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OnLive denies reports that it will lay off entire staff soon -- Updated

Two reports came out today that are alleging that OnLive may be preparing to fire their entire staff. The reports come from tech site Mashable, and InXile Entertainment's Brian Fargo who both cited insiders at OnLive telling them bad things were afoot at the cloud gaming company.

The confusing part is that OnLive has issued clear denials of these claims so far. However, given that the company might be in its death throes it's hard to completely trust what they say over independent sources. Similar to the 38 Studios debacle, companies often don't like to portray any weakness until the very moment of death in case a last minute investor can be persuaded to save the day.

OnLive offered a clear, "of course not" answer when asked directly about whether the company was closing. And others at OnLive have been a little more reserved, saying that they couldn't comment, but the OnLive service won't be shut down.

All of this leaves the story still very much up in the air, and we don't yet have any idea what the resolution will be. Is somebody at OnLive trolling these journalists? Is this a weird publicity stunt? Or is OnLive very much in financial trouble? We'll likely find out very soon.

UPDATE: Kotaku is reporting that they have new sources confirming that there was a meeting with OnLive's CEO this morning in which he informed the staff that OnLive was filing for bankruptcy, and that they were no longer employed by the company. 

Eyewitness reporting also confirms that several employees have left OnLive's offices with moving boxes.

Topics

onlive

15 comments

  • codzprc - August 18, 2012 10:27 p.m.

    Onlive is amazing. I've never had a problem with them, or their service -- but I'd guess (if it's true) that they're failing because people like myself aren't purchasing games as much as they should, and only have accounts to try games before buying them on other consoles. I kind of remember hearing that MS/xbox was looking at buying them out, which would be a great move and bolster sales, because let's face it, we love our gamerscore. I do feel horrible that I haven't contributed more, especially since I wrote an article on their service prior to it's public release saying how great it would be for the gaming community. They do have a great gaming library: new, old, indie, and obscure games from consoles and PC. I purchased Saints Row The Third, played it through 5 times (great game), plugged my wired xbox controller into my macbook, ran around with skin toned pasties, you know the usual. That there, is the one glaring of Onlive (XBLA & PSN as well): lack of physical existence. There's no box, you don't get a disc. Once you buy that $60 game, you're relying on the assumption that the service will be around tomorrow, next week, or next year - when you feel like 5starring some cases in L.A. Noire. If they're gone, so is your game. There's no download, there are only servers running hot with gamers spending countless hours playing everything from blockbusters to unspectacular platformers featuring no-name pixel art heros. Servers that could be shutdown, then sold to another company to run their cat clothing website. One day, you could try to log in, and receive an error, an error that can't be fixed with a plug-in. Say you bought 37 games. You'll have to repurchase them, on their respective platform. Like a night of heavy drinking, you're money is spent on a promise of fun that may well leave you empty, and likely regretting it next-day. So that's the bad, and some of the ugly - but here's the good. I played a A3 game on my Crap-Ass 2007 MacBook Pro. I can play Sleeping Dogs on my crap-ass '07 MBP. I could spill water on my CA07MBP and still those games on my Windows mediacenter. There's no hardware to Red Ring. Well, there's the spilling water thing, but there's no specific hardware needed to play games. You don't need to upgrade your graphics card, or put in more ram. Fun right? Their worst feature is also their best! You can play on just about anything, and anywhere with internet. Surrounded by D-bags writing nothing on their laptops at Starbucks? Fire up Onlive and kill some zombies/robots/commies/ninja/ect. It's stupid not to at least try Onlive, IT'S FREE! Free trials of great, and not so great games. And you can rent stuff, except for AC:Revelations, oddly enough. Anyway, they have a great rental program, though they call it a "pass" (weird), $4-8 for a 3/5 day rental depending on the game. $4 to see if that new game you want is really worth buying - but no, no... it's so much easier to buy it new for $60 and sell it in a week for not even half that... right? Right. So yeah, rental is great. But they also have a PlayPack Bundle. $9.99 nets you a monthly pass for (right now) 249 games. So 249 games for $10 and 30days: 249/10/30 = 83cents a day for all 249 games. Sure, some are terrible, but when you get Streets of Rage 1&2, Toejam and Earl 1&2, Golden Axe, Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Comix Zone, holy shit Shinobi III, Vectorman? dude!, Age of Booty, Crazy Taxi?!, BloodRayne!, BloodRayne 2! Super Granny! --- wait, Super Granny? The hell is that? Anyway, it's an amazing service that has great deals and a surprising number of games. It'd be a shame if it disappeared, and it might be somewhat awesome if MS absorbed them for the neXtbox... All my achievements from Merto 2033, Saints Row The Third, Homefront, Fear 3, Red Faction:Armablahblah, Batman:AA and Orcs Must Die would transfer to my MS gamerscore! Again, that's pretty much the only thing I care about when it comes to gaming, besting my (actual) friends gamerscore. I'm currently losing. Big names in Playpack: Deus Ex: GOTY Ed, Conflict: Denied Ops, Red Faction Armageddon, Hitman 2, Ghostbusters, Tomb Raider Legend & Anniversary, Hitman: Blood Money, Mini Ninjas, Just Cause 1&2, Bioshock, Prince of Persia (the glove one), oh god... this is taking forever... here's a full list http://ow.ly/d4ndO Help them out! I don't want to lose my games!
  • codzprc - August 18, 2012 10:30 p.m.

    Wait, would it be $10/30 -- 33cents a day? Why did I figure in the number of games? Damn you, Al Cohol!
  • codzprc - August 18, 2012 11:23 p.m.

    amagasakiseb mentioned Gaikai, which I was unaware of - so I checked it out. It's along the same lines of Onlive, but browser based - which is just as good as Onlive, less the fact you need an app to run Onlive. I wasn't able to get my controller to work (wired xbox controller), but their site says it should be supported. Tried on BF3, Game of Thrones, and Rayman Origins - no controller, made me sad. Seems like a great service. But it's definitely not HDDVD vs Blu-ray, or even VSH vs Beta. The porn industry has nothing to do with streaming game services.
  • Shinn - August 22, 2012 2:56 a.m.

    That's the problem with digital media. Steam is similar, if I don't want to agree to the hundredth revision of their legally binding contracts I lose thousands of dollars.
  • gazzc - August 18, 2012 11:52 a.m.

    I tried it out once, kept telling me my internet speed was too slow and would not work (speedtest sites confirmed 30+meg download speed). Decided to give it 1 more chance and mailed support but did not get an answer for 3 weeks so it was uninstalled permanently.
  • amagasakiseb - August 18, 2012 5:27 a.m.

    well their business was silly... they only seemed to have games which could be run on a reasonably priced PC so it's not like anybody even needed a good PC for the titles they were offering. If OnLive is going down I wonder how Gaikai is doing... If Sony buys them out then they might be ok.. imagine if Microsoft had previously bought OnLive lol, it'd be like the Blu-Ray vs HDDVD saga all over again :p
  • ASilentCircus - August 18, 2012 12:47 a.m.

    I honestly didn't even know this service was ever up and running, remember seeing a one page on it a few times in gaming magazines and that's about it.
  • Mooshon - August 17, 2012 4:28 p.m.

    Wasn't expecting that at all. This technology might be a year or two ahead of it's time but they would be huge players when the market turns towards cloud gaming. Playstation took Gakai. Probably only be days before MS snap them up, Cheap. Even if just to stop someone else.
  • josh-prall - August 17, 2012 3:54 p.m.

    This is horrible news. I live oblige.
  • jackthemenace - August 17, 2012 3:12 p.m.

    I never once even tried OnLive, because- to me- it seemed like it was too good to be true, and stuff like that usually IS. Was it actually any good?
  • KnowYourPokemon - August 17, 2012 4:40 p.m.

    It was "meh" at best in my opinion. Absolutely zero mod support was a major issue with me. Was created for people who couldn't afford a great/decent gaming PC yet doesn't have a lot of the games people can't play on your average comp, Witcher 2 for example. And if I remember correctly when it came to multiplayer titles you could only play online with people who were also using onlive. I made my account, didn't see anything that benefitted me and got a gaming PC a couple months afterwards.
  • vent - August 17, 2012 2:32 p.m.

    I've used OnLive and it's an excellent service. Their PlayPack bundle gave people access to a ton of great games for ten bucks a month, and I was able to play Arkham City and Deus Ex: HR on my crappy laptop, at excellent quality, responsiveness, and a great price. Geez... I sound like a salesman.. maybe if I could pitch for them they'd still be around. Real shame.
  • Evanesco - August 17, 2012 2:18 p.m.

    Since when do we use Kotaku for confirmation of anything?
  • Andrew Groen - August 17, 2012 3:15 p.m.

    Well it's not confirmation, exactly. Just an update. We only wrote that Kotaku was reporting that information, not necessarily that it was true. We usually treat any report without an on-the-record source as potentially false. In this case, we're definitely still open to the idea that Kotaku's report could be flawed.
  • TheRandomFool - August 17, 2012 1:25 p.m.

    If it's true, that's pretty unfortunate. What they attempted was pretty cool all things considered and if they do close down then trying to do anything along the same lines in the future is likely going to be a hard sell. However, I won't say I didn't see it coming, given the lackluster reviews it was given (and likely deserved.)

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