Reports have surfaced that OnLive, probably the most well known of the game-streaming services, has laid off all of its staff and ceased business. The company has issued statements to numerous websites denying the accusations but it doesn’t look particularly positive for them.
You’ll remember, of course, that Sony recently acquired OnLive’s competitor Gaikai in a $400 million deal that will see Sony TVs and hopefully PlayStation devices benefit from the presence of instant streaming videogames. OnLive has always been positioned to sell, building up a buzz and an install base by giving away many of the micro-consoles that offer a simple way to access the service. Has Gaikai’s acquisition beaten them to the punch?
InXile’s boss, Brian Fargo tweeted about the issue rather bluntly. “Just received an email that OnLive is closed as of today”
According to Mashable, many of the company’s employees were laid off on Friday and there are rumours that they may blame the CEO, Steve Perlman, for failing to sell the company despite the many opportunities he had.
It makes sense for someone to step in and attempt to acquire them now. That might be Microsoft – to compete with Sony’s Gaikai move – or Sony to seal up the many patents OnLive holds and strengthen their position. Perhaps a third party might take the gamble.
According to Twitter account seems blissfully ignorant of the issue and the PR approach seems to be to deny it, despite the apparent bankruptcy filing. There’s no word of what will happen with the current promotions or with customer’s existing subscriptions and purchases on the system but when we know more, we’ll update this report.