We are hearing reports that Facebook is weeks away from launching a new, redesigned dedicated gaming portal. Details are sparse at this point, but the portal will present a new, more feature rich way to both find games and play games within the social network. We are told that Facebook will launch the portal with a number of game publishers as partners.
With 200 million Facebook users playing games on the site monthly (or 40% of its userbase), it’s not surprising that Facebook is ramping up its gaming initiatives. The company alluded to launching a new dashboard at its gaming press event held in September, with the social network’s product manager for the games team Jared Morganstern telling the press that there will be a wave of innovation around the dashboard. At that time, Facebook announced changes with gaming applications in relation to the news feed and bookmarks.
Earlier in the year, the social network launched an updated Games dashboard for users but we’re told that this new platform will be a centralized place for users to both find and play games. While we don’t know who the partners are at launch, we can only assume that Facebook would want to have the game publishers who attract the most traffic (i.e. Zynga, Playdom) on board for a new portal. We understand that Facebook will announce a number of initial partners at launch and will steadily be adding partners along the way as well.
We hear the launch of the platform is slated for mid-November.
We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment and we’ll update the post when we hear back.
Update: A spokesperson for Facebook responded to us with this: As we announced in September, we have a games team working on building features to make it easier for people to discover and re-engage with games. We have nothing further to share at this time.
That’s not a denial, so I’m pretty sure something is in the works.