Down but not out, OnLive returns to the cloud gaming scene
Remember OnLive, the cloud-based streaming game service from several years ago? After imploding and then laying low for quite some time, OnLive is back under new leadership and with a couple of new services in tow -- a new streaming subscription program called CloudLift and a new service it's calling OnLive Go. Why should you expect a different outcome this time around?
For one, there's some new blood flowing through OnLive's veins. Mark Jung, a former IGN and VUDU executive, is OnLive's new executive chairman, while former Electronic Arts director of partner management Carrie Holder is OnLive's VP of business development. OnLive also hired former Disney Interactive VP Rick Sanchez and some other talent.
Secondly, OnLive is taking a different approach this time around.
"After examining what gamers really want and need, we realized that we could do a better job for them by not trying to be their everything, and to do for them that for which we are uniquely suited," OnLive stated in a blog post. "In other words, our new CloudLift service improves the user experience by enabling gamers to both download/play their games locally when they are on a platform capable of it (i.e. gaming computer), while still enjoying the benefits of OnLive’s portability when they are not."
CloudLift is a subscription-based service that runs $15 per month (you can sign up for a free 7 day trial). It links your game library with your game OnLive account and syncs cloud saves, allowing you to move from one platform to another and pick up where you left off. It will launch with 20 games and have more added over the next several months.
The other service being introduced is OnLive Go, which adds cloud functionality MMOs and other virtual worlds, including Second Life.
As far as the backend infrastructure goes, OnLive now has half a dozen data centers (up from four server locations), a scalable business model, 95 patents (up from 14), and around 100 employees (down from over 200).