No surprise here: Facebook to force Oculus account integration.

It seems like Facebook can’t handle a few moments of not being in the limelight. Reporting from The Verge indicates that FB will be deprecating support for standalone Oculus user accounts in the near future. New users will be required to associate their device with a FB account, while existing users will be prompted to merge their Oculus account into a FB account.

Nobody should be surprised by this, given the company‘s history of forcing “external” services to integrate into the umbrella of the main FB service. This is par for the course when it comes to management of user information spread as a corporation grows and wants to either create new systems or persuade users to give another more modern system a shot.

In the case of Oculus, it’s a bit more complicated than simply merging a couple of databases, as the Oculus account method doubled as an entire digital rights management system complete with financial credential holding. If Facebook wasn’t already in possession of your financial details, this change will definitely give them access.

Most users who just want to continue to use their device are either going to pile into the ‘who cares, stop bugging me’ camp or the ‘fuck FB’ camp—and given the recent Epic vs. 30% developments, the latter camp might gather a few more loyalties than it might have at another time.

TLEP #045 – Blizzard Chases The Almighty Like

Facebook’s deal with ATVI sees more than just promotional blitzes in the form of produced live streams, but tighter integration with Facebook for customers. Today’s podcast concerns the new steps that Blizzard’s properties are taking towards making Facebook the marketing validator that, for some reason, it thinks it needs.

the lowercase esports podcast episodes and subscription links can be found on the podcast index.

ATVI’s renewed Facebook push expands to game integration

Dean Takahashi, VentureBeat’s resident gaming reporter, scored some interviews with a couple of execs from Blizzard and Facebook in exchange for writing up how all of the new Facebook integrations will make Overwatch better. Or at least I’m pretty sure that’s how Blizzard execs agree to speak to the media at all.

His article leads with the under-the-radar announcement that a couple of Facebook APIs will be integrated into the Overwatch client. The first provides a find your friends-type service between and Facebook. The second integration allows for games to be streamed via Facebook’s own live-streaming platform, Live.

The Facebook Login will go live later this month with games such as World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, Diablo III, StarCraft II, and Blizzard’s most recent blockbuster release, Overwatch, using their Facebook accounts. That could help Blizzard address the problem that comes with anonymous accounts, such as hate speech and bullying.

The last remark in the blurb above anonymous accounts is something Blizzard could address itself, but clearly isn’t bothered enough about to invest time to fix that problem with a first-party solution, unlike some other fucking triple-A game developer who is at least trying to add a compromise of sorts.

Later on in the article, this red flag describes a potential end-game for all of this Facebook integration:

Adding Facebook Login will also pave the way for new social functionality in Blizzard games while highlighting Facebook as a platform of choice for sharing, viewing, and discussing AAA game content. As an example, Blizzard is in the process of incorporating Facebook’s Live API in order to add “Go Live” streaming functionality for its games.

With the flip of a few switches and a bit more money changing hands, a Facebook login might be the only way you could end up interacting with Blizzard support, a game’s forums, and other players in-game. While that might come off as a doomsday scenario to most, I don’t think it’s such an impossible leap, especially if Facebook continues to pay off ATVI for more exclusive in-roads to Blizzard’s other recent titles.

As for my take on all this…