In the summer, Facebook teased its users with the launch of a few games for its messaging service. Now it has fully launched its instant messenger games in more than 30 countries worldwide. These games enable players to pit their skills against friends and family, no matter where they are across the globe. Here’s everything you need to know, including some background, on what games are available and how to access and play them.
Why has Facebook launched Instant Games?
In 2008, Facebook dominated social gaming via its desktop platform. At its peak, gaming earned the company over a quarter-billion dollars each quarter. This helped Facebook grow its user base and, subsequently, engagement on the site. In 2015, 15% of user time on the social network was spent playing games. However, revenues had declined to below $200 million per quarter.
Since social media users began to shift towards using mobile devices to access Facebook, the company has been looking for ways to cash in on the high profits that Google (via Android) and Apple with iOS have seen. Facebook attempted to do this in 2011 with Project Spartan, but it proved fruitless due to the limitations of HTML5 at the time. Over time, however, developers have learned how to produce better graphics and improve gameplay, meaning that now, Facebook can really attempt to challenge Android and iOS in the mobile gaming stakes.
What games are available?
Earlier this year, Facebook launched a few instant messenger games to see how interactive and functional users would find them. They were in-app basketball and soccer games, the former of which has been played more than 1 billion times.
Now it has revealed a host of new titles that span different genres. The company hopes this approach will improve its already-impressive traffic statistics, with some analysts suggesting that Instant Games could boast more than 1.5 billion monthly active users by Christmas.
Here is the complete list of games that are available to play now:
- Pac Man: The classic 1980s game from Bandai Namco is back.
- Galaga: If you love to fly through space shooting everything in sight, this classic is for you.
- Arkanoid: First debuted in 1986 and is the classic brick breaker game.
- Space Invaders: The once worldwide phenomenon now makes its debut as an instant messenger game.
- Track and Field 100M: a 100-meter running game from Konami.
- Shuffle Cats Mini: If you like to play cards, this game is perfect for challenging friends and family.
- Hex: If you like solving puzzles, this game will keep you entertained.
- EverWing: Yet another space shoot’em up.
- Endless Lake: If you want to run and score points, this game will enable you to do so endlessly.
- Templar 20148: A matching puzzle game.
- The Tribez: Puzzle Rush: A game that has been created in a Candy Crush style.
- 2020 Connect: Yet another puzzle game.
- Puzzle Bobble: The name says it all; this is a classic themed puzzle game.
- Zookeeper: A puzzle game with a zoo theme.
- Wordalot Express: A new kind of word game which is based on crosswords.
- Brick Pop: A puzzle game.
- Words With Friends: Frenzy: A rapid-fire Scrabble-like game.
What countries are Instant Games available in?
Facebook’s Instant Games are initially only available in 30 countries, which are: Italy, Spain, Lithuania, Israel, Cyprus, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Taiwan, Estonia, the Russian Federation, Hong Kong, Finland, Singapore, France, New Zealand, Belgium, Ireland, Germany, Latvia, Austria, Australia, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and Norway.
How to play on mobile devices
This guide assumes you are attempting to play Facebook Messenger Instant Games on either iOS 8 or Android Lollipop or higher.
- Launch the Messenger app, but make sure you have the latest version.
- Open or start a conversation just as you normally would.
- Next, click the Game Controller icon next to where you enter text. If you can’t see it, Tap the More icon above the text area to reveal it.
- You will now be presented with a list of games. Select one to launch it.
How to play on desktop
To play on a Windows PC or Apple Mac follow the instructions below.
- Log into your Facebook Profile as normal.
- Go to start or open a conversation in Messenger.
- Click the Game Controller icon above the text area.
- From the list of games, select one to launch it.
And that is it; you now know what Instant Messenger games are available and how to select and play them.