OnLive Game Streaming Service Closes, Acquired by Sony
The first big video game streaming service to hit the public, OnLive, is closing its doors and has been acquired by Sony.
OnLive has announced that it is discontinuing its services this month, as Sony is acquiring integral parts of its game streaming technology through a company buyout. Originally announced at the Game Developers Conference in 2009, OnLive didn't launch until June 2010 along with its own microconsole and peripherals. As you would imagine, people were quite skeptical towards streaming capabilities back then, especially in regards to video games. OnLive went from having a monthly fee of $14.95 to $4.95 and then none before the company went bankrupt in 2012. After this setback, the company bounced back and had its major relaunch in early 2014. Unfortunately, underwhelming subscription numbers helped contribute to the company's downfall.
Here's what an OnLive representative said about the Sony acquisition:
We were driven by analyzing the opportunity based on first principles, and held off selling until we had proven critical milestones. We are happy that Sony is validating the innovations of OnLive by purchasing our IP and selected assets, and are immensely proud of the work that has been done by the talented team at OnLive, and we thank them for their amazing work. We are also grateful to our customers, game publishers, distribution partners and many other partners who have helped make this a reality over the years. We look forward to a bright future for cloud gaming at Sony.
In an FAQ, OnLive revealed its PlayPass games will no longer be available after April 30. Any save data and achievements will be deleted unless they were on CloudLift in order to transfer to Steam. No refunds will be given for any Steam games purchased through OnLive. Unfortunately, the OnLive Game System and its accompanying hardware doesn't work with any other platforms or systems, and there is no chance for a hardware refund unless you bought your gear in February or later.
Since Sony launched the cloud-based, game streaming PlayStation Now program earlier this year, which streams PS3 games for various rates, we're eager to see how this acquisition could benefit this service. Meanwhile, we're sad to see these industry pioneers close their doors for good.