OnLive Reportedly Fires Entire Staff, May Relaunch As IP Licensing Company

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News Posted: Fri, Aug 17 2012 4:34 PM
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.
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sackyhack replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 10:15 PM

This is the kind of thing that worries me about cloud computing or online-tethered services in general. Onlive has claimed that they will stay in service, but a customer shouldn't have to worry about the game they paid for becoming inaccessible. Kinda reminds me of some of the worries about Steam and Origin. I've got 100+ games on Steam. I know Valve isn't going anywhere any time soon and if they do they've said they'd turn off the DRM on all their games, but still, that worry eats away at me.

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AKnudson replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 11:20 PM

@ sackyhack, its good to hear from you again, i haven't seen you on the site for a few weeks but then again i don't look at every article's comments.

The point sacky brings up is a good one, any amount of uncertainty in a gaming companies ability to guarantee the stability of the games they have already on the market is worse than a game franchise that stagnates because their developer goes under. at least in the tragic event that a game developer goes under the very worst that can happen is the game goes stale has no sequel and invariably has the same bugs for eternity.

When the cloud holding said game goes under, its like the game never existed unless you were........ devious enough (yes thats the word i am going with) to pirate/jack/download the game in a fit of enigmatic luck. Valve has trust and loyalty but if the rumors prove to be true the bankruptcy of Onlive will definitely shape the future policy of companies going out of business or re-organizing themselves.

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rapid1 replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 11:37 PM

Yeah; the cloud is one thing that always at least in the US has kind of bugged me. We are getting better as well as more reliable internet service to a degree, but it is still not top of the line. I guess it is better in general surrounding large metro areas. The thing is yeah we may have some DOCSIS3 protocol coaxial and Fiber but DSL in general is not to the capacities of Coaxial or its networks and if it is Fiber your comparing to DSL is a joke. I tried out Uverse and that was a joke for internet. The TV was good but Internet no way. They may have Fiber on my street but it is still copper wire to my house almost 1/2 a mile from the main street then into a trunk and from the curb on copper to my house and throughout my house on a linked copper wire. For the cloud to be successful especially in Gaming and Applications like office 365 with abilities to do live group work it has to be better than ok or sometimes it has to be all the time at at least a measurably mid-high level.

Either way that is more about trunk capabilities in the US only but cloud and bound services depend on that more than anything. Even if the split streaming capabilities in half with new protocol it still has to be consistent for the cloud to be trust worthy right. That applies to gaming, productivity, social, business etc!

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JDiaz replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 1:50 AM

Latest update from the Verge, http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/17/3250589/onlive-official-layoffs-statement

Looks like the CEO finally sold the company...

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enprim22 replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 10:57 AM

its good to hear from you again, i haven't seen you on the site for a few weeks but then again i don't look at every article's comments.

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sackyhack replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 11:46 AM

ummm, enprim, not to be mean but are you a spambot or just having trouble using the quote feature? Because almost all of your posts are just copy&paste of the first portion of someone else's post. That's not gonna win any contests...

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Erakith replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 4:51 PM

I'm not interested in streaming video games, but I am interested in Ouya. I hope this doesn't hurt it, that would be devastating.

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pwrntspd replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 5:19 PM

I wont lie, im not entirely surprised that onlive was having issues. I think most PC gamers like actually owning the game whether its a hard copy or steam/origin. ive always been a big fan of the cloud type service steam provides, but i would be concerned if i thought that steam might go under.

Im also a bit sad though, i entertained the idea of having a fully cloud based device for gaming, that might have been cool if the company was more stable.

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Streaming video games aint my thing. I love them special edition box sets

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