We pretty much thought OnLive, the cloud-based video game service, was dead. In the summer of 2012, OnLive was out of money, laid off a bunch of employees, lost its creator Steve Perlman and was sold off to investor Gary Lauder, who quickly turned it into a new company that also just happened to be called OnLive.
Lauder kept on enough people to keep the service running, and aside from a few no-name PC titles releasing on the service, little was heard of it. We heard rumors every so often that OnLive was quietly working on new business models that would make the new company, let’s call it OnLive 2.0, more viable and actually profitable.
Yesterday, OnLive finally took the wraps off its new plans. It will continue to sell games on its service, where players can access via PC, Android tablets and phones, some smart TVs, and even its microconsole. What’s new are several new business models that aim to make OnLive more of an enabler of experiencing games rather than being just the place you go to buy and play games.
CloudLift is a $14.99 a month subscription service that allows people to play their Steam library via OnLive enabled devices. So, in essence, you can go from playing games like Batman: Arkham Origins, Saints Row IV or The LEGO Movie Videogame and instantly access them and pick up where you left off via your phone, laptop, tablet or OnLive microconsole. Currently, only 20 games support CloudLift but more are promised to be added in the future.
The other new feature is OnLive Go, which adds cloud functionality to massive multiplayer online games. Second Life and War Gods are the first to support OnLive Go.
But why is this even relevant to you, the SEGA Nerd? Well, OnLive still has SEGA games available on the service, like Aliens vs. Predator, Alpha Protocol and quite a few Dreamcast and Genesis titles. These games are available in OnLive’s PlayPack, a $10 a month, all-you-can play subscription package. Unfortunately, SEGA has yet to announce any new titles coming to OnLive, but we’ll reach out to them to see if they have any plans to do so with OnLive 2.0.
Along with the new services, OnLive’s user interface has received an overhaul. Graham and I will be taking it for a spin in the next “Chris and Graham Play” this Saturday, where we’ll livestream all the SEGA titles available on the service on our Twitch channel.