Thursday, 30 August 2012

Square Enix Launched Core Online Cloud Gaming Service

Square Enix launched a cloud gaming service named Core Online. The service is currently in beta. The difference to a service like OnLive that streams video of your gameplay is that with Core Online the actual game data is buffered on your PC, so you still need modern PC hardware to play the PC games that Square Enix provides. The service was developed by Copenhagen, Demnark based studio, a wholly owned Square Enix Group subsidiary.

Titles available at launch include Hitman: Blood Money, from the famed Hitman franchise, and Mini Ninjas. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, the award-winning title announced in collaboration with Google at their Google IO event in June 2012, will launch at Core Online in October. Also under development for Core Online is Tomb Raider: Underworld, from the famed Tomb Raider series, and Gyromancer, the first title available on the service from Square Enix Japan. Further titles from Square Enix’s worldwide lineup of content are intended to be made available within the next year. Apart from Gyromancer, all these games are already a part of the OnLive games catalog, as Square Enix is a big supporter of OnLive.

"Square Enix is at the forefront of experimentation of new business and services models in the game industry," said Yoichi Wada, chief executive officer of Square Enix Holdings. "Through our Core Online technology service, users can access our content easily through the browser."

Wada said that the team at studio started developing a browser-based plug-in for Windows games in 2011. They called the technology the Square Enix Secure Launcher. “From there, was quietly experimenting with the technology and created a service around the plug-in, as well as the efforts of our Native Client work with Google, to bring our games to the consumer in a friendly and flexible way,” Wada added. “That began with Mini Ninjas in March 2012. We’re now ready to take the next step and spread the word about the service to our fans as we evolve the content selection and business models.”

Wada is being careful not to hype the business opportunity yet. He said, “We’re in an early phase where we are understanding consumer’s interest and preferred payment models. The browser allows us to present content in unique ways; users can now play high-definition games instantly, on any supported PC, starting and stopping where and when they wish. This is a new frontier for us, and we’re absorbing significant knowledge as we take the lead and grow the service.”

Games on Core Online are made available via a combination of Google and Square Enix's proprietary technology, which allows for support of Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer web browsers. The technology combines Google’s Native Client (NaCl) platform that allows a web page to tap a computer’s 3D graphics hardware to render games inside the web page in Chrome. It also takes advantage of Square Enix's own proprietary technology to extend Core Online to both the Firefox and Internet Explorer web browsers.

David Guldbrandsen, the managing director of studios, said that Core Online is using Google’s Native Client technology as well as other enhancements. Mini Ninjas is already available on the Chrome Web Store as a featured app with 3D graphics. The Square Enix Secure Launcher extends the 3D technology so that it can run in Internet Explorer and Firefox. It uses Microsoft’s ActiveX for Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s NAPI (Netscape Application Programming Interface) technology for other browsers. The technology is similar to Adobe’s Flash or Unity Technologies’ 3D browser plug-in, which you download once.

“The plug-in in itself is very small but allows us to execute game code efficiently within the browser,” Guldbrandsen said. “In time we want to release as many fantastic Square Enix games as possible. It is our ambition to give everyone the possibility to play a great variety of games with very high quality.”

Core Online is easy to use, allowing players to click on a level and start playing instantly, and giving them the ability to start from any part of the game they wish.

Aspects of the user experience such as saves and achievements are managed in the cloud, and can be accessed from the web browser. In the future, Core Online services may be a feature of Square Enix's global online services.

Square Enix also launched a new business model for Core Online, enabling free content supported by video advertising, similar to television advertising. Users can elect to skip advertisements by purchasing levels and entire games.

SOURCE: VentureBeat.

Virtual Reality and Cloud Gaming

I'm very excited for the Oculus Rift. Realistic graphics can only get you so far to immersion. With a wide field of view and ultra low latency head tracking the Rift promises a never before seen immersion into game worlds for the broad consumer market with its cheap price. No wonder that games industry legends like John Carmack and Gabe Newell are so excited about it.

I've seen the whole QuakeCon 2012 keynote by John Carmack where he extensively spoke about the Oculus Rift. The device still has some flaws like the head tracking latency is still not low enough to not notice it, the resolution of the LCD display is too low and the display has not a good response time, which brings me to the next flaw that the display of the Rift is not an OLED like the Sony HMZ-T1. The Sony head-mounted display has mini displays for each eye, where the Rift has one larger display that gets shared for both eyes which is better for game programing, the GPU hardware and display timing as you can use one GPU framebuffer for both eyes. I think the size of a 7-inch tablet display would be a great match for the Rift. I hope that the consumer version of the Rift will get an HD OLED display from Samsung, but of course the Super AMOLED Plus ones, not the pentile Super AMOLED, as you would really notice the pixelation with these in a head-mounted display.

I'm sure the consumer version of the Oculus Rift will sport better specs than the developer kits and I'm really hoping they will integrate an OLED display, if not in the first product then in later ones.

I'm nuts for virtual reality combined with cloud gaming. But for me head-mounted displays are not enough like it is with other VR enthusiasts that want to see the realization of the Holodeck in their lifetime. I'm entertaining thoughts on do something about that because I have some ideas. Immersing you visually is one thing, but then there is the tactile feedback, the force feedback (I don't mean rumble in controllers), simulating movement like walking, running, piloting an airplane. Many people are speaking about a direct neural connection to the VR (The Matrix), but I think such a thing is pretty far out. I've thought of doing it physically by the help of some high-end hydraulics. It could be a suit with integrated hydraulics, something that resembles Crytek's Nanosuit in looks. I'd call the suit VirtuSkin, well the name is not so important. Some stronger hydraulics would be used to simulate movement like walking, free fall, swimming, hits, etc. Then there would have to be some fine-grained hydraulics integrated into the inner skin of the suit, you could compare these units to pixels in displays, but for pressure input and output. These little units would simulate tactile feedback like touches, wind, grass, leafs. The more dense and precise these units would be, the more finer tactile feedback you could simulate on your skin. I don't yet know how these things would handle orientation, I think the suit would have to be coupled to a hydraulics system that is connected to something that can rotate you to be correctly oriented as in the game world. And as the system would be hydraulics based, the system could also simulate pressure (gases and liquids), moisture and temperature. For instance swimming in warm or cold water, walking through a cold winter landscape, through a dry and hot desert or through a hot moist jungle. There are already protoypes of smell processors that can simulate smells, though I don't think we would want all the smells used with it, of course some like realism.

I think this VirtuSkin suit could solve the problem of how you move through virtual reality be it walking, running, taking stairs, climbing or even sliding around. The suit could simulate touching virtual surfaces. It would basically transport you into another world... into The Matrix... into the Holodeck. I'm sure many of you have seen Avatar in 3D and been wowed by it. Just imagine being in such a suit and being transported onto the world of Pandora, just imagine what experiences James Cameron could make with this suit in mind. Or playing an Alien game in such a suit... then the saying that in space no one can hear you scream takes on a whole other dimension. Of course like me many of you have right away thought about how the porn industry could use these suits, well yeah women should fear the day that you can buy such a suit in the shop... what man would then need women... of course the other way around is as valid. The makers of dildos would suffer quite much. So yeah, if you could show a working prototype of such a suit, the porn industry and everybody else would throw their money after you.

Of course one might say that why would I want to move around a virtual world the same way that I do in reality, when I'm gaming to relax and moving in real life can be very exhausting. Well, of course for people like me that do a lot of sports this could be very exciting and others that don't would get fit because of the great experience the suit would give. Of course a hydraulics based suit could have force assists and the virtual suit would let you think that you're the Hulk because of the assists, you would only use a little energy to initiate movement and the suit would simulate the rest. Of course the suit would have to have some hardware safety measures built in, as hydraulic forces can be very strong... not that virtual reality would become reality and some Call of Duty kiddy on the other end of the world would hack your virtual suit and virtually slit your throat. I wonder if Call of Duty would then have so many players?

OnLive Founder and former CEO Steve Perlman mentioned that he's working towards the Holodeck and I think cloud gaming is a large part of that work. I think they are also working hard on other virtual reality projects at his Rearden technology incubator. Steve mentioned that they are working on using lasers to shine directly onto the retina of the eye for virtual reality. Even John Carmack mentioned in his QuakeCon 2012 keynote that a grid of lasers surrounding your eyes and simulating pixels could be even better for virtual reality because it could also simulate eye focus and immerse you even more in a virtual world. I'm very curious what projects Rearden hides in their labs.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Founder and CEO Steve Perlman Departed from OnLive - Charlie Jablonski is the New CEO and COO with Gary Lauder as Chairman

OnLive announced that Founder and CEO Steve Perlman stepped down from his position and departed the company. Charlie Jablonski, who was to date responsible for the day-to-day operations, is the new CEO and COO of OnLive, with Gary Lauder acting as Chairman. Below is the official announcement of the position changes by OnLive.

"OnLive Investor Gary Lauder Becomes Chairman of the On-demand Cloud Services Company

Former head of OnLive operations Charlie Jablonski to become OnLive's COO and acting CEO

Palo Alto, Calif. August 27, 2012—OnLive, the pioneer of instant-action cloud computing, announced today that Gary Lauder, the lead investor in OnLive and the Managing Director of Lauder Partners LLC, will become the new Chairman. The company also announced that Charlie Jablonski, the former head of OnLive operations, will become OnLive's COO and acting CEO. Steve Perlman, OnLive's founder and former President and CEO, is departing to work on his myriad of other projects. “Steve has created an extraordinary company that no one else could have created. He is a unique entrepreneur and deserves his legendary status in Silicon Valley as a creator of groundbreaking companies,” said Chairman Gary Lauder.

"The new OnLive is emerging with greater financial security and a brighter outlook on the future. OnLive is now positioned to execute against longer-term projects with our breakthrough technology, products and services," said Lauder, also adding, "I spent my first week with OnLive listening, to gather people’s thoughts and suggestions. It’s an impressive group, and I am even more convinced that this company is poised for greatness.”

The company plans to continue building the OnLive management team in key categories as the company delivers on its mission of breaking new ground in cloud services both for games and remote application delivery to thin devices, legacy platforms or any platforms with a fast connection. The new OnLive is looking to hire great people for the business development team, as well as a senior marketing leader."

Below is a letter that OnLive Founder and former CEO Steve Perlman sent to

No doubt you have all heard the news that I have left OnLive. Since Gary and I told you less than a week ago I was staying, I want to explain why I decided it was time to move on.

It’s been a very long journey, starting over a decade ago, and for most of that time it’s been round- the-clock work, with almost no break at all. From the first presentations of OnLive 10 years ago, to recent product releases, we’ve overcome immense challenges, not just in terms of technical scope and complexity, but in getting past enormous skepticism, and bringing to market an extremely disruptive product.

While the last week’s reset was a difficult transition, Gary set up a well-funded new company in a go-forward position with all employees having an opportunity to participate, we had critical matters like healthcare in place—with financial support fellow employees arranged themselves—and we even partnered with other companies to set up job mixers and recruiters to help find new jobs. By the end of a very tough week, we had actually reached a point of stability.

For me, the end of last week was the first time in a very long time where I could actually consider the possibility of moving on without having to worry about the company. As we said in our last post, Gary did want me to stay, but OnLive is by far the longest project I’ve ever worked on, I have other projects long in need of my focus and attention, and Gary needed to lock down the structure for the new company. In the balance, it was a good time to move on, and Gary understood.

I’d like to ask everyone to please give the OnLive team a chance to regroup and get rolling again. It’s the same people who created the amazing stuff you’ve been enjoying over the years, and Charlie is the guy who’s kept the service running 24/7 since launch. No small feat.

For me, it’s hard to leave my creation behind, but there is also a huge sense of relief that I can finally step off the treadmill and know that OnLive is in good hands. Thank you all for helping OnLive since Beta days to become a reality, and thank you for all of the feedback and ideas that has helped OnLive pioneer this entirely new field of computing and entertainment.

You can always find me at I might even have time at some point to update the website with our latest stuff. What the team has working now will utterly blow your mind.

Below is a message that OnLive sent to on behalf of Steve Perlman and Gary Lauder.

First we want to express our gratitude to the dedicated community at OnLive Fans who have been instrumental in building the Game Service from the early days.

OnLive has a new investor, so we can assure everyone that there will be complete continuity, and all of your purchases, achievements, Brag Clip videos, etc. are all there, with no interruption. OnLive has been up and running 24/7 since launch, and we absolutely plan to keep it that way.

The recent transition was the hardest thing we at OnLive ever had to go through in our careers. We can’t get into the details, but we faced a multidimensional business challenge because of the scope, depth and complexity of the OnLive Service, devices, apps, games, and social features, etc. It’s unprecedented to do what OnLive has done in even a major corporation, let alone a startup. Big companies can absorb the uncertainty of an R&D project this big. For startups, sometimes you are left with no choice but to do a “reboot” if you are going to keep the vision alive, so it can once again grow and evolve.

There will be changes to the organization both with old and new OnLive staff that will be bringing new features and games to the service. There will be more announcements — both large and small, such as the arrival of the Vizio Co-Star and the Ouya Kicktarter project, and stay tuned for major announcements coming soon.

Gary invested in OnLive because he sees OnLive as the future of gaming, computing and media delivery, he recognizes just how big an idea it is, and is standing firmly behind it. With OnLive on solid financial footing, we see great things ahead. Instead of “game over,” we will take this to a higher level.

As always, we appreciate the OnLive Fans community and thank you for your ongoing support, particularly as we go through this very difficult “reboot.” You were there at the beginning, and you have followed us through every step of our evolution, even really hard transitions like this. You’re family to us, and in tough times, it’s incredibly reassuring to know you are there, with whatever feedback you have for us. We want to hear it. Big thanks from everyone at OnLive, and we’ll keep you posted as the new phoenix rises.

It might very well be that Steve Perlman chose to depart OnLive for the good of the company, as rumors were heard that prospective investors didn't want to invest in OnLive because of Steve Perlman's troubled character. He is very headstrong when it comes to business decisions which has often put pain to his startup companies. His actions do resemble those of Hank Rearden, one of the main protagonists of Steve's favourite book Atlas Shrugged, the novel by Ayn Rand. After all he did name his Rearden technology incubator that has given birth to OnLive after Hank Rearden's company Rearden Steel. I have to admit I like such people like Steve Perlman who risk destroying their creation, their baby, to follow their dreams, though they often fail.

Coming back to Steve's troubled character, The Verge reported that OnLive employees convinced the new owner, Lauder Partners, to let Steve Perlman go and put employee-friendly former head of operations Charlie Jablonski in charge. Employees objected to Perlman's short-term goals and obsessive micromanaging. One OnLive manager said that Steve outvoted the board of directors on occasion, and as the majority shareholder at OnLive he didn't have to answer to a soul. The company never had a CFO, and even managers who were outside Steve's inner circle complained that they were left in the dark. Several OnLive ex-employees told The Verge the major reason users never came is because OnLive never had a real marketing budget, and after the original VP of marketing left, the company was unable to fill the role. When the existing director of marketing applied, she was turned down. When she turned in her notice, Steve allegedly fired her on the spot. One prospective candidate said that they didn't want to work under Perlman, a skilled salesman, because he insisted on doing everything himself, from criticizing photography to writing press releases, and publicly ridiculing those who didn't live up to his standards. "Steve had that talent, but he never empowered anybody," one ex-staffer said. "He would tell people they were stupid in front of the entire office." OnLive employees also lost their Christmas break on short notice for two years in a row becuase of various urgent projects. Another employee claimed that during the Christmas rush, Steve would call to see how work was progressing, from his cabin in Lake Tahoe. What really angered the OnLive employees, though, was that the company hadn't really reduced the value of their work to nothing at all: Perlman had seemingly found a legal loophole to extract that value and deprived them of it in the process.

Officially, OnLive states it has 2.5 million users, and 1.5 million active users, but staffers told The Verge those numbers count every single person who ever signed up for a free account, or tried it in the last year. The other thing you need to understand is that many of those users never paid a dime. One of OnLive's most compelling features is that you can instantly try a time-limited demo of any game without having to install a thing. "We had single-digit income a lot of days after launch," one employee said. In terms of sales, the company counts first-person shooter Homefront as one of its successes, and yet the game sold in the low thousands, according to one former employee. OnLive did better with the PlayPack, a Netflix-like subscription to back-catalog titles for $9.99 a month, but one well-placed employee says the firm has as few as 12,000 subscribers on board. In an attempt to spur sales, OnLive offered a free MicroConsole with many purchases, a $99 set-top box that came with a wireless controller, exclusively for playing the OnLive service. The silicon is inexpensive, but one source said that even at $99 the company took a loss, due to the pricey materials and all the cables that management insisted they include in the box.

OnLive needs a physical machine for each concurrent player, and though Steve continually pressed the team to figure out a method to virtualize the load, the current model might have been untenable. When NVIDIA offered possible solutions with their Geforce GRID cloud gaming technology, though, employees told The Verge the company decided not to negotiate.

Sources also said that Steve turned down many buyout offers by companies like Sony, Dell, and Adobe. HP even offered $15 million for exclusive negotiation rights for 60 days. LG, Samsung and VIZIO were also supposedly interested in buying OnLive, to support their Smart TV initiatives.

The Verge also reported that Electronic Arts and Activision, the two biggest video game publishers, were no-shows on OnLive. Negotiations failed with Bethesda Softworks, maker of the wildly popular The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim role-playing games, and Valve, which makes Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress and Portal. The thing is, Electronic Arts was actually on board. Former staffers said that Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins were ready and would have been launch titles if it wasn't for Steve Perlman. At GDC 2009, when OnLive revealed itself to the world in style, a rival named Gaikai did the same behind closed doors, and when Gaikai CEO David Perry came by the OnLive booth to greet his competitor, Perlman started screaming at him. On June 17th, 2010, the day OnLive launched, Gaikai announced a multi-year deal with Electronic Arts. Perlman received the news in the OnLive booth at E3 2010. "He went ballistic," one witness recalls. "We had to slam the conference room shut and crank up the music so people wouldn't hear him." Perlman told EA he wanted exclusivity, even though Gaikai only offered game demos via the web rather than fully playable purchases. When EA refused, Perlman ordered his staff to remove all EA titles from OnLive. "We were instructed in no uncertain terms to pull the EA games at the very last minute," one ex-staffer related. Mike McGarvey, COO at the time, argued against the move, but Perlman wouldn't hear it. Shortly after the launch, McGarvey was sidelined.

From then on, OnLive employees told The Verge, Steve shot down any game that Gaikai nabbed first; even titles that the company had already spent money to onboard, test, and certify with a game publisher. Both OnLive and developer CD Projekt RED confirmed that The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings would arrive on the service, but Gaikai got it first.

Bulletstorm was an attempt to get back into EA's good graces last year, and the game was ready to go — but when Gaikai added a web demo, sources told The Verge, Perlman pulled the plug. When Ubisoft refused to drop demos from Gaikai, he threatened to cease doing business with the company. Perlman also allegedly scared Valve off with a broad pitch when the company merely wanted to test the waters, and a source told The Verge that negotiations with Bethesda Softworks failed because OnLive simply wasn't willing or able to pay a fee to offset the onboarding costs of their games.

Steve Perlman has also donated $50,000 to the Ex-OnLive COBRA Fund that has been set up by Sim Dietrich. COBRA helps people that were laid off and their families to maintain medical coverage until they are employed again. Steve wrote this: "Great idea, Sim. Given the circumstances, the company was able to set up COBRA, but not able to reimburse it. This is a really good alternative. I just added $50K to the bucket and will add more as needed. We've already hired more people back this week, and my hope is to get a lot more back before COBRA kicks in."

No doubt that Charlie Jablonski will be able to lead OnLive in the interim, even Steve Perlman mentioned in his letter that Charlie is the guy who’s kept the service running 24/7 since launch. Charlie brings a breadth of senior management, engineering and broadcast technology expertise to OnLive. He has a successful track record of leading startups through periods of expansive growth, including serving as CEO of Myrio and COO of GeocastCharlie has also served as an adviser to venture capital, hedge and private equity funds.

Charlie Jablonski's career also includes 16 years with the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), where he served as head of engineering and technology. He was awarded four Emmys for his work on NBC’s coverage of the Olympics, and is a fellow and former president of SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers). Charlie serves on several company boards, as well as the advisory board for the School of Engineering for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

OnLive senior manager of customer relations Nathan Barsetti wrote this about Charlie Jablonski: "I gotta chime in. First off, Charlie totally looks like Milton. Secondly, he actually is Jack Donaghy, no really he was a high-up in NBC and General Electric with a mantle full of Emmy awards and a wicked sense of humor. Third off, if you watched the Olympics a few weeks back, your ability to do so was because Charlie was in the control room making it all come together. Lastly, I've been working under Charlie for 2.5 years, and he is AWESOME. This is the best way this could have turned out, and today the company was reborn. Yes, Steve was the founder and visionary behind OnLive. Why you can log in to it is because of the amazing talent in the company. That lives on and we are the ones to seed the next generation of OnLive. One that is lean and mean, and still forging ahead to fulfill Steve's dream."

It remains to be seen what Gary Lauder will do with OnLive. He is rich and his family even more, but this might not be enough for OnLive. Will he be able to find new investors? With Steve Perlman gone he might have better chances. The former OnLive investors included large telecommunications and media corporations like AT&TWarner Bros. (Time Warner) and BT. AT&T has already ran some promotions with the OnLive PlayPack, Warner 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. These corporations will lose most of their investments in OnLive. Since OnLive needs the collaboration of the big telecommunications companies to optimize latency and picture quality this could spell problems for OnLive. The backing of these megacorporations was important to attract partners and game content. Losing support from a media corporation like Warner Bros. that supplied OnLive with games like Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Asylum, LEGO Batman, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 and LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game could also be very problematic for OnLive's content acquisition. It remains to be seen what other large game publishers that support OnLive like Ubisoft and THQ will do in the wake of OnLive's problems.

Of course the big telecommunications and media corporations could still back OnLive because they might be after the DIDO Wireless technology that Steve Perlman is developing at his Rearden technology incubator and promises to revolutionize telecommunications as we know it. If Gary Lauder will have problems finding investors and acquiring content for OnLive, it might well be that he will be forced to sell OnLive to a large corporation like Microsoft, Apple, Google or another for an undesirably low price.

The story of Steve Perlman and OnLive reminds me of one that built a beautiful sand sculpture on the beach that takes people's breath away, but instead of letting other people marvel in its wonders, one destroys it violently with one's feet.

Steve Perlman will surely be missed at OnLive, as he is a genius in inventing groundbreaking technology and worked very hard to make OnLive a success. Steve Perlman has received no compensation from the acquisition of OnLive's assets and is receiving no cash compensation or shares from the new company, so he gave away the control over his creation and in a way admitted that he failed from a business standpoint, though he is a genius when it comes to inventing groundbreaking new technology. As Steve has pointed out in his letter, he will now have more time to work on other very exciting projects like DIDO Wireless technology at his Rearden technology incubator. I'm very curious what groundbreaking new technology Steve Perlman will launch next with the help of Rearden.

OnLive was $30 Million to $40 Million in Debt at the Time of Insolvency - Insolvency Services Group is the Assignee in OnLive's ABC Bankruptcy

Mercury News reported that OnLive owed $30 million to $40 million to various creditors and had little money to pay them at the time of their ABC bankruptcy. Insolvency Services Group (ISG) is the Assignee in OnLive's assignment for the benefit of creditors (ABC). OnLive's assets were transferred to ISG, which will use them to partially pay the company's outstanding debts.

Insolvency Services Group CEO Joel Weinberg said that OnLive had failed to find a buyer despite shopping itself around and was facing a complete shutdown of its services. He said that OnLive was in dire straits. It only had days to live in terms of cash flow and the like. Something had to be done immediately or there would have been a hard shutdown, which would have been a disaster.

ISG was brought in by OnLive just a few days before the company ceased operating. Later that same day, ISG sold OnLive's operating assets to a new company, which also calls itself OnLive and has continued to run its games service. The new OnLive is funded by Lauder Partners, a venture capital firm owned by Gary Lauder. Among the assets sold to the new company were OnLive's intellectual property, Weinberg said.

Weinberg declined to say how much Lauder Partners paid or whether there were alternative bids. ISG is still assessing OnLive's total assets, but between the assets already sold and the deposits and other nonoperating assets that ISG retained, Weinberg expects to be able to pay creditors only 5 to 10 cents on each dollar OnLive owed.

MUD - FIM Motocross World Championship and The Adventures of Shuggy Joined the OnLive PlayPack

MUD - FIM Motocross World Championship and The Adventures of Shuggy were added to the OnLive PlayPack. The OnLive PlayPack is now at 252 games and counting.

MUD - FIM Motocross World Championship

MUD - FIM Motocross World Championship is a racing simulation game published by Black Bean Games and Plug in Digital, and developed by Milestone.

The only videogame that exclusively features the MX1 and MX2 championships, comprehending all the teams and all the world-wide-known bikers including stars such as Ryan Villopoto, Tony Cairoli, Chad Reed, Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen, and the amazing 2011 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations. Pure and freestyle Motocross you have never seen before!

  • A high value license: 3 official competitions (MX1, MX2 and MxoN championships); 12 locations and all the sponsors of the 2011 championship; 32 official teams between MX1 and MX2; 84 real riders.
  • Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations 2011: 16 national teams, 48 riders and bikes (with all the suits and liveries of the different national teams) including worldwide champions of the United States. Personal competition finishes when the round begins!
  • MUD World Tour: live the whole MUD experience through the life of special characters: the HEROES! Face a quantity of different levels and various types of events and demonstrate how keen you are on rising up the Motocross world!
  • Monster Energy Trick Battle Mode: 30 different tricks in 3 spectacular arenas, since "Motocross" also means Freestyle!
Other Features:
  • Incredible artistic style, studied and realized directly from Milestone's graphic department.
  • Advanced motorbike physics and animation.
  • Real-time terrain Deformation.
  • Photo Mode.
  • Real motorbikes sounds.
Sadly, as has become customary for PlayPack games, OnLive hasn't implemented multiplayer for the game.

Metascore: 57

You can play the free demo of MUD - FIM Motocross World Championship for the US, the UK and Belgium powered by OnLive.

The Adventures of Shuggy

The Adventures of Shuggy is a puzzle platform game published and developed by Smudge Cat Games.

The Adventures of Shuggy is a 2D platformer containing a variety of different levels with a leaning towards puzzles. There are over 100 single player levels and 36 Co-Op levels connected through a gradually unlocking map screen ensuring there is always a variety of levels to choose from. Various different mechanics give each level a fresh spin with Shuggy travelling in time, swinging on ropes, rotating levels, turning to a zombie, shrinking, growing, flying, teleporting and more.

The game takes place in an old Scottish mansion recently inherited by young Shuggy, a cartoon vampire. To clear the mansion of evil spirits he must venture through the five different areas of the mansion, The Dungeon, The Boiler Room, The Gallery, The Graveyard and The Clocktower. Progress through the mansion is punctuated by comic book cut scenes and the occassional boss encounter.

Metascore: 77

You can play the free demo of The Adventures of Shuggy for the US, the UK and Belgium powered by OnLive.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Vessel Joined the OnLive PlayPack

Vessel was added to the OnLive PlayPack. The OnLive PlayPack is now at 250 games and counting.

Vessel is a physics based steampunk puzzle platform indie action game published and developed by Strange Loop Games.

Living liquid machines have overrun this world of unstoppable progress, and it is the role of their inventor, Arkwright, to stop the chaos they are causing. Vessel is a game about a man with the power to bring ordinary matter to life, and all the consequences that ensue.

Key Features:
  • Liquid Gameplay - Vessel is built on an optimized liquid simulation featuring flowing water, scalding lava and steam, reactant chemicals, glowing goo, the mysterious 'protoplasm', and more. Each liquid has unique properties and mixes with other liquids for dramatic effects.
  • Bring Liquid to Life - Interact with 'Fluro' creatures that are formed entirely from simulated liquid. Each retains the properties of the liquid they're made of, giving them the ability to melt, reform, absorb, explode and more.
  • Unique Puzzles - Solve puzzles by combining the unique behaviors of each creature with the fluid they're created from. Every aspect of the world is physically simulated, and all puzzles are based in the liquid simulation. Drop a 'Drinker Fluro' and lure him by spraying goo. Create a 'Dark Fluro' and chase him with light. Liquid and physics are not an aesthetic in Vessel, but the foundation of gameplay.
  • 2D/3D Hybrid Art Style - Explore a world of fantastic, detailed machines and strange, wondrous environments. 2D hand-drawn textures combined with 3D normal maps, lighting, and depth creates a unique, other-worldly look to the visuals.
  • Upgrade your Equipment - Use the mysterious protoplasm liquid found in the world to upgrade your equipment, obtaining powerful new ways to manipulate liquid.
  • Jon Hopkins Soundtrack - Features a full-length soundtrack by electronic music prodigy Jon Hopkins, internationally renowned for his work with Brian Eno, Imogen Heap and Coldplay.
  • Full Game Experience - Vessel features over 10 hours of content across multiple worlds, featuring several unique types of liquid and Fluros.

Metascore: 81

You can play the free demo of Vessel for the US, the UK and Belgium powered by OnLive.

End of Summer OnLive Sale

As part of their Summer Gaming Academy, OnLive is having an End of Summer Sale with over 30 games up to 75% off. OnLive PlayPack subscribers can also take an additional 30% off these already reduced prices to bring prices of some games down 82%.

Here is a list of all the OnLive games that are on sale in the US, the UK and Belgium:

  • AaaaaAAaaaAAAAa-aAAAAaAAAAA!!! – On Sale For $2.50 US / £1.62 UK / €1.75 Belgium
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent – On Sale For $5.00 US / £3.50 UK / €3.75 Belgium
  • The Ball – On Sale For $5.00 US / £3.75 UK / €4.50 Belgium
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum – On Sale For $8.00 US / £4.00 UK / €8.00 Belgium
  • Batman: Arkham City – On Sale For $14.99 US / £9.99 UK / €13.99 Belgium
  • Brain Challenge – On Sale For $2.49 US / £1.49 UK / €1.99 Belgium
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution – On Sale For $14.99 US / £9.99 UK / €14.99 Belgium
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution Augmented Edition – On Sale For $19.99 US / £12.49 UK / €19.99 Belgium
  • Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time – On Sale For $2.49 US / £1.74 UK / €1.99 Belgium
  • F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin – On Sale For $4.00 US / £4.00 UK / €4.00 Belgium
  • F.E.A.R. 3 – On Sale For $8.00 US / £6.00 UK / €8.00 Belgium
  • Fishdom 2 – On Sale For $3.50 US / £3.50 UK / €5.00 Belgium
  • Homefront – On Sale For $5.00 US / £3.75 UK / €5.00 Belgium
  • Homefront: Ultimate Edition – On Sale For $6.25 US / £5.00 UK / €6.25 Belgium
  • Just Cause 2 – On Sale For $7.49 US / £4.99 UK / €7.49 Belgium
  • Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days – On Sale For $7.49 US / £4.99 UK / €7.49 Belgium
  • A Kingdom for Keflings – On Sale For $2.50 US / £1.62 UK / €2.00 Belgium
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – On Sale For $7.49 US / £4.99 UK / €7.49 Belgium
  • LEGO Batman – On Sale For $8.00 US / £4.00 UK / €8.00 Belgium
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 – On Sale For $8.00 US / £4.00 UK / €8.00 Belgium
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 – On Sale For $8.00 US / £6.00 UK / €8.00 Belgium
  • LIMBO – On Sale For $4.99 US / £3.49 UK / €4.99 Belgium
  • London 2012 - The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games – On Sale For $15.30 US / £10.20 UK / €17.00 Belgium
  • The Lord of the Rings: War in the North – On Sale For $9.99 US / £7.49 UK / €9.99 Belgium
  • Orcs Must Die! – On Sale For $7.49 US / £5.99 UK / €6.99 Belgium
  • Remington Super Slam Hunting: Africa – On Sale For $5.00 US / £3.50 UK / €4.50 Belgium
  • Royal Envoy – On Sale For $5.00 US / £3.50 UK / €5.00 Belgium
  • Saints Row: The Third – On Sale For $24.99 US / £14.99 UK / €14.99 Belgium
  • Shatter – On Sale For $2.25 US / £1.50 UK / €2.00 Belgium
  • Space Pirates and Zombies (S.P.A.Z.) – On Sale For $4.99 US / £3.49 UK / €4.49 Belgium
  • Trine – On Sale For $2.50 US / £1.75 UK / €2.00 Belgium
  • World of Goo – On Sale For $2.50 US / £1.62 UK / €2.25 Belgium