Blizzard Entertainment, the developer and publisher of blockbuster game franchises such as Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo, has announced today that is has partnered with Facebook to integrate Facebook Login and Facebook Live in Blizzard's PC games (via VentureBeat). The integration will begin later this month and will allow PC gamers to sign up for and log into games such as World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, Diablo III, StarCraft II, and Blizzard’s recent blockbuster game Overwatch, using their Facebook accounts.
The company notes that "adding Facebook Login will pave the way for new social functionality in Blizzard games while highlighting Facebook’s capabilities as a platform for sharing, viewing, and discussing AAA game content." The integration of the Facebook Live API is particularly interesting as it will soon enable a "go live" functionality to allow players to livestream their gaming sessions to their Facebook timelines. Then, Facebook users will be allowed to subscribe and get notified as soon as gamers are delivering new content.
Gio Hunt, executive vice president of corporate operations at Blizzard Entertainment shared:
“Blizzard games are best when played with friends, so it’s important to us to provide our players with features and services that make it easy and fun to share their experiences with each other. We’re working closely with Facebook on this integration for Overwatch, as well as our other games, and we look forward to sharing further details on our plans as development progresses.”
While Blizzard already has a massive online-gaming service with Battle.net, Facebook has also became a sort of de facto gaming platform as more than 650 million people play games connected to Facebook every month across web, mobile, and console. So, it looks like everyone wins: Facebook users will soon have a straightforward way to play Blizzard games and share their gaming activity with their friends, Blizzard will probably be happy if their games go viral on Facebook, and gamers who play under their real-world identity may be less prone to cheating or trolling.
Ultimately, Facebook will be happy if its users spend more time in its walled garden watching Blizzard game videos (and some ads). Leo Olebe, global games partnerships director at Facebook explained:
Blizzard has a passionate community of players, and an incredible track record for launching innovative and high-quality gaming experiences. Our collaboration on Overwatch demonstrates Facebook’s commitment to partnering with AAA game companies, while further empowering Blizzard gamers to connect and share the content they're most passionate about with the friends they play with around the world.”
Facebook obviously has big ambitions for its Facebook Live streaming service, though it won't be easy to win the hearts of hardcore gamers who currently rely on dedicated gaming services such as Twitch or YouTube gaming. However, the timing of this announcement couldn't be better as we're just a week from the E3 annual gaming show. Lastly, according the report from VentureBeat Facebook is also holding a meeting with gaming CEOs this week in London to talk about the success of developers in Europe and the Middle East, which are its most popular regions for game developers.
While a lot of us are probably comfortable using our Facebook credentials to play mobile casual games, could Facebook login and Facebook Live become popular among PC gamers? Let us know what you think in the comments.