- Universal and Telemundo teamed up to launch Goal! Shootout, a soccer app on Facebook's Instant Games platform, a feature of the Messenger chat app. The free game is Universal Brand Development's first Facebook Instant Game and the first licensed FIFA World Cup game on Facebook, per VentureBeat.
- Goal!, developed by startup mobile game studio TreasureHunt, was launched alongside Telemundo's exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, which airs June 14 to July 15. Players put their soccer skills to the test against a goalie to score penalty kicks.
- Mobile users flick the soccer ball with their fingers on a touchscreen, and then tap the screen once more to give it some spin. Players get more points by becoming better at penalty kicks, earning experience points to unlock new footballs, and competing against friends by challenging their high scores. The game gets harder as players advance.
A little over a year after Facebook's global rollout of Instant Games, the platform may be getting a boost with the new mobile game by Universal and Telemundo that encourages competition between friends on the social network's Messenger chat. Goal! also has many features that make video games more addictive, including digital rewards that can be unlocked as players improve their technique.
The announcement is well-timed for Facebook as it seeks to monetize Instant Games, as reported by Venture Beat. The social network began offering placements of interstitial and rewarded video ads that let developers generate revenue from their titles and invest more in further development, per a Facebook blog. The platform also allows in-app purchases to provide an additional revenue stream. Facebook's expansion of Instant Games lets mobile marketers buy ads to reach engaged gamers, while developers are rewarded for their creative efforts.
The company also stated that its Instant Games platform was open to all developers to create mobile-friendly games that work on Facebook and Messenger instead of requiring people to download a separate app from Apple's App Store or Google Play. Before opening the platform to all developers, Facebook had limited access to a handful of select partners like Bandai Namco, Konami, Taito, Zynga and King, TechCrunch reported.