Facebook Buys Cloud Gaming Startup PlayGiga

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has announced its acquisition of PlayGiga, a Madrid-based company that specializes in cloud gaming. A Facebook spokesperson asked to comment on the purchase said, “We’re thrilled to welcome PlayGiga to the Facebook Gaming team,” while declining to comment on the price. However, Spanish business newspaper Cinco Dias reported late last week that the acquisition price was approximately 70 million euros (about $78 million).

Founded in 2013, PlayGiga ran a cloud gaming service across Italy, Argentina, Chile, and Spain, though that operation has wound down. Prior to the acquisition, it had plans to expand in the Middle East, and had explored an expansion into Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands, and Guatemala. A message on PlayGiga’s website says that the team is “moving on to something new” but confirmed that it would be continuing its work on cloud gaming.

Facebook has been expanding its efforts in gaming in recent years. In November 2016, Facebook announced Instant Games, consisting of light games for the Facebook and Messenger apps, and launched Facebook Gaming last year. The company claims there are now more than 700 million users engaging with its gaming content in some fashion each month.

In 2014, Facebook acquired virtual reality headset maker Oculus for $2 billion. In May of this year, it began selling the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S $399 VR headsets. Last month, Facebook acquired Beat Studios, the developer behind Beat Saber.

The cloud gaming market is growing thanks to the entry of some big new players. Microsoft began previewing its xCloud streaming game service in October, the same month that Sony cut the price of its PlayStation Now video game subscription service to $9.99 per month. Last month, Google launched Stadia, a $9.99 per month streaming game service that lets users play games from the cloud.