Facebook, perhaps not content with dominating the fake news market, has now cornered the nostalgia business with its latest Messenger update. Beloved arcade games like Pac-Man, Galaga, Space Invaders, and many other confirmed classics will be available to Messenger users as part of the new Instant Games feature starting Tuesday.
As Facebook product manager Andrea Vaccari explained in her breakdown of the latest update, adding classic arcade games was simply the next logical leap for the popular chat service. "The 1 billion people who use Messenger every month connect, banter and share in so many ways," Vaccari said. "They do this by sending Stickers when words aren’t enough, tapping on Instant Video to share smiles with Mom after an awesome day, or making a quick voice call to let friends know they’re running late. Now they can connect and compete over their favorite games."
If you're still rocking a vaguely aged phone, then good luck with that. Instant Games is available to "newer" iOS and Android operating systems only, with an initial release strategy impacting 30 countries. In addition to OG entries like Pac-Man, the Instant Games library currently includes newer favorites like Words With Friends: Frenzy, Endless Lake, and The Tribez: Puzzle Rush.
For the feature's early adopters, Facebook’s undeniable global reach is an appealing remedy to the shifting reality of the entire gaming industry. "Facebook, like Game Insight, has always placed tremendous importance on connecting with gamers wherever they are," Anatoly Ropotov, CEO at Game Insight (The Tribez), said Tuesday. "And it's becoming increasingly clear that the future of messaging apps is about much more than just chat and video. Messaging apps are a platform now; a blank canvas with a billion users waiting to see what comes next."
True, but I'll be much more stoked about all this if we can get Ninja Baseball Bat Man added to Instant Games ASAP.