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Facebook introduces AR games to Messenger

Facebook has launched a handful of internally developed augmented reality games that can be played during Messenger video chats.

Facebook has launched a handful of internally developed augmented reality games that can be played during Messenger video chats.

Facebook has long housed social games in Messenger, but the new suite of AR titles introduce multiplayer games to the video side of the chat tool as well.

Right now, two games are live on the platform—the smile detecting contest Don’t Smile and spaceship piloting Asteroids Attack—but Facebook says it has at least two more titles on the way in the near future.

This initial batch was cooked up in-house and according to TechCrunch the company isn’t looking to let external developers publish AR games for video chat just quite yet. Developers can mess around with the tools used to create the AR games, however. A Facebook rep told TechCrunch that each of the initial titles was built using the AR Studio tool introduced last year to give devs the ability to create custom face filters for Facebook’s AR cameras.

Snapchat notably launched a similar venture earlier this year through its playable Snappable AR-lenses. Launched in April, those AR games are also internally-developed and geared toward social play. Shortly after Snappables debuted, rumors started to circulate that Snapchat had its own in-app game platform in the works that would allow external developers to create games for Snapchat, but the company has yet to officially comment on that possibility. 

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