Chinese social media and gaming giant Tencent has participated in a new funding round of Tokyo-based cloud gaming technology and services provider Ubitus, augmenting its investment in cloud gaming that technically allows people to play games anywhere if they are connected to the internet.
Tencent is among several investors including Square Enix, Sony Innovation Fund by IGV and Actoz that joined the strategic round of financing, Ubitus said in a statement on Thursday, without disclosing the amount of money raised. However, Bloomberg quoted an unnamed source close to the matter as saying that “the investors put in about $45 million at a valuation of less than $400 million.”
After the funding, Ubitus plans to further advance its cloud gaming technology, grow its cloud game business and explore new game associated applications, according to the statement.
Cloud gaming services deliver games from servers over the internet to gamers’ TVs, smartphones and other screens, with the process expected to become much faster due to 5G wireless connections. More importantly, cloud gaming should cost less when it comes to making games for multiple platforms. “For game developers, the Ubitus cloud versions of popular titles can be played across different devices, thus saving the time and investment of developing multiple versions for different devices,” the statement said.
Despite the fact that console games remain popular with game fans, many industry analysts feel bullish about the future of cloud gaming especially at a time when Sony and Microsoft have already launched their own platforms to provide streamed games for their subscribers.
In recent years, Tencent has beefed up its investment in the global gaming industry. The Shenzhen-based giant, which was ranked by Newzoo as the world’s biggest games publisher by revenue in 2019, has taken stakes in some world-famous video game developers including U.S.-based Epic Games, Japan’s Marvelous and Sweden’s 10 Chambers Collective and built ties with industry leaders like Activision Blizzard and Electronics Arts.
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