Sunday, 29 July 2012

Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and Retail are Afraid of OnLive and Want OnLive in the Dust

Recently a comment on a Digital Trends article about the OnLive mobile launch last December was brought up. Here's the interesting part of that comment, "That's cool, I have a friend that works for one of the largest game developers out there (hint, they just made their own competitor to Steam..... guess.. go on guess.. ) and he was mentioning that the big three are paying arseloads of money to have OnLive put down/ignored by media, you can only ignore a technology so much before it dominates. The big thing holding it back is the somewhat terrible internet infrastructure of the US."

Below I will write why I think that there is a lot of truth in this comment.

For some time I believe that it's indeed the way that this comment is saying. Seeing as how some companies and media outlets behave towards OnLive, you can hardly find some other sensible explanation. But I wouldn't say that the console guys and retail outright pay cash to those guys to ignore or trash talk OnLive, of course some cash might also be involved. I would say that the console guys and retail are using their whole corporate weight to apply pressure on games publishers, media outlets and other companies to put OnLive down.

I guess the company that just made their own competitor to Steam would be EA with Origin. OnLive has a nice partner in EA that has screwed them time and again. It's not really hard to guess why, as the number one cause is of course Origin, and then you can add the pressure and incentives from the console guys and retail. Activision also makes most of their money with Call of Duty on the Xbox 360 and PS3 at retail, so the console guys and retail have them by their balls that are full of money that Bobby Kotdick has stashed away. Don't forget that Microsoft put OnLive as a threat and an acquisition target in their leaked Xbox 720 roadmap.

The other large publishers that support OnLive like Take-Two Interactive and Ubisoft are also supporting OnLive half-heartedly and I think this also has much to do with the console guys and retail. THQ is the exception with their strong support for OnLive, but they have nothing to lose as they might not make it for much longer and they are betting on OnLive and cloud gaming.

The hotly anticipated RPG The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings wasn't mentioned from OnLive for some time and the publisher of the game also doesn't mention it anymore coming to OnLive. I think since CD Projekt Red released The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings with great success on the Xbox 360, OnLive support has been going down from them. I don't think the game will come to OnLive or it will come very late. And I don't think that I'm the only one who thinks that Microsoft has something to do with this.

Some of you might remember last year's problems of OnLive with GameStop. I think GameStop is also putting a game stop on OnLive for the biggest blockbuster games.

Companies hate those who disrupt the status quo. Many businesses would prefer that the model that currently works lasts forever or at least as long as it suits them. Reinventing oneself requires a lot of thought, time, work and money.

The console guys and retail are afraid of OnLive, and rightly so. OnLive and cloud gaming is bound to disrupt their business.

One has to consider that OnLive has investors like Warner Bros. (Time Warner), AT&T and BT behind them. When these guys put their whole corporate weight behind OnLive, this could grow to a great threat for the console guys and retail. Even the leaked Xbox 720 roadmap mentions AT&T as OnLive's partner that could give or subsidize hardware to consumers, and monetize on a subscription service and games. AT&T has already ran some promotions with the OnLive PlayPackWarner Bros. is also supporting OnLive with games like Batman: Arkham City, and BT helped launch OnLive in the UK and partnered with them on many promotions. But I think they are waiting for the internet infrastructure and OnLive's infrastructure to be ready, before their full support for OnLive will kick in.

Some might say that these are all conspiracy theories, but the conspiracies behind these theories have a lot to do with the lack of game content on OnLive and why OnLive can't get more quality game content.

I will say it again, OnLive has to produce their own game content to mitigate these problems.

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