updated 09:50 pm EDT, Fri August 17, 2012
New company formed, backed by 'substantial funding'
Game streaming service OnLive may be on the verge of shutting its doors, according to reports. Earlier today, the company called an all-hands meeting and fired the entire staff in the process, according to Mashable. Director of corporate communications Brian Jaquet has refused to comment on the news, except to say that OnLive is not shutting down.
A source speaking to Kotaku claims that the meeting at 10AM saw OnLive CEO Steve Perlman say the company would be filing for "assignment for the benefit of creditors" (ABC) status in the state of California, allowing the company some protection from creditors and time to restructure as needed.
Game developer Brian Fargo claims to have been sent an email by someone from the company, apparently confirming the story. The message states that OnLive "as an entity will no longer exist" by the end of the day. A new company will apparently be formed and be contacting partners about "current initiatives," although it is not made clear whom would helm the business. Fargo was later asked to "recall" the email by the sender, but statements from OnLive haven't shed any light on the situation.
Electronista spoke with a source that confirmed that he was among some of the OnLive firings, but refused to comment any further on the California state ABC filing or give any confirmation to reports of the entire OnLive staff being laid off. Twitter feeds indicate that employees are leaving the building with moving boxes, giving some further backing to the reports.
An official statement was made late Friday night, declaring that the company has been acquired, and folded into an entirely new company which will "continue to operate the OnLive Game and Desktop services, as well as support all of OnLive's apps and devices, as well as game, productivity and enterprise partnerships." The email continues to say that it will attempt to rehire most of the layoffs, and plans to "continue to hire substantially more people, including additional OnLive employees."
OnLive launched in 2009, allowing users to play games on a remote computer, tablet, smartphone, or a service-specific console, negating poor hardware on their side. Games could be rented for three days or bought for a number of years, and a subscription would allow access to a number of titles each month. The US Patent Office granted a cloud gaming patent to OnLive in December 2010, and the service went live in the UK in September 2011.