Sony Buys OnLive Patents as Service Shuts Down This Month

April 3, 2015 Written by Jason Dunning

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In a post on their website, cloud gaming company OnLive announced that they have sold “much of OnLive’s assets to Sony,” with the service shutting down on on April 30, 2015.

OnLive adds:

Ultimately, Sony is the beneficiary due to their correctly appreciating the eventual importance of cloud gaming  and sticking to their beliefs prior to robust commercialization. OnLive and Sony’s PlayStation Now are the two leading cloud gaming services that offer the highest-end games over the open Internet. They each have their respective advantages.

Back in 2012 when OnLive was undergoing restructuring, a new company, OL2, was formed to buy the assets. While the company continued all of OnLive’s services, people still thought OnLive was gone, and that public perception has carried into 2015. “Overcoming the perception of being dead has been one of the unanticipated challenges of the turnaround,” the blog post says.

Based on Sony’s purchase of Gaikai for $380 million in 2012, OnLive thought they were worth at least that much, “but we did not anticipate the ‘hype cycle’ running its course and the resultant disillusionment and skepticism of cloud gaming that ensued.” In fact, OnLive says most companies declined to acquire them because they didn’t know how far off in the future cloud gaming would be.

Philip Rosenberg, VP of Global Business Development of SCE and SVP Business Development and Publisher Relations of Sony Computer Entertainment America, talked about the acquisition:

These strategic purchases open up great opportunities for our gamers, and gives Sony a formidable patent portfolio in cloud gaming. It is yet another proof point that demonstrates our commitment to changing the way gamers experience the world of PlayStation.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports suggest Sony purchased around 140 of OnLive’s patents.

If you’re an OnLive customer, check out this FAQ for details on the shut down, which reveals that “no refunds will be available for any game purchases, hardware purchases [unless after February 1, 2015], or subscriptions.”

How do you think this purchase will impact PlayStation Now?

[Source: OnLive (1), (2) via Polygon, Games Industry]