It was a great attempt, but OnLive has officially announced that it is selling its assets to Sony Computer Entertainment for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, OnLive will be winding down its operations into nothing—it is, for all intents, dead.
Well. Almost dead. Those who currently subscribe to the game streaming service will no longer be charged going forward, and they’ll be free to play whatever games they’ve purchased up until April 30. That sounds like a fairly generous deal… except any proprietary OnLive hardware that people purchased and used to play said games is now pretty much worthless. That includes the OnLive console, as well as any supplemental OnLive controllers.
“OnLive’s hardware does not work with any other platforms. No refunds are available for hardware purchases, unless it was purchased on or after February 1, 2015. If you purchased hardware on or after February 1, 2015, your purchase has been refunded and an email was sent to notify you,” reads OnLive’s “Game Service Shutdown FAQ.”
It gets a bit more complicated. If you’re a long-time OnLive fan and purchased some PlayPass games, those are going away come April 30. If you bought games via its CloudLift service, which gave you codes to redeem said titles on Steam, then you’re fine. As well, any of these CloudLift games should have synced your save game information and achievements to Steam, so you’re not going to lose any progress. If you use Steam on one platform—say, OS X—but you bought some PC-only titles to stream to your OnLive system, then you’re stuck; you won’t be getting a refund.
For OnLive, the move marks the final chapter in a fairly epic streaming saga, though many could probably say that they saw the company’s struggles years prior. Back in August of 2012, the company surprised all of its 200 or so employees by laying them all off (sans severance pay). One might have thought that was it for OnLive, but the company bounced back into existence in March of last year with new subscription models and a new strategy, thanks to an arrangement that allowed OnLive to tap into Valve’s gaming service for cross-platform game synchronization. However, it took just one month before OnLive was already slashing its subscription fees in half (an ominous sign, in hindsight).
“As the first-ever game streaming service of its kind, everyone who has ever played a game using OnLive has contributed to the technology and its evolution in some way. We’re immensely proud of what’s been achieved and extend our heartfelt gratitude to you for being a part of the OnLive Game Service,” reads a message posted to OnLive’s website.