As OnLive’s 200 some odd employees gathered in the conference room for an all hands meeting on Friday, few expected the company to completely and utterly implode, but that’s exactly what happened. We resisted the temptation to write this up immediately as the story was still developing, but as of noon hour on Sunday, Engadget is reporting that anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of the staff have been laid off. They also report that OnLive’s assets appear to have been bought up by an as-yet-unknown third party company, though we expect this will be clarified over the next few days.
This leaves OnLive in a very interesting position where they are “technically” still open for business, but are in a very vulnerable financial position. It’s unclear at this point what will happen to OnLive subscribers who have purchased games if the company fails to survive or is dissolved. Our gut tells us these unfortunate souls will be left will little more than a life lesson, and it should serve as a warning for those of us who believe the cloud is completely infallible.
To be fair OnLive is still alive and well at the moment, however given how many employees seem to be leaving the building with moving boxes, I would think twice before I purchase anything else using the service. We have little doubt that the streaming technology will come in handy to whomever swooped in to bail out the company, however its possible OnLive as a service is simply ahead of its time.