Crytek boss opens GFACE social networking beta

February 3, 2012 // 1:55 p.m.

Tags: #cevat-yerli #crytek #gaming #gface #pc-gaming #social-networking

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.

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