Monday, 30 July 2012

OnLive Launched in Belgium


After some dress rehearsalsOnLive the cloud gaming service, has launched in Belgium. Belgium is OnLive's first foray onto the European continent and the second country in Europe after the UK where the OnLive cloud gaming service is available. You can find OnLive Belgium at www.onlive.be, and you can view the page in Dutch at nl.onlive.be and in French at fr.onlive.be. You can sign up for free at www.onlive.be/go/signup, in Dutch at nl.onlive.be/go/signup and in French at fr.onlive.be/go/signup.

The OnLive Game Service is a groundbreaking on-demand video gaming platform that delivers the latest and most advanced games instantly over an internet connection. Users can play everything from indie puzzle games to multiplayer classics to blockbusters such as Saints Row: The Third, Pro Evolution Soccer 2012, Sid Meier’s Civilization V, Batman: Arkham City, Assassins Creed: Revelations, The Darkness IILondon 2012 - The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games and soon Darksiders II on virtually any PC or Mac. Gameplay on tablets, smartphones and TVs is live in North America and the UK, and will be coming to Belgium soon. The OnLive Game System and the Universal OnLive Wireless Controller are not yet available in Belgium, but OnLive writes that they are coming soon.

OnLive has created an entirely new way to play, watch, share and try premium games. Users can subscribe to the OnLive PlayPack to play an expanding selection of over 200 games as much as they like, or purchase Three-Day, Five-Day or Full PlayPasses for games in the ever-growing OnLive game library. Free 30-minute trials for almost any game enable gamers to test-drive full-featured games before buying. OnLive’s cloud-based platform also enables unique social features. Users can watch and voice chat with gamers across the world in the massive OnLive spectating Arena, and soon will be able to spectate three other game sessions while playing their own game with OnLive MultiView in-game live spectating. Brag Clip videos enable players to record their best gameplay moments and share them instantly with friends on the service. Players can also use Facebook notifications to post their videos on their Facebook wall, announce in-game achievements and let friends know what they are playing through simple links that instantly launch the game.



OnLive announced in May 2010 that they will come to Belgium. Belgacom, the largest broadband operator in Belgium, has made an investment in OnLive, and has partnered with them to deliver the OnLive Cloud Gaming Service to their broadband customers. Belgacom has the exclusive right to bundle the OnLive Cloud Gaming Service in Belgium and Luxembourg with their broadband services, but gamers in these countries also have the option of ordering directly from OnLive through any internet service provider. It has taken OnLive more than 2 years to launch in Belgium, since they announced their coming to the country.

As the national currency of Belgium is the euro, OnLive is now supporting billing in euros. The games in OnLive's Belgium library are therefore priced in euros. Some game prices are straight number to number conversions from dollars to euros, and some prices have been adapted to the exchange rate. The game publishers choose how to convert the prices.

The OnLive PlayPack in Belgium is also a straight number to number conversion from dollars to euros, as it costs €9.99/month. The OnLive PlayPack is a monthly subscription cloud gaming service from OnLive, where you pay $9.99 per month in the US, £6.99 per month in the UK and now €9.99 per month in Belgium to get access to a growing list of over 200 games. As a member of the OnLive PlayPack you also get 30% off of any OnLive game or hardware. The OnLive PlayPack features a wide range of games, including action, adventure, first person shooter, sports and puzzle games, with something for gamers of all ages, skill levels and interests. The OnLive PlayPack includes anything from AAA games like Batman: Arkham Asylum, BioShock, Borderlands, F.E.A.R. 3 PlayPack Multiplayer, Homefront Large-Scale Warfare Multiplayer, Just Cause 2, Sid Meier’s Civilization V, LEGO Batman, NBA 2K11, The Witcher, Red Faction: Armageddon, Prince of Persia to fun games like Flatout 2 and Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, old game legends like Deus Ex and indie game hits like World of Goo. The games are in English but will soon be available in Dutch and French.



To support their OnLive investment, starting today Belgacom’s internet customers can discover OnLive’s instant-play game service. Belgacom offers an exclusive one month free OnLive PlayPack subscription worth €9.99 with unlimited access to more than 200 games from more than 60 major publishers, with more games added weekly. The special OnLive PlayPack subscription offer is available through 30 September 2012 to any Belgacom internet customer, 18 years of age or over, who registers online at www.belgacom.be/onlive.

One interesting tidbit is that Frozen Synapse, a game that was part of the OnLive Indie Showcase, is available to demo on the OnLive Belgium web page. The game is nowhere to be found on the other OnLive web pages. Ravaged is also available for pre-order for €19.99 (€13.99 PlayPack), which is 20% off from the full price of the game when it launches. The full launch price will be €24.99 (€17.49 PlayPack). Belgian gamers can also pre-order Darksiders II for €49.99 (€34.99 PlayPack) and get upgraded for free to the Limited Edition of the game which includes the Argul's Tomb add-on pack, which will become available one month after the Darksiders II launch in August 2012, so sometime in September of 2012.

Since OnLive Belgium is now also in Dutch and French, the Netherlands and France are the next obvious targets for OnLive's European expansion. Now that OnLive has the euro billing down, I think the European expansion of OnLive will proceed swiftly, at least in the countries that have the euro. OnLive has a data center set up in Luxembourg, which will geographically and infrastructure wise be able to support OnLive cloud gaming for most of the more populated places in Europe. Of course the speed of OnLive's European expansion depends on the demand that will be placed on OnLive's servers and if there will be any problems during the expansion.

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