Sony Acquires OnLive Cloud Gaming Service

The innovative Cloud-based gaming service OnLive has been acquired by the electronics powerhouse Sony. Once worth an estimated USD$1.8 billion, OnLive went through massive layoffs due to high costs and anemic marketing which pushed the company into bankruptcy. Sony has purchased the company for $4.8 million and is purchasing company assets such as 140 U.S. and international cloud gaming service patents. OnLive will not be renewing any current subscriptions as their operations will cease come April 30. Sony’s purchasing strategy is to purposely shut the company down. Founded by Steve Perlman, an Apple and Microsoft alum, OnLive was the very first game streaming service.

The company provided their customers a way to play visually refined video games without the necessity of purchasing expensive computer hardware. Dubbed “cloud gaming,” the system works via gaming programs that would run on power computers in a server and is broadcasted over the Internet to the customer’s computer or tablet. This system works very similarly to how Netflix streams its videos to television sets. At the company’s peak, OnLive has over 1 million active users with a game library of over 200 titles, all of which are accessible through televisions, PCs, smartphones, and tablets. Sony currently features technology very similar to OnLive. Through their PlayStation family of gaming devices, Sony has built a streaming service using technology that they purchased in 2012 from Gaikai for $380 million. Their service, the PlayStation Now streaming service, was launched in January and provides access to over 100 gaming titles. Sony Corporation is a Japanese multinational company that primarily focuses on electronic products. Listed as 105th on the Fortune Global 500, Sony has over 140,000 employees and has met over 7 trillion yen in yearly revenue. Their product portfolio ranges from electronics, games, entertainment, and financial services and Sony stands as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electronic products for both consumers and professionals.

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