The company, based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., will use the money to build out its ability to stream games to large numbers of users from the cloud (a network of web-connected data centers around the world).
While its rival OnLive is focused on providing cloud-based games to consumers via subscriptions, Gaikai is focused on a business-to-business strategy, partnering with game publishers who could use Gaikai’s technology to distribute games directly to consumers from the publishers’ own portals.
David Perry, chief executive of Gaikai, said his company is tapping Intel’s newest six-core microprocessors to stream more games simultaneously to users. That helps cut the costs of delivering games. Limelight, meanwhile, can provide the network infrastructure for Gaikai so that users don’t notice that the game is being streamed in from the web.
Streamed games can be much cheaper than games distributed at retail, yet they can exhibit the high-quality graphics and fast speed that console games have, as long as the infrastructure can keep up with the masses of users. You can also log into a game from anywhere and don’t have to deal with downloading, loading disks, or patching files to update a game. Gaikai also demonstrated that a user in a web site game can play simultaneously with another player in a Facebook game.
Since OnLive has raised considerably more money than Gaikai and has already launched, it’s important for Gaikai to establish its credibility and catch up quickly. So getting an investment from well-heeled investors is important to Gaikai. Other investors include Rustic Canyon Partners, Benchmark Capital, TriplePoint Capital and an unidentified investor.
Gaikai plans to launch its technology with partners this summer. In June, the company said that Electronic Arts would provide a number of top games for distribution through Gaikai.