Sony’s acquisition of these remaining OnLive assets is the final nail in the coffin of the game streaming service that hung around, but never could truly get off the ground. OnLive was one of the first players in online game streaming, but it was seemingly released before its time and accrued over $30 million in debt before being bought out by a venture capital firm in 2012. Just as recently as 2014, they were giving enterprise cloud services another go.
As of April 30th, the OnLive servers will be taken offline and the company will stop collecting monthly subscription fees. All player data will be deleted as well, though any games users purchased through Steam will still be accessible on that platform.
This isn’t the first time Sony has purchased assets relating to online game streaming. In 2012 Sony purchased the streaming service Gaikai, and has since used their tech in the PlayStation 4’s remote play functionality, as well as in the streaming service PlayStation Now.
This was inevitable. OnLive was hanging on by a thread it seemed and most gamers probably didn’t even know of its existence. Is game streaming ever going to be a service that mainstream gamers want, or will it remain a niche product? It’s hard for me to answer that question, but there are many issues facing it that need to be addressed before we see it being widely adopted.