Media reports suggest Facebook is planning a new HTML5-based app distribution platform, designed to run mobile games and other programs through web browsers rather than directly through mobile operating systems.
Project Spartan, as TechCrunch reports
the project is named, will load mobile web apps wrapped in basic Facebook functionality, and provide developers easy access to Facebook's credits payment platform.
By distributing games based on web standards supported natively by mobile browsers, including iOS' Safari as well as the Android web browser, the new platform would provide an alternative for developers who don't want to go through the official App Stores used on those mobile platforms.
About 80 outside developers, including social game mega-publisher Zynga, are already working on the new platform, TechCrunch reports, in advance of a public unveiling planned for sometime within the next few weeks.
Zynga released an HTML5-compliant version of its Facebook hit Mafia Wars
in December, and developers from Disney
to Namco Bandai
have shown interest in the standard, which makes highly interactive web apps possible.
Web games company SPIL Games recently transitioned all of its gaming portals to HTML5, and predicts the technology will overtake current de facto web game standard Flash in three years