According to Steve Perlman, CEO of OnLive, OnLive is doing
quite well. "Publishers have bought into it, they get it, they know
that it works,” he said. “And the cheques at the end of the month help." He
claims that “publishers are telling us we're number two in terms of digital
distribution behind Steam,” which sounds more impressive than it really
is. As far as digital distribution goes there aren’t really many players –
there’s Steam (obviously), Origin (hilariously), Impulse (which is owned by
GameStop), and… erm… that’s it, right? Do torrent websites count?
We kid, of course – this is great news not only for OnLive,
but for the future of streaming gaming in general. Onlive's service might have started off slow, with
only a handful of playable games, but it has grown over time to include an
impressive stable of publishers. It seems like every few months another big
company throws their support behind OnLive, and with every publisher comes more
titles, more profit, and more improvements to their system. Pricing has been
higher than some would like, but that’s something Perlman claims is left to the publishers, and is out of its hands entirely. Still, anyone who has used OnLive has likely noticed that it has had regular sales, with games dropping in price on the fly to stay competitive.
The future is looking good for OnLive, which launched in the
UK last week. Perlman teased the announcement of TVs and Blu-ray players with
OnLive built in for the UK, which should help early adopters feel better about
buying digital games. He also explained why he believes that the UK side will
launch more smoothly than the US side: experience. "The US has been the
UK's beta test. We've had 15 months of live experience there, not just on the
technology side but with what users want, how to package features and build up
the game library."
Streaming games is an exciting concept, and one we expect to
grow over the next few years. Who knows? Maybe OnLive will be bought out by one
of the big three console makers and turned into proprietary hardware for the
next generation of games; or even more drastic, what if a publisher like Valve
or EA picks them up, and enters into the console race with a dedicated box that
can stream thousands of games on day one? Welcome to the future, friends – let’s
hope your internet doesn’t go down.
Sep 29, 2011