Yahoo buys virtual gaming company Cloud Party

Steven Loeb · January 25, 2014 · Short URL:

Cloud Party, a platform for players to build worlds and avatars, will be shut down

Over the last year and half or so, Yahoo has been making big moves toward becoming a big source for both video and news content, by making moves like acquiring the rights to over thirty years of SNL video and brining on Katie Kouric to be its global news anchor.

Could the next vertical the company looks to dominate be gaming?

Yahoo has acquired virtual gaming company Cloud Party, the company announced via a blog post on Friday. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Cloud Party revealed that, like many companies acquired by Yahoo, the service will be shut down, though it will continue to run until February 21, 2014. The company has also created a brief guide for its customers to export their content before that date.

What exactly the Cloud Party team will be doing at Yahoo is unclear right now; the post simply says that they "are excited to bring our vision and experience to a team that is as passionate about games as we are."

"Yahoo has acquired Cloud Party, a company that has created a virtual 3D experience, directly in users’ browser. With Cloud Party, users can build and create a world, customize an avatar, and share easily on the web without any downloads or plug-ins," a Yahoo spokesperson told VatorNews.

"The Cloud Party team is extremely committed to user experience and to the creativity that their product released in people. We’re excited to merge their unique perspective and experience with a team that is just as passionate about gaming. "

Founded in 2011, Cloud Party was founded by game developer veterans from the MMO and console video game industry. It provided a real-time, multiplayer, three-dimensional gaming platform that could run directly in a Web browser without plug-ins. 

The thing that I have seen it compared to most frequently is online virtual world Second Life. 

This is not the first gaming acquisition Yahoo has made in the last year. In May of 2013 it purchased  PlayerScale, which makes software infrastructure for cross-platform gaming. 

The PlayerScale software also incorporates a data analytics tool, which gives developers information that allows them to understand user behavior and track users and revenue across mobile and web-based properties. This then allows developers to increase their monetization and to more rapidly introduce new games into the market.

Unlike Cloud Party, PlayScale is still operating independently from Yahoo.

Yahoos became famous, or make that infamous, for the number of startup acquisitions it made last year, 27 in all. The company seems to have no plans to slow down, having already made three purchases this year.

In addition to Cloud Party, it also bought Aviate, a replacement Android home screen launcher, and mobile marketing startup Sparq.

It will be interesting to see if there are other gaming acquisitions that Yahoo makes in the coming months, and how it will put the team at Cloud Party to use.

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