Just in case you didn’t hear over the weekend, the cloud computing service OnLive experienced a little bit of a crisis: On Friday morning, the CEO of the company spoke to staff to essentially tell them all that they were fired, and that the assets of the company were being bought by another investor. The good news here is that the OnLive service hasn’t gone down at all, and it reportedly isn’t going down any time soon. But the bad news is that many of OnLive’s employees have lost their jobs, and any investments in the company’s potential future that they might have had.
What does this mean for those of us on Mac and iOS? Right now, not much — both OnLive’s gaming service and the OnLive Desktop service (which provides a free streaming Windows computer and Microsoft apps) are still working just fine. The former employees of OnLive went through a rough situation, and for that reason you may not want to support a company like this going forward, but if you’ve come to depend on either one of those services, you’re fine for now.
The future of the company is definitely in question, or at least more question than it was before. Some of the news coming out of the whole event says that OnLive averaged only about 1800 users, which would make the service much smaller than anyone had thought. CEO Steve Perlman also reportedly has turned down previous offers to buy the company, instead hoping that OnLive’s patents and other assets would eventually be worth much more.
OnLive showed us an iOS app at one point, and even released an actual Bluetooth controller to work with the iPad, but while the company has released an Android app, it’s never been able to get the iOS version approved. There is still an OnLive Desktop app on the store, but that gaming version wasn’t ever released. We’ll see how the company comes out of this situation going forward — if things don’t get any better for OnLive, this could end up being a service that simply arrived before its time.