Gameroom is Facebook’s social-gaming answer to Steam

You know all those Facebook games that you never play but lots of other people do? Well, Facebook has given them a dedicated PC gaming platform, which looks a bit like Steam but for casual games.

Gameroom is Facebook's social-gaming answer to Steam

Gameroom was announced at the Unity game development platform conference, but a Facebook gaming app has been in the works for some time. In May, Facebook announced it was teaming up with Unity, to launch what was then being referred to as an update to Facebook’s “Games Arcade”.

The social network decided to drop that name – which is probably a good thing as even writing the words made me fall asleep – and has now officially announced “Facebook Gameroom” as its casual-gaming response to Steam and

The app is now open for users to download on Windows 7 and above. You won’t find anything in the way of Battlefield 1 or The Witcher 3, seeing as the games need to have a size below 200MB (although 500MB games will be “considered”, according to the service). Then again, those sorts of games – and players – aren’t what Gameroom is going after.

Valve’s Steam may have 125 million active users, but Facebook has 1.75 billion users. Considering that Facebook gets a 30% revenue cut on the games it hosts, it’s the potential to integrate the app with that massive reach – much like it did around 2009 with developers like Zynga – that will have Zuckerberg giving two thumbs-up.

While the current batch of titles on Gameroom looks like a direct carry-on of games associated with Facebook on desktop, there’s certainly potential for the platform to offer a big audience for interesting indie games, or to serve as a hub for the social VR experiences Facebook likes to tout. Then again, there’s also a lot of potential for the company to rake in heaps of advertising revenue for games pitched on its News Feed.  

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