Yahoo has acquired a gaming company specializing in virtual worlds called Cloud Party. Cloud Party launched in 2011 and their aim was to provide a three-dimensional, multiplayer gaming platform that could run directly inside a Web browser without plug-ins. Users could build their own avatars and worlds. They then could explore these immersive environments. The whole idea is very similar to the online environment, Second Life.
Yahoo signalled its interest in gaming last year when it acquired PlayerScale, which provides infrastructure software. After this deal is completed, those virtual worlds, or at the very least the technology they were built upon, will be integrated into Yahoo. Sam Thompson, Cloud Party CEO, said in a blog post last Friday, that the company will be joining Yahoo and shutting down its service from next month. A Yahoo spokesperson confirmed the acquisition although any financial details have not been disclosed.
Yahoo’s Games site already allows people to play games online and download titles including arcade, puzzle and board games. Cloud Party may not provide Yahoo with any extensive new worlds in which its users can play. Well, not immediately anyway.
The acquisition of Cloud Party appears to be another human resource pool for Yahoo, netting it a talented collection of game developers who could improve Yahoo’s own gaming contributions or help to constructs new ones. ”We’re excited to merge their unique perspective and experience with a team that is just as passionate about gaming,” the Yahoo spokesperson said.
Yahoo has been on an acquisition-spending spree since Marissa Mayer became CEO in 2012. Some of those acquisitions have brought in new users, as with the Tumblr purchase in May last year. Other acquisitions have been geared toward engineering and technology, for instance, the LookFlow for improving Flickr. This is yet another deal to give the search engine giant more leverage.
[Image via modemworld]