Facebook and Blizzard are linking up to bring the former’s social networking services to the hugely popular hero-shooter, Overwatch, and other Blizzard PC games including World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone.
The move is good news for both companies, as Facebook Login will help Blizzard verify player identities and gain visibility off the back of video sharing. As for Facebook, the social media giant now has a firm foothold in the PC space.
The integration of Facebook Login will begin later this month, and will be followed by the incorporation of Facebook’s Live API, which will allow Blizzard to create its own livestreaming functionality for its video game roster.
When the feature is eventually implemented, players -- for the first time ever -- will be able to livestream their Blizzard gameplay sessions directly to Facebook. Friends who are subscribed will then be notified when new streams go live.
"Blizzard games are best when played with friends, so it's important to us to provide our players with features and services that make it easy and fun to share their experiences with each other," said Gio Hunt, executive vice president of corporate operations at Blizzard Entertainment.
"We're working closely with Facebook on this integration for Overwatch, as well as our other games, and we look forward to sharing further details on our plans as development progresses.”
Blizzard and Facebook have been working closely in recent months, with Blizzard hosting multiple livestreams through Facebook, the first of which was collegiate eSports tournament, Heroes of the Dorm.
Facebook also helped Blizzard prepare for the launch of Overwatch, last week playing host to a livestream launch event, and before that working with the U.S. studio on a host of Facebook and Instagram marketing campaigns.
"Blizzard has a passionate community of players, and an incredible track record for launching innovative and high-quality gaming experiences," said Leo Olebe, global games partnerships director at Facebook.
"Our collaboration on Overwatch demonstrates Facebook's commitment to partnering with triple-A game companies, while further empowering Blizzard gamers to connect and share the content they're most passionate about with the friends they play with around the world."