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Sony Acquires Cloud Gaming Service Gaikai

Radford C. Jul 2, 2012 0

Sony Computer Entertainment has acquired cloud-based gaming company Gaikai for around $380 million. With Gaikai, Sony gets into the cloud-streaming business with intent on providing their customers potentially new ways to experience interactive entertainment.

Considering the swirl of rumors that many have anticipated the acquisition to happen at E3 less than a month ago, the news doesn’t come as a shock; as word surrounding the potential acquisition rose in May and June of this year, but no official announcement was made until tonight by Gaikai.

“By combining Gaikai’s resources including its technological strength and engineering talent with Sony’s extensive game platform knowledge and experience, Sony will provide users with unparalleled cloud entertainment experiences,” said Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment. “Sony will deliver a world-class cloud-streaming service that allows users to instantly enjoy a broad array of content ranging from immersive core games with rich graphics to casual content anytime, anywhere on a variety of internet-connected devices.”

“Sony has built an incredible brand with PlayStation and has earned the respect of countless millions of gamers worldwide,” said David Perry, CEO of Gaikai. “We’re honored to be able to help Sony rapidly harness the power of the interactive cloud and to continue to grow their ecosystem, to empower developers with new capabilities, to dramatically improve the reach of exciting content and to bring breathtaking new experiences to users worldwide.”

Less than a month ago, we had a chance to watch Dave Perry give a talk at E3 regarding Gaikai’s overall strategy which was, at that time,  “conquer all”.  A rep from Samsung, which Gaikai made a recent deal to push cloud gaming into Samsung’s Smart TVs, to sit in the talk as Perry broke down the differences in getting a game started between a PC game, a console and a cloud service. After his compelling presentation, we had a short Q&A session with Perry about the company’s immediate goals.

“Our main goal is get everyone to start putting in more games into Gaikai and it’s already happening,” said Perry. “We have every big name publisher you could think. Over 40 of them. Five are still unsure – maybe because they’re trying to test the possibility of cloud gaming. That’s great if [publishers] are willing to push more than frisbee games into the service but at some point they’re either going to have to go for it or wait and let cloud gaming pass them by.”

At that time, when asked whether Perry would sell the company, he was adamant about the company focusing on its current goals and “not looking to get acquired”.  He then referred back to his current backers such as Intel, Limelight, Samsung and other as he began drawing more points on how he was “going to see cloud gaming come through in a big way.”

Then the CEO hammered home. “You don’t want to be the console that can’t do this,” continued Perry. Afterwards, Sean Wilburn and I played Darksiders II on a Samsung TV – validating Perry’s main vision.

We’ve reached out to both Sony and Gaikai for more, and will update this article as the story unfolds.

Prior to E3, LTG chatted with Daniel Chisholm at the 2012 Game Developers Conference back in March and talked about which publishers were teamed up with Gaikai. At that time, they had a little more than 30 publishers signed on.