Facebook announced today that its new Messenger game-playing features are now available to the entire 1.2 billion people who use the app every month. Instant Games, as the platform is called, first launched in closed beta last November with arcade titles like Pac-Man and Galaga. The platform also reintroduced Facebook browser hallmarks like Zynga’s Words with Friends, in a bid to revitalize, to a small extent, the kind of meteoric engagement those companies enjoyed back the early days of mobile gaming. Facebook says that in certain territories it now has more than 50 games available.
As part of the expanded rollout of Instant Games, Facebook is also introducing turn-based play, first announced back at its F8 developer conference last month, with the ability for game makers to integrate leaderboards and tournaments. Words with Friends is one of the first titles to make use of these features, as Zynga tries to regain some influence in the mobile gaming sector after failing to make the jump from Facebook to iOS and Android. To help tie the whole strategy together with Facebook’s investment in bots — it launched a Messenger bot store last month, too — the company will use automated software to encourage players to try new games and to compete for higher scores.