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Cloud gaming service Gaikai coming to Facebook

Cloud gaming service Gaikai coming to Facebook

January 17, 2012 | By Mike Rose

Cloud gaming company Gaikai confirmed today at the Cloud Gaming Europe conference that its online game-streaming service is coming to Facebook.

The move puts streaming video games on a social network that has over 800 million users. Gaikai chief executive David Perry explained that the company is planning to offer demos of high-end gaming titles via Facebook soon, reports [registration required].

As part of his talk, Perry also demoed Blizzard's popular MMO World of Warcraft running on the social network.

"Our next big launch is on Facebook and we've been working with them for some time," he said.

"Facebook already owns the category of casual gaming, we're going to help them own core games. A click and boom, you're playing World of Warcraft," he continued.

Cloud game services like Gaikai and OnLive host games and stream them from powerful remote servers to users' computers. Players don't need to install game files to their local hard drives or have high-end hardware, as the servers handle the brunt of the storage and processing power needed.

Perry noted that cutting down the number of steps needed to access a game or a demo is the key to bringing in more consumers to play your title.

"Bring the game to the gamer, don't move people, move games," he said. "Zynga has figured out that you put the customer first, very aggressively. You click once and you get to play for free, you share it with your friends and then you pay Zynga if you love it."

"It's as pro-consumer as you can get and that why their valuation has skyrocketed," he continued. "Some of the traditional publishers who have ignored all of this are falling off a cliff. Look at their stock prices, it's not good."

Gaikai announced at CES this month a major deal with LG Electronics that will integrate Gaikai's cloud games platform into its 2012 line of large-screen, internet-enabled LG Cinema 3D TVs. The games that are part of the deal will not be demos, but full games.

Gaikai originally launched last February as a public beta, with demos of four popular Electronic Arts-published titles available for users to play in their browsers.

Since then, the company has struck up a number of high-profile deals, including a deal with Capcom to deliver future titles over the company's streaming service, and deals with the likes of Best Buy, YouTube and Ubisoft.

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