their titles.

Madfinger's Shadowgun: Deadzone is using the new SDK.

The Unity platform includes tools designed to help developers builder richer, more interactive gaming experiences optimized for mobile devices, Web plugins and desktop platforms. "Whether you're building on iOS, Android, web, or all three, the SDK lets you continue to write in C# and provide social game experiences to all your players, regardless of the platform they play on," said Facebook engineering manager Aaron Brady. "We've built native Unity dialogs for inviting friends, requests, and sharing, so people can stay in full-screen mode when they interact with social features, creating a richer, smoother web game experience for players. We're also helping more people find and play Unity games on Facebook by driving discovery of the Unity player with a custom install flow for the Unity plug-in."

More than 260 million people play games on Facebook each month, Brady notes, adding that the number of active Facebook users with Unity installed more than tripled in the first half of 2013 to more than 90 million. Developers may download the SDK here.

Facebook's total mobile monthly active users eclipsed desktop users earlier this year and reached 751 million in the first quarter of 2013, a year-over-year increase of 54 percent. Facebook's mobile-only MAUs also increased to 189 million, up from 157 million in the previous quarter. The social network reported first-quarter advertising revenues of $1.25 billion, with mobile contributing 30 percent of that total, up from 23 percent in the previous quarter.

Facebook is currently testing new ad units that insert recommendations for mobile games directly into a user's notifications tab, alongside comments, likes and other social interactions. AllThingsD reported last month that the ads suggest mobile titles based on users' previous gameplay habits and genre interests, spotlighting similar games. "We're always testing new channels to promote games," a Facebook spokesperson said. "This is part of a small mobile distribution test we're running for game developers." Mobile users who do not play games will not see the ads.

For more:
- read this Facebook Developers post

Related articles:
Facebook trialing mobile game ads inside notifications tab
Facebook expands mobile app install ads to specific Android, iOS devices
Facebook: Mobile now generates 30 percent of advertising revenues
Facebook: Mobile users outnumber Web users
Facebook introduces device, OS targeting for mobile advertisers
Facebook acquires Microsoft's Atlas advertising platform