We've covered OnLive
, the plucky little cloud gaming company that recently partnered
with Ouya and had plans to drive cloud gaming to a ubiquitous future. Now, that future is suddenly in doubt; a report from Mashable
claims that the entire company's staff has been fired. Reports from Twitter and Kotaku
have backed up the claim. OnLive will reportedly close by the end of the day and is planning to file for bankruptcy.
Kotaku quotes one employee as writing: "by the end of the day today, OnLive as an entity will no longer exist. Unfortunately, my job and everyone else's was included. A new company will be formed and the management of the company will be in contact with you about the current initiatives in place, including the titles that will remain on the service." Official PR spokesperson, Brian Jacquet, when reached for comment, responded with "I have no comment on the news other than to say the OnLive service is not shutting down," Jaquet told Polygon when asked specifically about layoffs. "I'm sorry I cannot be more specific." Other sources that reached out to the company were told the same -- then informed that the *real* story going down is the exciting launch of Onlive on certain Vizio televisions.
At least one person in the know has blamed the CEO, claiming that he refused to sell the company numerous times. If true, it's hard to see why -- there are a number of companies pursuing cloud gaming strategies, and OnLive might've been a great fit for a company like Nvidia, which recently bought the Japanese gaming service Gaikai. Regardless of whether or not OnLive continues to operate for some period of time, declaring bankruptcy will likely kill user growth and any associated deals. Corporate partners are notoriously leery of signing up to work with companies that can't guarantee their own ability to remain a going concern.
The idea that OnLive might become another patent troll is beyond depressing and does nothing for the idea that cloud gaming is ready to launch. It'd be better if the company is snapped up by someone who wants to build on its customer base and IP by continuing the same goals rather than going the licensing route. As of this writing, the OnLive website remains unchanged and it appears as though products and services are still for sale. It seems clear that something is going down at the company, even if details on what are vague. If any of you are OnLive customers, please report back if you receive any updates or news releases directly.