During GDC 2018, Facebook's team dedicated to developers released a new gaming software development kit (SDK) with the aim to help devs bring players "into their games earlier, for longer and more often." It features C++ and Unity support but, more importantly, is aimed directly at the growing live-streaming community.
Facebook has integrated with a few games on the social platform, most notably Blizzard titles like Overwatch, but this move is doubling down on a growing industry of livestreaming and sharing gameplay videos. The new SDK includes a new API that allows for easy integration of Facebook streaming to their PC games. Mobile developers will be given access to this API in the near future, which is a very smart move with PUBG and Fortnite Mobile absolutely dominating markets right now. In addition to livestreams, replay sharing will be coming to the API in the future.
Facebook is attempting to diversify its livestream experience with rewards, events, and elements that take advantage of the platform's wide-reaching social network. As an attempt to motivate more to engage, free in-game rewards will be given to players that tune in on Facebook. Hi-Rez Studios tested rewards with their hero shooter Paladins and officially launched the feature on March 24 during the Paladins Premier League. This comes in addition to other esport initiatives like Facebook's deals with H1Z1 Pro League and ESL to stream exclusively on the platform.
Details for the Facebook login and friend finder features along with information on how the new SDK takes advantage of app events and analytics can be found on the official blog post. Facebook has an uphill battle ahead of it with Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer already snatching up a significant portion of the content creator pie, but its already-established social reach could be quite beneficial. Devs can request beta access to the Facebook Games SDK on the official developer page.