OnLive did not survive

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OnLive is shutting down. The cloud gaming company will be turning off their servers and closing down the streaming service on April 30th. According to the announcement, all data, including user accounts, subscriptions, and game saves will be deleted when the company turns off the lights. No refunds will be available for any game purchases, hardware, or services. Gamers that purchased Steam games from OnLive will still be able to play those games with Valve’s software, but the ability to stream them through OnLive will not be possible.

When OnLive launched in 2009, the streaming service was tied to its unique micro-console hardware. That business model never caught on despite promotions to give the hardware away. The company shifted its strategy to just offering the game streaming service in 2012, with no proprietary hardware, but with the PC space being dominated by Steam and other digital storefronts, the writing was on the wall. The company struggled through layoffs and survived with angel investment funding, but attempts to pivot to a pure software service failed.

Sony has purchased the patents that OnLive held. Although neither company has disclosed the details of the sale, the purchase fits into Sony’s broader strategy for game streaming. In 2012, Sony bought cloud computing company Gaikai and currently uses its technology to power the PlayStation Now and Remote Play features of their PlayStation ecosystem.

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