updated 02:56 pm EST, Wed March 5, 2014
OnLive offers streaming option to downloaded games bought elsewhere
Streaming gaming service OnLive is attempting a relaunch by announcing two new services, following its meltdown in 2012. Retaining the same Playpack subscription option and going through a graphical overhaul, OnLive is taking the opportunity to add to its existing streaming offerings, with CloudLift streaming games already owned by the user, and a second service meant for developers called OnLive Go.
CloudLift provides users access to streaming versions of games they already own for $15 per month. Games can be bought through OnLive directly or through a third-party service such as Steam, with the service then allowing subscribers to play the same title on a different computer, a tablet, or another compatible device via the OnLive streaming system. So far, a total of 20 titles are available to use on CloudLift, including Batman Arkham Origins, Saints Row IV, and Dead Island, with "dozens more planned" for the future.
The service may have a limited appeal, as it will require players to make a separate purchase as well as pay the monthly fee. It's also a separate entity to the Playpack, which offers over 250 games to play on PC, Mac, and tablets for $10 per month.
The second service announced today, OnLive Go, will let developers of massively multiplayer online games and virtual worlds offer OnLive streaming of titles to their games. Develop reports that the intent is to help players access a game immediately without downloading an expansive client, or allowing for lower-specification hardware or mobile devices to have a higher grade of experience. The first game to use OnLive Go will be Second life, which is currently beta testing its SL Go mobile app.
In the summer of 2012, OnLive laid off its entire staff and was believed to be between $30 and $40 million in debt, before it was sold to a venture capitalist Lauder Partners for under $5 million. After rehiring half the staff, the service has remained open, and is currently under the management of IGN founder and former Vudu CEO Mark Jung as OnLive's Executive Chairman.