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Cloud streamer Onlive Games comes back to life

More functions and more MMO’s
Thu Mar 06 2014, 14:19

GAMES ON DEMAND FIRM Onlive is back after an extended stay in the dark.

The cloud games service floundered in 2012 and was bought out by one of its original investors, an affiliate of Lauder Partners.

At that time the firm had 2.5 million registered users and some big plans. It was also low on cash and assets and was shedding staff. Later that year the firm was sold for just $4.8m despite previously having been valued at $1.8bn.

Since then the firm has had a rather low profile. That is about to change now, though, and the revamped Onlive is offering many new features, including the ability to play digital titles anywhere with its Cloudlift service.


Cloudlift is in beta now and costs £9.99 a month. It will let players pick up any digital games that they own as long as they are supported, and play them on the go and across devices. This does include Steam games. Launch titles include Batman: Arkham Origins and Saints Row IV.

"This is a proud moment for OnLive. It is the culmination of a lot of thought and effort on the part of many talented people. After examining what gamers really want and need, we realised 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," it said in a blog post.

"Not only do we enable one to move between PC, Mac, Android and TV's (platform portability), but between one's home, office, friends' house, vacation spot, etc. (geographic portability). Downloaded games are otherwise cumbersome to re-download at a friend's house. We think that our additional functionality conferred to existing and new games is great for gamers, and good for the whole category of downloadable PC games."

As well as Cloudlift, the firm has also added massively multiplayer online (MMO) games to a special section called Onlive Go. So far this contains Linden's Second Life and War Thunder from Gaijin Entertainment. You can play Second Life (Go) on all devices except those running iOS. Playing Onlive Go might involve extra charges, but the firm reckons that these graphically intense games will look fine on tablets and low specification laptops.

A £6.99 option grants access to some 250 titles. Free membership is also available, and this will let you play demos and spectate.

"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," said Mark Jung, Onlive's newly appointed executive chairman. "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."

To help move the firm forward it has hired a number of additional people. Joining Jung at Onlive are ex-staffers from other firms including The Walt Disney Company and Electronic Arts. µ


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