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Facebook Begins Cloud Gaming Binge Despite Google’s Stadia Fail

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:25 PM
Thomas Bardwell
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:25 PM
  • Facebook Gaming acquires cloud streaming start-up PlayGiga.
  • Deal reportedly worth 70 million euros.
  • Facebook continues to invest heavily in gaming.

Facebook Gaming announced this week the acquisition of PlayGiga, a Madrid-based company specialized in cloud gaming services. Reports suggest the deal was to the tune of 70 million euros.

Facebook’s big-gaming foray began with its acquisition of VR hardware-maker Oculus, | Source: Photo by ALAIN JOCARD / AFP)

Facebook Acquires PlayGiga

PlayGiga had developed a cloud gaming service dubbed WADE, the highlight of which was a scalable virtualization technology that delivered high-end cloud gaming with less than 30 ms latency.

The service boasted a library of over 300 games from publishers like SEGA, Square Enix, and Capcom. It included games like Life Is Strange, Batman Arkham City, and Rise of the Tomb Raider.

WADE seized operations on Dec. 3, presumably as the terms of the deal with Facebook Gaming were ironed out. With Facebook confirming the acquisition to CNBC , PlayGiga’s web site now displays the following message :

We are excited to announce that the PlayGiga team is moving on to something new. We are continuing our work in cloud gaming, now with a new mission. We want to thank all of our partners and customers for their support over the years.

In tandem, Facebook Gaming authored the following tweet but stopped short of detailing future plans with the PlayGiga acquisition.

Facebook PlayGiga
Source: Twitter 

Social Media Continues Investment In Gaming

The shaky launch of Google’s Stadia cloud gaming platform last month doesn’t appear to have dissuaded Facebook. The acquisition works into a recent trend of investment in gaming at the social media giant. Last month, Facebook bought Beat Saber developer Beat Games to bolster its VR portfolio.

Cloud gaming may be the future but Google’s launch of ‘Stadia’ hasn’t gone on well. | Source:  STIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

It’s unclear whether Facebook’s purchase means it’s gearing up a gaming platform of its own. Given PlayGiga’s expertise in the field and mounting pressure from not just Google, but Microsoft with Project xCloud and Sony’s PlayStation Now, Facebook appears eager to secure a slice of the pie while cloud gaming reaches saturation point.

When it comes to streaming, Facebook trails behind Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube, despite some big name streamer signings such DisguisedToast. There’s a sense the company wants to avoid the same fate when it comes to cloud gaming, although how this will work in practice remains to be seen.