In the days of Farmville, Facebook gaming was all the rage, with incessant notifications hitting the giant social network's users' inboxes, asking them to tend crops or join a game of Words With Friends.
Now, Facebook is looking to recapture that golden age of browser gaming with a new acquisition: PlayGiga, a cloud gaming startup. It could help Facebook enter the increasingly-competitive space currently occupied by Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now and the upcoming Microsoft Project xCloud.
Facebook has yet to official detail its intentions for PlayGiga, but finance publication Cinco Días suggests PlayGiga may have been acquired for 70 million Euros (around $78 million).
We’re thrilled to welcome @PlayGigaOficial to the Facebook Gaming team. We’ll decline further c☁️mment for now.December 18, 2019
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AAA social networking games?
PlayGiga has previously offered a cloud gaming service in the Middle East and Europe, and its statement following the news at least points to a continuation of its cloud gaming push. It said "We are continuing our work in cloud gaming, now with a new mission."
Though Facebook made waves among the core gaming community with its Oculus VR purchase, Facebook's last concerted effort in the browser gaming space was the launch of Instant Games back in 2016. It offered its titles on similar principles to what we now expect from cloud gaming services, requiring no downloads and access to games across devices. But these were limited to HTML5 games. PlayGiga could potentially offer resource-intensive AAA titles that gamers crave.
The social network, which has had a rocky few years in terms of public perception, certainly already has one of the biggest challenges facing an upstart gaming company covered off already – users. It's networking tools, privacy considerations aside, are second to none, and you could easily imagine a cloud gaming system that taps into your Friends list and lets you instantly jump into a session with a group of pals.
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Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of iMore.com. Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.