OnLive Closing Its Doors – Sony Buys Its Patents

Posted by at 5:40 am on April 3, 2015

OnLive_Logo_black_w_300OnLive’s days are numbered, as the company has announced that Sony Computer Entertainment has agreed to purchase “various” OnLive assets that include the company’s U.S. and international patent portfolio for cloud gaming services. The financial information and the terms of the transaction were not provided.

A press release distributed late Thursday evening said that customers will have access to OnLive’s services until April 30, 2015. This will include Second Life (aka SL Go), OnLive Desktop and the OnLive Game Service. Subscriptions will not be renewed, and those that renewed on or after March 28 will get a refund.

Moreover, customers who purchased Steam games from OnLive will obviously still have those games in their library after OnLive closes its doors. Customers who purchased a PlayPass, which was essentially buying a game that’s stored in the cloud, will not see a refund. These games will no longer be available after April 30, 2015.

“Following the termination of the company’s services and related products, OnLive will engage in an orderly wind-down of the company and cease operations,” the press release stated.

So what happened? For gamers who don’t have the resources to build a gaming machine, OnLive seemed like the ideal answer to playing PC games in high definition. These games could be streamed to tablets and smartphones.

A representative told Takes On Tech a sevice such as Onlive needs the scale that only a large company like Sony can bring.

“As the first-ever game streaming service of its kind, everyone who has ever played a game using OnLive has contributed to the technology and its evolution in some way,” the site added. “We’re immensely proud of what’s been achieved and extend our heartfelt gratitude to you for being a part of the OnLive Game Service.”

In addition to the PayPass model, OnLive offered an all-you-can-eat buffet of games, aka the PlayPack service, for a monthly fee. The company also introduced a new model in mid-2014 called CloudLift that allowed Steam customers to stream those games to the OnLive client: no game installs were necessary. At one point, the company also sold a microconsole and compatible game controllers.

The OnLive game service launched in June 2010 and originally cost $14.95 per month. OnLive appeared during the rebirth of PC gaming, offering a cloud solution that doesn’t require hefty system requirements. OnLive demonstrated popular PC titles could be played anywhere and virtually on any gadget. Later they even offered a remote Windows desktop service as part of day (work) and night  (gaming)s trategic plan to grow income and full use the hardware during all of the day.

In  August 2012, Steve Perlman had stepped down as CEO while the company laid off its employees and sold all of its assets for a mere $4.8 million. It the firms strong point had a worth near$1.8 Billion US. A new company, also called OnLive, rose from those ashes and seemingly continued where the old version left off.

While the sale isn’t all that surprising. A sale to Sony is! Sony is a company that already purchased OnLive’s arch nemesis, Gaikai, back in 2012. But holding patent is way to protect yourself these days and we here at TOT bet the price was low.

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