Facebook acquires Spanish cloud video gaming company PlayGiga

Key Points
  • Facebook has acquired PlayGiga, a Madrid-based company that specializes in cloud gaming.
  • Over the past few years, Facebook has been expanding its efforts in gaming.
  • The PlayGiga deal comes as numerous tech and gaming companies begin to roll out cloud video gaming services.
Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the F8 Facebook Developers conference on April 30, 2019 in San Jose, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Facebook is pushing further into the video gaming market with the acquisition of PlayGiga, a Madrid-based company that specializes in cloud gaming.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the deal to CNBC on Wednesday, after Spanish business newspaper Cinco Dias reported late last week that the acquisition was coming and that the price was approximately 70 million euros (about $78 million).

"We're thrilled to welcome PlayGiga to the Facebook Gaming team," the spokesperson said, declining to comment on the price. 

PlayGiga was founded in 2013. The company ran a cloud gaming service in Europe, though that operation has wound down.

"We are excited to announce that the PlayGiga team is moving on to something new," the company says on the main page of its website. "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."

Facebook has been expanding its efforts in gaming in recent years as it looks to expand in markets outside of online advertising.

It acquired virtual reality headset maker Oculus for $2 billion in 2014, and began selling the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S $399 VR headsets in May of this year.

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In November 2016, Facebook announced Instant Games, consisting of light games for the Facebook and Messenger apps that are built on the HTML5 software stack. Last year, it launched Facebook Gaming, a rival to Amazon's Twitch that allows users to livestream their gameplay to others on the social network.

The company claims there are more than 700 million users each month engaging with gaming content in some fashion.

"It's easy to assume that because it's gaming and because Facebook is so big that perhaps this is a niche," Vivek Sharma, Facebook's gaming head of product, said in an interview last month. "But the 700 million people that engage every month — that's a huge number even at Facebook's scale. And we know that number is growing rapidly."

Numerous other tech and gaming companies are also rolling out cloud video gaming services.

Google last month launched Stadia, a $9.99 per month streaming game service that lets users play games from the cloud. Microsoft, meanwhile, began previewing the xCloud streaming game service in October. That same month, Sony cut the price of its PlayStation Now video game subscription service to $9.99 per month.

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