OnLive’s new business models explained

OnLive re-launched itself today, but what does the new service really mean? MCV explains all

Didn’t OnLive go bust?

Yes, in 2012 the old OnLive collapsed. But it was rescued and has continued to work in the background. The OnLive network has never gone offline, although has not courted much attention, instead focusing on this re-launch.

What went wrong?

Various reasons have been cited, including the over-reliance on a strong internet connection, the fact gamers wanted to ‘own’ the games they had paid for and general disinterest from gamers. The new OnLive team believe now technology has caught up and have developed a new business model, which it believes will be more appealing to gamers.

So it’s a new team?

Yes, pretty much completely new. You can read about he new OnLive team here.

So what is new about OnLive?

It’s still the same cloud gaming service, only with some enhancements, improvements and most importantly, new business models – namely CloudLift and OnLive Go. There is also a new user-interface and logo.

What’s CloudLift?

CloudLift supports PC games already purchased from any digital download retailer and lets users stream these titles to other devices such as tablets, TVs and so on. Game saves will carry across between devices, so gamers can play on the PC, pick up where they left off on the tablet and then move to the TV. Gamers can also purchase download codes from OnLive and receive a free seven-day trial to CloudLift.

How much is it?

This will set you back 9.99 a month, on top of what you have already bought.

What games work?

In theory any game can use this, but first publishers need to sign up. The only publishers to sign up so far include Warner Bros, Deep Silver and Codemasters. There’s still a number of notable ‘big guys’ missing, although the firm says it is in advanced talks with companies and expect to add significalty more companies to the service in due course. Games already available for CloudLift includes The LEGO Movie Video Game, Type: Rider, F1 2013, Batman: Arkham Origins and Saints Row IV.

What sort of devices use it?

You could stream your games to smart TVs, the OnLive micro-console (although this isn’t so much a focus for them anymore), low-end laptops, Macs, Android tablets, etc, etc.

Can I just buy the games to stream?

No. You can buy a game directly through OnLive, but you’ll also receive a code to physically download the product.

What about the old PlayPack service?

PlayPack (which was a pack of over 250 games that can be streamed via OnLive) still exists and costs 6.99 a month.

And what’s OnLive Go?

This targets MMOs and Virtual Worlds that take a long time to download, offering consumers immediate access to the game while it downloads in the background. OnLive has already partnered with Linden Labs’ SecondLife and Gaijin’s Warthunder, so that new customers can jump straight in without having to wait a long time to download.

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