OnLive Slowly Drowning, Handed A Life Preserver
First things first, OnLive isn’t dead, it’s just drowning slowly. Early rumors today reported OnLive’s demise and mislead everyone. The guessing game is over with OnLive releasing an official press statement and announcing they have been bought out by an anonymous company.
We can now confirm that the assets of OnLive, Inc. have been acquired into a newly-formed company and is backed by substantial funding, and which will continue to operate the OnLive Game and Desktop services, as well as support all of OnLive’s apps and devices, as well as game, productivity and enterprise partnerships.
The new company is hiring a large percentage of OnLive, Inc.’s staff across all departments and plans to continue to hire substantially more people, including additional OnLive employees. All previously announced products and services, including those in the works, will continue and there is no expected interruption of any OnLive services. We apologize that we were unable to comment on this transaction until it completed, and were limited to reporting on news related to OnLive’s businesses. Now that the transaction is complete, we are able to make this statement.
If you’re unfamiliar with OnLive, it is a company which emerged back in 2009 and offers high quality level graphics on low end hardware via a high speed internet connection. OnLive uses a subscription based model, but doesn’t offer a full library of games. With many other PC services such as EA’s Origin keeping their games exclusive, and the juggernaut that is Steam, OnLive has had a hard time getting users to switch over.
I think deep down we all knew OnLive was in a bad spot. If you didn’t realize they were in deep shit until they started giving away free OnLive consoles with the purchase of new releases, then I suggest you look around. Is any of your friends using the service? Because mine aren’t, it’s just not popular, it never caught on. I was personally given a year membership and didn’t use it because my friends weren’t on there. The real reason though? My faith in the service was low and I didn’t want to buy games that I could never end up playing again. Looks like my guess was right. It’s a real shame because the service is actually good. The streaming portion is top notch and I love how you can instantly watch other gamers play.
While the official press statement sounds peachy, I assure you it’s not. When they state that they are hiring a large percentage of OnLive’s staff, what they really mean is half the staff has been fired. Apparently the infrastructure costs and daily upkeep was too much for how much money they were making. How much were they making exactly? A former OnLive employee stated that the average peak amount of concurrent users was around 1,800. For comparison, a new Call of Duty game averages around 2 million concurrent players upon release on Xbox Live.
While it’s nice to see that at least some people will be keeping their job, I can’t help but think that this is just a new boat waiting to sink again. So what’s the first order of business? Suing Sony’s newly acquired streaming service Gaikai. Hey, gotta increase those profit margins somehow, right?
About Charles Ferrendelli
Charles Ferrendelli is currently a History major at Arizona State University. When not at a computer typing he enjoys film, gaming, MMA, and making fun of the world on Twitter @CFerrendelli.