Facebook gets into cloud gaming with PlayGiga

PlayGiga launched a Qatari version of its WADE service in March 2019, in partnership with local telco Ooredoo. ― Picture courtesy of PlayGiga/Ooredoo via AFP
PlayGiga launched a Qatari version of its WADE service in March 2019, in partnership with local telco Ooredoo. ― Picture courtesy of PlayGiga/Ooredoo via AFP

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 20 ― Social network and data giant Facebook has taken a big step towards joining Google, Xbox and PlayStation through the acquisition of Spanish cloud-gaming company PlayGiga.

Having already launched in select South American, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern countries, PlayGiga is now part of Facebook in a deal understood to be worth €70 million (RM322 million), according to Spanish business and finance newspaper Cinco Días.

With a partnership library covering over 300 games, PlayGiga had already forged distribution partnerships in Argentina and Chile, Qatar, Italy and its native Spain.

It used proprietary technology to provide low-latency game streaming and in 2019 had been positioning itself to take advantage of 5G data connections as pertaining to mobile and virtual reality gaming.

PlayGiga shut down its telco product, WADE, on December 3.

Facebook had previously made a high-profile entry into enthusiast gaming in 2014 through the purchase of virtual reality company Oculus VR in a deal valued at US$2.3 billion.

More recently, it provided a centralised focus for video game content on the Facebook platform ― videos, livestreams, groups and its selection of Instant Games ― through a Facebook Gaming Tab, which debuted in March 2019.

In November 2019, Facebook subsidiary Oculus Studios announced the acquisition of Beat Games, the studio behind standard-setting VR title Beat Saber.

Facebook joins Google, PlayStation, and Xbox in making public its preparations for cloud gaming services.

Sony's PlayStation division acquired Gaikai in 2012 in a US$380 million deal, subsequently launching cloud gaming subscription service PlayStation Now in 2014; Xbox is developing Project xCloud, anticipated for use with its Xbox Series X consoles debuting Holiday 2020; Google Stadia began a staggered launch in November 2019.

PC gaming platform Steam took a different tack with the November 2019 introduction of a Remote Play Together feature, which lets people play local multiplayer games over the internet, with just one player required to own the title and the rest joining in for free. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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