[DISCLAIMER: THIS IS MY PERSONAL BLOG, AND DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY OFFICIAL POSITION OR OPINION OF SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT]
Onlive was a heck of a competitor to Gaikai, at every single turn we made different choices. It was very worrying, were we making the right choices? Our issue was that PC games (for Keyboard and mouse) were becoming really difficult to get running across a myriad of TV’s, Phones, Set-Top-Boxes, and websites from the cloud, especially as a lot of great games are no longer supported by anyone, even their publishers have disappeared. So at Gaikai we kept looking at the console libraries and sighing… How lucky they were to have organized, well supported platforms, with incredible game libraries that worked on standard controllers. (You probably were not aware that we had to modify the PC games in realtime, hiding legacy buttons, icons and features that no longer made sense etc. It was a nightmare.)
When Sony knocked on our door, we knew it was the perfect decision. The general opinion was that streaming console games would be technically impossible, which was absolutely true, but nobody really expected the level of support that the various Sony teams would provide to us (including hardware and software). We now have over 300 console titles streaming and most reviews have stopped even talking about the technology anymore, cloud gaming just works. It’s been interesting watching all the discussion swing from “can it work” to “how much does it cost?” We are certain we can work out good business models, we are thrilled that “Can it work?” has been put to bed.
Onlive did an assignment for the benefit of creditors (an asset sale) shortly after Sony acquired us. We were in complete shock.
Onlive then grew a second time enriched by new funding and new leadership, by integrating Steam versions of the games, they accelerated onboarding but they never got the chance to integrate a console library. Sony has recently acquired the Onlive intellectual property (patents), and I’m personally happy we got the patents off the market, as there are patent trolls in the game industry, people that waste an enormous amount of time trying to get rich quick by buying up patent libraries.
Anyway, I have a lot of personal respect for the management at Onlive, I’m personal friends (from the past) with executives and staff there and I wish them the best of luck going forward. We have opened up numerous job positions to help their transition in any way we can.
We feel lucky Sony gave us this chance to show that cloud gaming can make the highest quality video games as accessible as movies and music online by streaming them to any device..
Personally, our strategy has always been for the long-game. The potential of the cloud is pretty breath-taking, and we hope to show you why in the coming years.
You can read the Onlive update here: http://blog.onlive.com/