Electronic Arts has bought GameFly’s cloud-streaming technology. The publisher also revealed that it has acquired the Israeli team that was responsible for building the Netflix-like streaming service for games. The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal, but EA did clarify that while it now owns GameFly’s streaming tech and development team, it did not takeover the existing GameFly streaming business.
This is a move that could enable Electronic Arts to reach a broad audience that doesn’t want to purchase a console or a gaming PC. It is also something that works well with EA’s ongoing Origin Access and EA Access subscription services that give people instant access to a library of EA games as well as those from certain other publishers, like Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
“Cloud gaming is an exciting frontier that will help us to give even more players the ability to experience games on any device from anywhere,” EA chief technology officer Ken Mosssaid. “We’re thrilled to bring this talented team’s expertise into EA as we continue to innovate and expand the future of games and play.”
Cloud-streaming is something the video game industry has flirted with and attempted for the best part of the last decade. The now defunct OnLive first tried to bring the technology to a wide audience in 2010, but that company folded after a handful of acquisitions in 2015. Sony, which has its game-streaming service PlayStation Now, acquired OnLive’s patents.
This technology has struggled to take off in part because internet speeds and latency have made for a poor experience in the past. But streaming games from the cloud still seems inevitable once new technologies like widely available fiber connections or even 5G eliminate that lag.
Correction: This story originally said that EA acquired GameFly’s streaming service. That is not accurate. EA acquired GameFly’s streaming technology and not the service that is built on top of that tech.