Charter makes strategic investment in cloud gaming startup

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Charter wants to offer its subscribers a cloud-based PC service that can be used for streaming video games. (Charter Communications)

Charter Communications is placing a bet on cloud gaming as a service for ISPs with a strategic investment in startup Blade.

Blade, which is based in France, approximately one year ago launched Shadow, a cloud-based PC available in the U.S. and Europe. The company intends to leverage its involvement with Charter and its high-speed network to develop a “powerful entertainment platform never seen before in the home.”

"Working with this major technology leader is not just exciting for us as a company but it validates Blade's technological achievements in the field," said Asher Kagan, co-founder and CEO of Blade, in a statement. "Our new partner shares the same vision, values and goals when it comes to the future application of cloud computing and how to scale the ecosystem. Charter is the missing communications link in our service delivery cycle and it is inspiring to be working with them."

Charter said the Shadow service on its network won’t be limited to just cloud gaming.

"The Shadow experience is an example of the service set that can be enhanced by Charter's state-of-the-art, fiber powered network. This combination will bring a superior experience to Shadow users on Charter's network and further differentiate Charter from its competitors by extending powerful computing needs to our customers whether they be the most avid gamer or are simply looking for enhanced personal computing experiences,” said Andrew Ip, senior vice president of emerging technology and innovation for Charter Communications, in a statement.

Financial terms of the Charter investment were not disclosed.

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Along with its Charter investment, Blade is also setting agreements with video game publishers and esports companies. Shadow plans to use content from existing video game titles, and the first partnership will be with Ubisoft Nadeo Studio and its TrackMania Stadium. As part of the deal, Blade will give the full game for free to all users on its platform.

Blade also announced a deal with Dallas-based esports company Team Envy to offer the Shadow platform to at-home players who want to play on the same style of system as their favorite esports teams.