Alibaba Cloud Launches 1.0 Version of PaaS for Cloud Gaming, Taking On Tencent

Technology Author: Niko Yang, Ivan Platonov Editor: Luke Sheehan Sep 21, 2020 02:55 PM (GMT+8)

Cloud gaming is defined as games loaded on Cloud servers, streaming the gameplay direct to users’ devices.

Image credit: EqualOcean

At the 2020 Yunqi conference, Alibaba Cloud released its first Cloud platform for developers, the model for which focuses on helping businesses, instead of delivering services to gamers. 

Cloud gaming has been given high expectations in recent months as 5G and cloud gaming technologies are evolving. Tencent, China Mobile (CHL:NYSE) and NetEase (NTES:NASDAQ) all rolled out their ready-to-play cloud gaming services.

As a competitor of Tencent (00700:SEHK), Alibaba's (BABA:NASDAQ, 09988:HKEX) attitude towards gaming has been blurring. Jack Ma once said they would starve rather than join in the gaming business. He later expressed in 2010 that ''gaming cannot change China, we won't invest a single coin in gaming and this is our principle.''

But the fact is that in 2014, Alibaba launched their mobile gaming platform, targeting game distribution, in which the giant was willing to deliver 70% of total return to game content providers, with 10% of return going to charity.

During seven years of developing gaming products, Alibaba initially took over some companies to enter the market. It used traffic to establish channels for distributing games. As traditional distribution fell back, It has to serve as a content agency and issuer and even further developed games. However, there was no significant success in the gaming business, as reflected by the infancy of the revenue figures.

Until 2020, Alibaba first tasted the sweetness of some progress on the gaming business: its Sanguo Zhi Strategic Edition currently ranks number 3 in the Chinese Apple application store. The No.1 and No.2 games are Tencent's Honor of Kings and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, respectively.