After a failed business-plan and low-income nearly toppled the OnLive service forever, the company is restructuring and hoping to bring its services to a new audience of gamers. To do this OnLive is instituting a new service, new technologies and a new management team to resurrect the cloud-based gaming alternative.
The new subscription service, called CloudLift, is designed for the PC download gaming community. This is paired with newly created “OnLive Go” debuts, designed to bring mobile compatibility to MMOs and “virtual world” experiences.
According to the company’s statement, OnLive’s new CloudLift subscription works by, “linking the player’s game library with his or her OnLive account and syncing cloud saves automatically,” much like all cloud-playing apps do at this point. With the service players can play games locally on their gaming PC when they’re at home, or sign into OnLive on any device when on the go, and continue the same game right where they left off, no matter where they are.
“This gives gamers instant access to the full game experience on multiple platforms, even those on which the game is not normally supported, such as tablets, lightweight laptops, Macs, TVs with the OnLive Game System or the VIZIO Co-Star, or on the LG Google TV,” the company said in a statement.
The CloudLift subscription works with supported games purchased from any digital download retailer and fully supports multiplayer gaming, so even titles without cloud saves benefit. To complement the CloudLift service, OnLive will also sell download codes. Purchase of a download code from OnLive will include a 7-day free trial of CloudLift, which makes OnLive the only digital download retailer that offers cloud play as an added benefit to game purchase.
“We’ve listened to our players. They want the convenience of instant access to their games wherever they are, but they also want to own the game and be able to play it locally on their home PC. With this new offering, we’re continuing to expand on the compatibility, freedom and instant access our users enjoy, with the added flexibility of owning a local copy of their games,” said Mark Jung, OnLive’s Executive Chairman.
OnLive CloudLift is launching with “Batman: Arkham Origins”, “Saints Row IV” and the indie-title “Rider”. OnLive has “dozens more planned, including highly rated titles such as “Europa Universalis IV”, and “F1 2013” and more. The subscription model will launch for $14.99 USD (£9.99 GBP)/month, with a free 7-day trial. OnLive will also continue to offer, “PlayPack subscription ($9.99 USD/£6.99 GBP/month), which delivers instant access to more than 250 games, streamed to any OnLive compatible device, anytime.”
“OnLive has continued to innovate in its technology and its business models,” said Gary Lauder, OnLive’s lead investor. “With our new CloudLift service, and other exciting offerings in the works, we have created a win for all parties: gamers, publishers, digital distributors and OnLive. We’re defining a roadmap that keeps OnLive at the forefront of cloud gaming and cloud computing.”
“OnLive is offering gamers something no other company has: the ability to access complex games instantly across multiple platforms. We’re excited to use OnLive’s service to help bring potential War Thunder customers into the game more quickly and to provide greater access to our current customers,” said Anton Yudintsev, CEO of Gaijin Entertainment.
Leading the company in this new phase will be Mark Jung as Executive Chairman. Jung, the former co-founder and CEO of IGN as well as CEO of the video streaming service VUDU, has already assembled a strong leadership team at OnLive. He will actively drive the Company’s strategy and business as OnLive continues to innovate in the cloud gaming space and creates new applications for its powerful cloud technology.
“The time it took to get Mark was well worth it. I can count the number of people who have: founded gaming companies, managed and grown them to IPO & acquisition, have deep understanding of enterprise markets, have an engineering degree and an MBA, are scary smart, have boundless energy, high integrity, stellar references and are a pleasure to work with…on one finger. Mark is truly the ideal leader as we prepare to deliver entirely new kinds of cloud services to gamers and business” said Gary Lauder, Lead Investor in OnLive.
“No other company has been able to deliver games across connected devices over the open Internet with such consistently high standards of performance. If the company can do that with games, which are the most challenging apps to serve effectively from the cloud, the possible applications are endless,” said Mark Jung. “OnLive is a disruptive force and I’m thrilled that Gary Lauder has given me the opportunity to lead the Company.”
OnLive has also brought on a new VP of Business Development, Carrie Holder, formerly Director of Partner Management at Electronic Arts. Holder is responsible for publisher and developer relations at OnLive. Rick Sanchez—former VP of Playdom.com at Disney Interactive—has recently taken charge of OnLive’s product portfolio as VP of Product and Marketing. They are joining Don Gordon, a longtime player and innovator in the video and TV arenas with more than 55 issued US patents, who became OnLive’s SVP of Engineering in March of last year.
Rick Sanchez is a product and marketing executive with a deep background in games and consumer web. He was a co-founder at IGN, where he served as Vice President of Publishing for IGN.com, GameSpy and Rotten Tomatoes. He launched the GameTap games-on-demand platform for Turner Broadcasting, where he was the Creative Director and VP of Content, responsible for game licensing, original game development and the user experience online and in the application. Sanchez was also formerly VP of Digital for Trion Worlds, where he helped to launch RIFT, and General Manager of Kabam.com. He has consulted on product strategy, go-to-market planning and product licensing for a variety of technology and games companies. Most recently, he was Vice President of Playdom.com at Disney Interactive, where he ran the off-Facebook web product and brought games such as Marvel: Avengers Alliance and Pirates of the Caribbean: Isles of War from Facebook to Playdom.com.
Don Gordon was formerly Vice President of Broadcast Solutions at Gracenote Inc. In 2009, he founded Bulldog United, LLC, where he spearheaded the development of groundbreaking video fingerprinting technology and led the company through to its acquisition by Gracenote in May, 2012. Gordon has also held executive-level positions at ActiveVideo Networks, where he was responsible for developing and launching the new CloudTV product; Microsoft, where he oversaw TVD and Microsoft TV initiatives; DIVA systems, where he developed an intellectual property portfolio that includes more than 64 issued patents and dozens pending; and Ericsson. With dozens of US patents in video compression, video manipulation, streaming video, VOD, video fingerprinting, digital ad insertion and other technologies, Gordon will be instrumental in driving the integration of OnLive gaming into tablets, Smart TVs and related devices.