I’ve only just received this rather shocking news directly from Dennis Harper, Sr. Product Manager at SL Go.
I’m quoting from his email here;
It breaks my heart to tell you that OnLive (OL2, Inc) has been acquired and will be closing down the game service, including SL Go. The official press release is attached.
SL Go Island will continue to exist for a while, but we have removed the Pay with L$ feature.
The OnLive and SL Go services will continue to operate in full capacity until April 30. All services will be free to anyone who has or creates an account. All prices for the service have been set to $0.00, including SL Go.
From the Press release;
OnLive today announced that Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. will acquire various assets of OnLive, including its U.S. and foreign patent portfolio covering its substantial innovations in cloud gaming.
“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,” said Philip Rosenberg, VP, Global Business Development of SCE and SVP Business Development and Publisher Relations of SCEA.
Users will continue to have access to OnLive’s services until April 30, 2015, including the OnLive Game Service, OnLive Desktop and SL Go (Second Life). After today’s date, no further subscription renewals will be charged for any of these services. Users whose subscriptions renewed on or after March 28 will be refunded. Following the termination of the company’s services and related products, OnLive will engage in an orderly wind-down of the company and cease operations.
The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Just to be clear; SL Go as well as Onlive will cease to exist.
Sony bought Onlive just to because they wanted the patents for a new product they are working on or to improve their own streaming service.
Maybe something new is planned in connection with their VR headset.
And they of course don’t care about the people using any of the Onlive services at the moment.
Personally I am very sad because I really enjoy using SL Go, it allows me to enjoy SL on my 6 year old macbook and make snapshots with full ultra graphics settings.
My snapshots will decline in quality dramatically and I’ll also have to start carrying my very heavy Alienware laptop with me every time I leave home but want or have to access SL.
To me, at the moment, this was the only way to experience SL the way I think SL should be experienced.
Onlive has been looking for a new owner for months and Sony has shown interest for even longer than that, but they always made clear they only wanted the patents.
So the Onlive team looked for a buyer who would continue the service, but in the end they had to go with Sony before the deadline of their (probably very generous) deal came.
It would have been great if LL had bought Onlive, imagine, they could have given every SL user streaming service, allowing everyone to enjoy a Second Life that looked good and worked on almost any machine.
After all, SL Go was Onlive’s most successful product!
So, I am sad for myself, but even more so for the SL Go team.
In a very short amount of time they got stuck into SL, spend many hours there, actually understanding what the users wanted and needed.
They really tried hard to listen to the user-base, they interacted with us inworld in the SL Go group and on the SL Go island, they really cared.
And now it is over, not just is something they really loved over, they are actually losing their RL jobs.
I fear that on top of all this, they will now also get quite a bit of flak from the SL users.
So if you’re reading this and as upset as I am, keep in mind that for the SL Go crew its even worse.
Keep that in mind.
One good thing to come out of this is that the SL Go people who have come to SL for this project have discovered a place they really liked and will keep visiting our virtual world.
I can’t help but thinking that this is just one battle in the VR wars I’ve been talking about, one of many still to follow.
Companies are all preparing for the new world and the battle will be fierce and dirty.