Facebook is pulling the Instant Games platform from Messenger and migrating the platform to the social network.
The move comes as the company plans to make its popular messaging app, which holds 1.3 billion monthly active users, “faster, lighter and simpler”.
From this summer, Instant Games will not be playable directly in the new version of Messenger on iOS. Facebook has not been able to implement in-app purchases for Instant Games into the iOS version of Messenger since IAPs were first introduced to the platform in May 2018.
The migration of games from Android will take place following the iOS move, though there is currently no exact date of when this will occur.
While in-app purchases can be used for Messenger on Google Play, Facebook gave up its own 30 per cent revenue share, as it ultimately led to developers receiving less than half of sales from their games.
Moving forward the Facebook Gaming tab will be the primary home for Instant Games. The platform has previously been accessible through the social network's News Feed and Groups.
Players can still access games through thread updates and chatbots, though will be redirected through to Facebook.
Chat app gaming blow
Despite the news, the company claimed it was still expanding its global Gaming team and is working with publishers on new titles for the platform. It is also set to begin reviewing submissions again for Instant Games following a three-month pause.
It’s also a blow for chat app gaming, though other companies such as Tencent via WeChat Mini-Games and Snapchat’s new Snap Games platform are still looking to create a market within their messenger ecosystems.
We'll have comment from Facebook offering up further details and its thinking behind the move tomorrow.
The future of chat app gaming will be a big topic of conversation at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2019 on October 1st and 2nd, which will host a Hyper-casual and Instant Messenger track.