Facebook has never been a stranger to gaming: FarmVille and Words With Friends both thrived on the website and became some of the biggest time-killers in the world during their primes because of it, and the social media site even introduced a hidden basketball-shooting minigame during the most recent March Madness tournament.
Now, though, Facebook is making a more concerted effort to make the site a destination for quick, casual gaming, and they’re bringing in some classic heavy-hitters to help with the effort.
Today, the company introduced Facebook Instant Games, an HTML5-based gaming platform that will allow users to play simple games in Facebook’s messenger and its news feed without the need for additional plug-ins. It’s also a cross-platform service, meaning that users on mobile and desktop versions of Facebook can play nice with each other.
Facebook Instant Games is currently in a closed beta, and includes 17 games, like Pac-Man, Galaga, Space Invaders, and Words With Friends, as well as some original titles created for the platform. Leo Olebe, Facebook’s director of global games partnerships, said (via The Verge), “We’re going to find out as time goes by what works on the platform,” likely meaning that some titles will be cut and others introduced as users get their hands dirty and decide what they want to play and what they’d rather not touch.
Social media is becoming an increasingly important part of video games—the Playstation 4 has sharing features built into its controller and operating system, and games like NBA 2K17 have faux social media updates as a feature to add realism to the sports world—so perhaps Facebook will be able to carve out a new niche in casual, multiplayer gaming with this new endeavor. Users can share high scores on their timelines, and there’s no way I’m going to let my friends see that my mom topped my score in Galaga.
Featured image: Midway/Namco