Update: OnLive Transitions Into New Company

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Update: OnLive Transitions Into New Company

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Streaming service OnLive has been sold, though exactly how many people lost their jobs remains a mystery.

Game developer Brian Fargo has just announced via Twitter that "OnLive is closed as of today." According to Fargo, he received an email from employees of the streaming service, which stated that the service would be shutting its doors later today, with all of its current employees losing their jobs.

"I wanted to send a note that by the end of the day today, OnLive as an entity will no longer exist," Fargo reiterated in a series of tweets. "Unfortunately, my job and everyone 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."

There's no word yet on what this new company will be, and how this will affect the recently announced partnership with Ouya. OnLive has yet to confirm the rumors.

We'll have more updates as they become available.

Source: Twitter

Update: In a statement, OnLive Director of Corporate Communications Brian Jaquet denied that the service was shutting down: "We don't respond to rumors, but of course not. The exciting news is that the first VIZIO Co-Stars (Google TV stream players) with the OnLive app built-in have just arrived in customer homes, and our second of three 'Indie Giveaway Weekends' is going on now. OnLive users can get a free copy of the award-winning games Space Pirates and Zombies and SpaceChem."

Jaquet did not comment on the rumor that OnLive staffers had been laid off.

Source: Joystiq

Update 2: OnLive has responded to the flurry of rumors involving massive lay-offs, bankruptcy, and the closure of its services in an official statement. Here is that following statement in full:

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.

While we're not commenting on additional details, the reports have been way overstated, perhaps because we were unable to respond to initial enquiries until the transaction completed. The management team is intact, the company has substantial funding and we have all our current businesses to run.

While these comments seem to offer at least some explanation as to what's going on with the service itself, it's still unclear how many employees have been terminated in the shuffle, a number that's been reported as upwards of 50% by both an Engadget source.

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This quite needs a giant "RUMOR" tag - after all, the only source is Brian Fargo - someone not affiliated with OnLive - and even his source is a forwarded email.

I don't think this should be reported as solid news quite yet.

EDIT: Welp, fixed before the main page refreshed. Nevermind me, this is now a legacy post.

Huh? What? That came completely out of nowhere. Why the hell are they shutting up shop? Were they doing really bad or something? And what about people's subscriptions?

I was going to type something along the lines of, 'well, I thought OnLive was a bad idea.' But that's just horrific, so many people losing their jobs! What happens to the customers, and the bank of games in OnLive? How did it happen? That really just came out of nowhere!

So, assuming this is real, what'll happen to the people who bought games off the service? Will they get a refund, will they be able to keep and still play their games through the new company , or are they shit out of luck?

EDIT: So it's not shutting down, eh? Well that's good to hear. Still, what would happen if it did go under? Would people still be able to play their games, or would they be shit out of luck?

EDIT 2: Seems some sources are saying it's real. Who to belive... Onlive, or the various news sites...

Guess time will tell.

If this is honestly real here I wonder how all those people who adopted the "cloud gaming" will actually be affected. I mean even Steve Woz was afraid of the cloud and for people who play video games this is certainly one reason.

This is what happens when you let Futurama 80's Guy run your company.
Well they better learn to spread their Wings, cause now it's... Live and and let Die

Sarah LeBoeuf:
Space Pirates and Zombies and SpaceChem

The best part of the whole thing is the improper use of italics splitting the titles of these two games (which are both awesome) in the wrong place. Now I'm kind of curious what Zombies and SpaceChem would be like...

Perhaps some fact-checking would be good before articles are posted about things like this in such a matter-of-fact tone.

I remember the day OnLive was announced and people left and right were jizzing their pants and claiming it was the future of gaming. I never belived in it. Good to know I was right, heh.

Brian Fargo isn't even an OnLive employee -- so how could they lay him off?

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/brian-fargo/0/139/4a9

I suspect the story is attributing a quotation from the forwarded email to Fargo. Getting it right would make the story more believable, but it still needs to be researched.

Apparently GamaSutra and GameFront confirm it: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/176180/OnLive_lays_off_all_employees.php
http://www.gamefront.com/onlive-layoffs-confirmed-full-details-forthcoming/

Good news indeed!

To add to this on WHY it is good news:

If this is true, then it is good news indeed, there's nothing I hate with more of a fiery passion than all these services trying to take away consumer rights and control under the guise of "offering a great service", so it is good to see OnLive failing and that GaiKai probably only managed to survive because they manage to sell themselves to SONY (which might have been their goal in the first place). It would be an even bigger bonus if they close down shop for their service entirely so people UNDERSTAND that they should fight for their rights of ownership and not pay money for something that could be gone in a years time, no matter the price.

Other than that I'll just Paste what I said in one of these articles on another site:
"You asked the guy that just rode this wave and managed to convince SONY to buy his company, what the hell did you think he would say? It's like asking the fox if he thinks henhouse doors are a good idea.
There was a pretty good article in a German gaming magazine about all the downsides of "Cloud Gaming" (god I even hate that embellishment for what is basically "we will run the software for you, and you lose all your rights!"): http://tinyurl.com/7map39a

The thought that something like OnLive or GaiKai (or anything like it) might at some point have the success of Steam is truly outright horrifying, not only do you lose any advantage PC gaming might have over consoles (from being able to Mod your game, to tweaking graphics settings and using any kind of control method you like etc.) and would replace all of that with a blurry mess full of compression artifacts, banding and input lag at low resolution and with the game on their side running on low or medium graphics settings to save on processing power so they can serve more customers, but you'd also lose every single consumer right you might still have left when you buy a game as a product (with companies being able to revoke your rights to your entire game library over any reason and physically being able to pull it off). Can't really count on courts like the ECJ doing ALL the thinking for you and protect you against abusive practices: http://tinyurl.com/77d5n43
I see it as the ultimate form of DRM, going back to having to use terminals and worse than anything I could have ever imagined a few years ago and I'm appalled that most people don't seem to regard it as such.

You would lose, among other things:
1) Being able to play all games at all times (see Uplays extended downtimes and the likes)
2) Playing with maximum graphics details and options enabled
3) Playing normal multiplayer (OnLive for instance only hosts Multiplayer between other OnLive players because of latency, it would be simply too high if you had to send packets this way: Client --> OnLive Server --> Game Server --> OnLive Server --> Compression Algorithm --> Client)
4) Setting up Multiplayer server and hosting LAN parties would be no more
5) No more playing Offline or when the Net is out
6) No more installing Mods
7) No more tweaking INI files
8) No more cheating (even the good Offline kind where you give yourself a little bit more money or a bigger head)
9) GaiKai or whatever service would likely sit on your save files.
10) No more being able to decide if you want to Patch or not or Rollbacks
11) They could make games even more of a micro transaction mess than they already are and add unskippable advertising to the list of things to worry about
12) They could remove games or game features FOREVER with nobody owning a copy if at any point games would be exclusive to such services (god forbid), Manhunt or similar damaging your reputation too much and not selling enough? Get rid of it forever. A certain feature or spot of your game (nude scene, Coffee Mod or whatever) giving you trouble with the media? Get rid of it forever. You put out the newest FIFA/NHL/NBA 2035 and want people to buy it? Discontinue services for any and all older versions.
13) Possible loss of Indie/free niche markets in favor of the big "AAA" titles, why would they support small/unknown companies that barely everyone will likely play in favor of the mass-market AAA market?
etc.

No, just NO, they'll establish these kinds of services over my dead body."

Irridium:
So, assuming this is real, what'll happen to the people who bought games off the service? Will they get a refund, will they be able to keep and still play their games through the new company (unlike what happened with Gamefly and Direct2Drive), or are they shit out of luck?

Just want to point out that D2D/Gamefly did eventually restore people's stuff...it just took a while.

Good. I hate the concept of Cloud Gaming. It's a wastefulness service designed to consume more bandwidth than it should. I suspect the "management" will try to milk something like their patents, but since I want the entire concept of hosting games on the "cloud" to die I bet they fail at that too. I'm sorry for the regular wage slaves. They are the real victims in this.

Good riddance, if it is true. I dislike the whole "cloud gaming" thing, and OnLive is a terrible service in particular.

CortexReaver:
Good riddance, if it is true. I dislike the whole "cloud gaming" thing, and OnLive is a terrible service in particular.

I too like it when dozens of people lose their job due to their participation in a service I am uninterested in.

Not that it matters, since it ISN'T true, but boy do you sound like someone who's never worked a day in his life.

Sounds like I'm the only person who actually LIKES OnLive. For lunch-breaks it's pretty much our company's primary distraction - OnLive runs on practically any of our terminals, so there's no hardware issues there.

We even have one of the little OnLive consoles in the break room attached to the TV. Yes, it pales compared to my real rig, but I don't have my real rig at work, shockingly.

Would be very disappointed to see such a promising service go under, let alone the sudden unemployment of so many people (which has nothing to do with how anyone perceives the service).

Well one of the things that helped sell Steam back in the day was the promise that even if Valve completely went under you'd still have the games installed on your hard-drive and either an official or unofficial crack of Steam client would give you access to all the games. The deal with steam is you don't really want to cut off contact and loose further stuff like timely updates, hats, etc

But if Onlive goes, you games are TOTALLY GONE!

Doesn't matter if this rumour turns out not to be true, but it raises the spectre of possibility.

Rednog:

Irridium:
So, assuming this is real, what'll happen to the people who bought games off the service? Will they get a refund, will they be able to keep and still play their games through the new company (unlike what happened with Gamefly and Direct2Drive), or are they shit out of luck?

Just want to point out that D2D/Gamefly did eventually restore people's stuff...it just took a while.

Really? Well, that's good to hear. Guess I'll yoink that part out of my post.

Nalgas D. Lemur:

Sarah LeBoeuf:
Space Pirates and Zombies and SpaceChem

The best part of the whole thing is the improper use of italics splitting the titles of these two games (which are both awesome) in the wrong place. Now I'm kind of curious what Zombies and SpaceChem would be like...

Could we get plants in there somewhere, too?

Rednog:

Irridium:
So, assuming this is real, what'll happen to the people who bought games off the service? Will they get a refund, will they be able to keep and still play their games through the new company (unlike what happened with Gamefly and Direct2Drive), or are they shit out of luck?

Just want to point out that D2D/Gamefly did eventually restore people's stuff...it just took a while.

Not everything yet. I'm still unable to download and play a few games from my purchase list. So it's still taking a while... a loooong while.

Royas:

Rednog:

Irridium:
So, assuming this is real, what'll happen to the people who bought games off the service? Will they get a refund, will they be able to keep and still play their games through the new company (unlike what happened with Gamefly and Direct2Drive), or are they shit out of luck?

Just want to point out that D2D/Gamefly did eventually restore people's stuff...it just took a while.

Not everything yet. I'm still unable to download and play a few games from my purchase list. So it's still taking a while... a loooong while.

Not everything is available with their gamefly client, but you can direct download the zip file of the game from the site.
I think they said for a few games they weren't able to secure the rights to have it on their client but were still able to give the full game through the direct download.

Thank goodness they aren't actually closing! I want them to at least place a server in Australia first so I can see what all the fuss is about!

Onlive has been providing a convenient service. Literally pay for a game and start playing it right away without spending time installing and updating.

It would be in the interest of competing services to spread FUD about Onlive.

Rednog:

Royas:

Rednog:

Just want to point out that D2D/Gamefly did eventually restore people's stuff...it just took a while.

Not everything yet. I'm still unable to download and play a few games from my purchase list. So it's still taking a while... a loooong while.

Not everything is available with their gamefly client, but you can direct download the zip file of the game from the site.
I think they said for a few games they weren't able to secure the rights to have it on their client but were still able to give the full game through the direct download.

Any time I try to download a game from the website, it makes me go through their client, so no dice there. And a couple of my games can't even be found on the site, except in my purchase history.

So, I say again, not everything yet.

Royas:

Rednog:

Royas:

Not everything yet. I'm still unable to download and play a few games from my purchase list. So it's still taking a while... a loooong while.

Not everything is available with their gamefly client, but you can direct download the zip file of the game from the site.
I think they said for a few games they weren't able to secure the rights to have it on their client but were still able to give the full game through the direct download.

Any time I try to download a game from the website, it makes me go through their client, so no dice there. And a couple of my games can't even be found on the site, except in my purchase history.

So, I say again, not everything yet.

When you go to your account, hit purchase history and it will bring up a list of the stuff you bought, it will have tabs, store purchases, gift certificates, and D2D Downloads. The games not on the gamefly client will be available directly from that download.

image

Rednog:

Royas:

Rednog:

Not everything is available with their gamefly client, but you can direct download the zip file of the game from the site.
I think they said for a few games they weren't able to secure the rights to have it on their client but were still able to give the full game through the direct download.

Any time I try to download a game from the website, it makes me go through their client, so no dice there. And a couple of my games can't even be found on the site, except in my purchase history.

So, I say again, not everything yet.

When you go to your account, hit purchase history and it will bring up a list of the stuff you bought, it will have tabs, store purchases, gift certificates, and D2D Downloads. The games not on the gamefly client will be available directly from that download.

image

Thanks for pointing that out, I actually didn't know about that tab (they cleverly hid it right out in the open in front of me). Looks like there is only one game in my history still missing from both lists of downloadables, and I'm betting that that is an error rather than deliberate. I'll send 'em an email about it and find out.

This is one time I'm glad to be proven wrong.

Hmm, whoever this mystery company(that purchased) is, they are not interested in keeping OnLive as is. I'm pretty sure they'll keep parts of the service going until the latest August 15, 2015 as they are legally obligated too, or the lawsuits will be incoming.

It is not Microsoft, nor Sony that bought up OnLive. As both have working cloud tech already.

My closest guess would be EA or Valve.

Treblaine:
Well one of the things that helped sell Steam back in the day was the promise that even if Valve completely went under you'd still have the games installed on your hard-drive and either an official or unofficial crack of Steam client would give you access to all the games. The deal with steam is you don't really want to cut off contact and loose further stuff like timely updates, hats, etc

But if Onlive goes, you games are TOTALLY GONE!

Doesn't matter if this rumour turns out not to be true, but it raises the spectre of possibility.

Actually part of the purchase agreement with OnLive is they have to keep the game active for 3 years after purchase date. They can't disappear.

This post and the one contained within it is most pertinent to the topic at hand. I am quoting it as I agree with the ideas in it. 'Cloud gaming' is a terrible idea that needs to go away so people who can't see it's a terrible idea don't let companies get away with doing it.

Dexter111:
Apparently GamaSutra and GameFront confirm it: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/176180/OnLive_lays_off_all_employees.php
http://www.gamefront.com/onlive-layoffs-confirmed-full-details-forthcoming/

Good news indeed!

To add to this on WHY it is good news:

If this is true, then it is good news indeed, there's nothing I hate with more of a fiery passion than all these services trying to take away consumer rights and control under the guise of "offering a great service", so it is good to see OnLive failing and that GaiKai probably only managed to survive because they manage to sell themselves to SONY (which might have been their goal in the first place). It would be an even bigger bonus if they close down shop for their service entirely so people UNDERSTAND that they should fight for their rights of ownership and not pay money for something that could be gone in a years time, no matter the price.

Other than that I'll just Paste what I said in one of these articles on another site:
"You asked the guy that just rode this wave and managed to convince SONY to buy his company, what the hell did you think he would say? It's like asking the fox if he thinks henhouse doors are a good idea.
There was a pretty good article in a German gaming magazine about all the downsides of "Cloud Gaming" (god I even hate that embellishment for what is basically "we will run the software for you, and you lose all your rights!"): http://tinyurl.com/7map39a

The thought that something like OnLive or GaiKai (or anything like it) might at some point have the success of Steam is truly outright horrifying, not only do you lose any advantage PC gaming might have over consoles (from being able to Mod your game, to tweaking graphics settings and using any kind of control method you like etc.) and would replace all of that with a blurry mess full of compression artifacts, banding and input lag at low resolution and with the game on their side running on low or medium graphics settings to save on processing power so they can serve more customers, but you'd also lose every single consumer right you might still have left when you buy a game as a product (with companies being able to revoke your rights to your entire game library over any reason and physically being able to pull it off). Can't really count on courts like the ECJ doing ALL the thinking for you and protect you against abusive practices: http://tinyurl.com/77d5n43
I see it as the ultimate form of DRM, going back to having to use terminals and worse than anything I could have ever imagined a few years ago and I'm appalled that most people don't seem to regard it as such.

You would lose, among other things:
1) Being able to play all games at all times (see Uplays extended downtimes and the likes)
2) Playing with maximum graphics details and options enabled
3) Playing normal multiplayer (OnLive for instance only hosts Multiplayer between other OnLive players because of latency, it would be simply too high if you had to send packets this way: Client --> OnLive Server --> Game Server --> OnLive Server --> Compression Algorithm --> Client)
4) Setting up Multiplayer server and hosting LAN parties would be no more
5) No more playing Offline or when the Net is out
6) No more installing Mods
7) No more tweaking INI files
8) No more cheating (even the good Offline kind where you give yourself a little bit more money or a bigger head)
9) GaiKai or whatever service would likely sit on your save files.
10) No more being able to decide if you want to Patch or not or Rollbacks
11) They could make games even more of a micro transaction mess than they already are and add unskippable advertising to the list of things to worry about
12) They could remove games or game features FOREVER with nobody owning a copy if at any point games would be exclusive to such services (god forbid), Manhunt or similar damaging your reputation too much and not selling enough? Get rid of it forever. A certain feature or spot of your game (nude scene, Coffee Mod or whatever) giving you trouble with the media? Get rid of it forever. You put out the newest FIFA/NHL/NBA 2035 and want people to buy it? Discontinue services for any and all older versions.
13) Possible loss of Indie/free niche markets in favor of the big "AAA" titles, why would they support small/unknown companies that barely everyone will likely play in favor of the mass-market AAA market?
etc.

No, just NO, they'll establish these kinds of services over my dead body."

Dexter111:
Apparently GamaSutra and GameFront confirm it: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/176180/OnLive_lays_off_all_employees.php
http://www.gamefront.com/onlive-layoffs-confirmed-full-details-forthcoming/

Good news indeed!

To add to this on WHY it is good news:

huge quote box snip

Those are all awful things for a PC game to have.

Those are (almost) all standard things for a console game to have.

That's how I think of OnLive: a console that runs on your PC. I willingly replace my ownership of the game so that I don't have to bother making sure it runs well on my PC; I know any problems I have with OnLive are related to the connection, so that's the only think I can focus on.

Of course, I'm becoming more and more disinterested in AAA releases so using OnLive to see if the two AAA games I'm interested in each year are actually good makes more sense to me than constantly messing blindly with my PC. Your mileage may vary. But don't start from the assumption that everyone has the same needs as you do. If everyone had the same needs as me Steam would have long gone bankrupt.

EDIT: Oh and yes Fargo's tweets appear quite suspect. Since when is he an OnLive employee? Sounds more like someone hacked his twitter account.

So in general, nothing happened, a rumor was just a rumor. Very original news I say.

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