Facebook Messenger Now Offers Games

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Facebook is turning a software easter egg into a major feature, formally bringing games to its Messenger app.

It was previously a novelty to send “@fbchess play” as a Facebook message to a contact and initiate a game of chess with them. Now the social network will make a small-scale “app store” of sorts available within your chats for much more elaborate diversions. Single-player and multiplayer gaming has arrived for Messenger.

Among the launch partners are brand-name game developers like Konami, Zynga, and King. You’ll be able to play popular titles like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Words With Friends within the context of a casual chat. You’ll only need to tap the game controller icon that will appear below the message-composition field in the latest version of Messenger. A graphic list of available games will appear. This is not the first time a major chat product has incorporated gaming. It happened as recently as October when secure messaging app Telegram introduced its own gaming platform

If you are Facebook friends with someone, you’re now able to play up to 17 mobile games with and against them more easily than ever before. Be ready for incoming challenges from everyone from your colleague to your extended family members you talk to once a year; we all gotta unwind sometimes.