OnLive sold for less than $5 million
After months of speculation, it has been revealed that cloud gaming service OnLive was sold to venture capital firm Lauder Partners for the paltry sum of $4.8 million, far below what some commentators believe its assets to have been worth.
It’s a worrying development for OnLive, which was once touted as a possible game-changer for PC gaming. OnLife allowing subscribers to remotely stream modern, high-spec games on home computers and mobile devices far below the game system requirements.
However despite initial praise from some commentators, the service fell far short of its initial promise, never securing the number of subscribers it had originally predicted. In fact, if the rumours are to be believed the service only had about 1,600 concurrent users.
Trouble began back in August when the company, which was reportedly saddled with debts of approximately $19 million went bankrupt, freezing out investors (including phone giant HTC which lost a $40 million stake in the company), and firing most of the company’s employees, many of whom were subsequently rehired through a to a new company also called OnLive.
Still the bargain basement selling price of the company has surprised many commentators, with one industry analyst telling the BBC he thought OnLive's assets were worth considerably more.
"Apparently OnLive's patent portfolio is relatively strong around the technologies used to provide a streaming games service, so I'm surprised it couldn't get more for those".
"But the sum is a reflection of the absolutely dire negotiating position it was in when it made the sale."
Quite what the sale will mean for the future of OnLive remains to be seen but no doubt many will be following it with interest as OnLive’s fortunes could be an important test case for the future of cloud gaming.
At the time of writing, OnLive remains online and open to new subscribers.