The Strategist

Sony buys OnLive game streaming company

04/03/2015 - 02:50

Sony buys OnLive game streaming company
Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp has brought US-based video game startup OnLive for an undisclosed sum.
The California-based startup, which offers gamers an entire new ecosystem to play over Internet, has announced that all its 140 patents are being sold to Sony and the company as such will be closed down after April 30. It is also not clear whether the company’s 80 odd employees will be absorbed by Sony Corp.
Founded in early 2000s by ex-Apple and Microsoft techie Steve Perlman, OnLive offered its customers a new way to play games through Internet without investing on expensive gaming hardware. Called ‘Cloud gaming, the new technology allowed the gaming programs to run on powerful computers in a servers and only the images would be broadcast over the Internet to the gamer. Though the company declared bankruptcy in 2010, it re-launched offering streaming technology for gamers who used Valve Corp.'s Steam online store. The recent tally of its number of subscribers amounted to 1.75 million with some premium members who typically spend around $9.99 every month to get access to the game library which is akin to a Netflix account.
Meanwhile, Sony Corporation plans to use its new purchase to streamline its latest offering, Playstation Now service. According to the company’s own statement, the new deal will allow great opportunities for gamers and give Sony a formidable patent portfolio. After all, Sony itself has built a streaming service for its PlayStation family using technology it bought in 2012 from a company called Gaikai for $380 million.