Crowdstar, Facebook’s third largest game developer behind Zynga and Phrases, has teamed up with Microsoft to add social networking features to a new casual gaming hub.
Following on the footsteps of Yahoo!, Facebook, and Apple, Microsoft and Crowdstar are launching Microsoft Game Hub, in the hopes of tapping into the very profitable casual games industry (games that can be played a few minutes at a time). The uniqueness of the deal is that it will work across MSN Games, Bing Games, and Windows Live Messenger.
What this means to you is that if you play a game on MSN Games, Bing Games, or Windows Live Messenger, you can now see your friends’ scores and updates, send challenges to other gamers, and save your game in one platform and keep playing it on another later. A game you start on the computer can continue on your mobile device. This should be very convenient, a feature any casual gamer values highly.
By simply signing into your Facebook or Windows Live account, you’ll also be able to save a game as a favorite, view game leaderboards, and see your game history. “With today’s announcements, we’ve made it easier to find and play the games you love while connecting to the people who matter most to you,” senior marketing manager for Xbox products Michael Wolf explains. “We’re driving that experience across multiple platforms so millions of players can share their experiences with their social circles.”
It’s an interesting move for CrowdStar, the creator of huge Facebook games such as Happy Pets, Happy Aquarium, and Hello City. It is still unclear how this new partnership with Microsoft will affect CrowdStar’s future game developments on Facebook, or if they will start developing exclusive games for MGH. UPDATE: Mark Hull, VP/GM Partnerships at CrowdStar, told us that while in the future they might release some games exclusively for Bing, for now every game will be cross-platform and available on Facebook. He also told us that CrowdStar will continue to develop games for and invest heavily in the Facebook platform.
Considering that a lot of casual games tend to be solitary endeavors, it will be interesting to see how gamers react to this twist. What do you guys think? Have you tested MGH out already?