Facebook Acquires Cloud Gaming Startup PlayGiga

Facebook has acquired the Spanish cloud gaming startup PlayGiga, according to reports from CNBC and Spanish business newspaper Cinco Dias. The social media giant reportedly spent €70 million (around $78 million) for the startup.

Facebook confirmed the acquisition Wednesday afternoon. “We’re thrilled to welcome PlayGiga to the Facebook Gaming team,” A Facebook spokesperson told Variety, adding cheekily: “We’ll decline further cmment for now.”

“We are excited to announce that the PlayGiga team is moving on to something new,” PlayGiga said on its website. “We are continuing our work in cloud gaming, now with a new mission.”

PlayGiga was operating cloud gaming services in Italy, Argentina, Chile and Spain, and was aiming to launch in the Middle East soon. It had also run proof-of-concept tests in Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands and Guatemala, according to its website. The company had struck licensing agreements for more than 300 game titles with notable publishers, including WB, Disney and Sega.

Cloud gaming allows users to play state-of-the-art video games without the need for expensive hardware. Google recently launched its own cloud gaming service, dubbed Stadia, which streams games from the cloud to Chromecast dongles, mobile devices and desktop web browsers. Nvidia has been operating its own Geforce Now cloud gaming service since 2013.

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Facebook’s acquisition of PlayGiga could be seen as a sign that the social media giant may want to launch its own cloud gaming service as well. However, Facebook’s gaming efforts thus far have been notably different from those of other companies, with a bigger focus on free-to-play games running directly on the Facebook platform, as well as video game streaming on Facebook Watch.

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