OnLive Denies It's Shutting Down, Won't Comment on Layoffs
Cloud gaming service OnLive has denied reports that the company is shutting down. The rumor mill kicked into high gear when game developer Brian Fargo reported that OnLive was letting go of staff and closing down. Fargo said he had received an email saying OnLive would be closed as of today. "Their employees are sending out emails that #OnLive will be closed by the end of the day," he reiterated a few minutes later.
According to Fargo the original email said that by the end of Friday, "OnLive as an entity will no longer exist." This employee said that everyone was being laid off and a new company would be formed. Roughly half an hour after Fargo's first tweet went out, he reported that the author of the email he had received sent a 'recall' email.
OnLive has denied the rumors. The company said in a statement to Joystiq that it wasn't shutting down. "We don't respond to rumors, but of course not," OnLive's Director of Corporate Communications, Brian Jaquet, said. A follow up question about the layoffs was met only with confirmation that the company wasn't shutting down.
Our own Kevin Parrish got in touch with Brian to ask about the rumors, and was told:
"I have no comment on the news other than to say the OnLive service is not shutting down. I'm sorry I cannot be more specific."
So, again, confirmation that the company isn't shutting down, but no word on rumored layoffs. For what it's worth, the original email sent to Brian Fargo (and supposedly authored by an OnLive employee) said the following:
"I wanted to send a note that by the end of the day today, OnLive as an entity will no longer exist. Unfortunately, my job and everyone else's was included. A new company will be formed and the management of the company will be in contact with you about the current initiatives in place, including the titles that will remain on the service.
It has been an absolute pleasure working with you and I’m sure our path with cross again."
Contrary to OnLive's statement that it would not be shutting down, Kotaku cites a source that says employees were this morning told in an all hands meeting that the company would be filing for bankruptcy. Apparently, CEO Steve Perlman told staff that OnLive would be filing for ABC bankruptcy in the state of California, which would afford them a level of protection from creditors. While Perlamn said no one would be employed by OnLive and the company as it stands would cease to exist, a small number of employes would go on to work at a newly formed company. What's more, the OnLive service is also expected to continue.
Founded in 2003, OnLive announced its cloud gaming service of the same name at GDC in 2009. Since then the service has grown and now spans numerous platforms, including Windows, OS X, tablets (iOS and Android), smartphones (Android), and web-connected TVs and media players. Just this month the company announced plans to make its service available on the Ouya console.