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Crytek boss opens GFACE social networking beta

Crytek boss opens GFACE social networking beta

GFACE promises to blend OnLive-style gaming functionality with Facebook-style updates on what people had for lunch.

Crytek has confirmed that it plans to take on the like of Facebook with a social media platform of its own, dubbed GFACE.

Formed as a separate company headed by Crytek chief Cevat Yerli, GFACE is designed to offer gamers a platform for communication and for collaborate and competitive play. Its motto? 'Play. Together. Live.' Yes, with the full stops. No, we don't know why.

While the GFACE organisation dates back to 2007, it's been running in stealth mode for some time. Now, however, the company feels confident enough regarding its platform to open the doors to the public in a limited beta.

At first glance, however, it's difficult to see what GFACE offers to differentiate itself from the competition. The ability to add contacts to customisable groups is handy, but we would have recommended that GFACE didn't use circular logos to represent them in order to make the inspiration from Google+'s Circles less obvious.

Significantly more interesting than the standard social networking offerings - including the multiple screenshots of people discussing what they had for lunch that make up the bulk of the official press pack - is the social gaming feature. Borrowing a trick from OnLive, members will be able to view ongoing games live within their browser while chatting in both voice and text modes.

It's a neat trick, but about the only one GFACE has going for it. Social networking is an incredibly crowded space, and with Facebook cornering the market it can be difficult for a newcomer to make an impact.

The company's affiliation with notable developer Crytek and its focus on gaming may help with that, but it's hardly unique there: GamerDNA, Raptr, WeGame, Playfire, Steam and the aforementioned OnLive are all targeting that same market.

GFACE will be based around a 'freemium' business model, the company has confirmed. The core functionality, however, will be free. 'GFACE enables its users to discover and experience entertainment together in real time,' Yerli explained in a statement. '"Play. Together. Live" encompasses our mission to re-imagine the way we play, the way we interact with each other – live in an entirely new way. We want everybody to play everywhere for free.'

More information on applying for the closed beta is available on the GFACE website.

Do you think Crytek could be on to a winner, or is the market too flooded for GFACE to make an impact? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

17 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Cerberus90 3rd February 2012, 15:18 Quote
Seems like a total waste of time and money to me.

I used to use X-fire occasionally, but now I only use Steam friends/chat.

Maybe I'm not part of the target market, although I honestly can't imagine it would be a very big target market.
mjm25 3rd February 2012, 15:38 Quote
i'm looking for a USP... i see none. If EA did it, maybe, MAYBE it could work; but this will bomb. I give it 6 months; it'll lose half a million and they'll can it.
TheKrumpet 3rd February 2012, 16:10 Quote
Not. Gonna. Work.

Facebook and the like already have the market for the actual social side of things covered, and gaming platforms like Steam already have more than enough features for us to easily arrange games between friends. Not to mention communities like this.

I think it's a product looking for a scarcely existent niche IMO.
Fizzban 3rd February 2012, 17:01 Quote
It is a couple of years too late to the party. It could take off, but I have my doubts. Good luck to them though.
Krikkit 3rd February 2012, 17:04 Quote
When you're half way through a conversation, does the UI immediately revert to an alien language?
B1GBUD 3rd February 2012, 18:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krikkit
When you're half way through a conversation, does the UI immediately revert to an alien language?

I see what you did there

Maximum fail!
Vo0Ds 3rd February 2012, 18:14 Quote
*sigh*
Woodspoon 3rd February 2012, 18:17 Quote
Perhaps game company's should have Darwin awards too?
Fail city
Sloth 3rd February 2012, 19:59 Quote
GFACE? Last I checked the g-spot was further south...


...I'll get my coat.
cgthomas 3rd February 2012, 21:08 Quote
why not cry face
bagman 4th February 2012, 00:53 Quote
GFACE?
6vxiQ9JCKvE
yodasarmpit 4th February 2012, 01:09 Quote
I still miss The All Seeing Eye before Yahoo stepped in and killed it.
rogerrabbits 4th February 2012, 02:10 Quote
Facebook needs to die.
brave758 4th February 2012, 03:02 Quote
fail
NetSphere 4th February 2012, 08:39 Quote
Is that Live as in "Live and let die" or "A-Live"?

I'd guess the latter, because the former would just sound weird.
brooksy 4th February 2012, 11:30 Quote
How many social network sites do we need?
MajestiX 7th February 2012, 06:10 Quote
didnt facebook tm the word face
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