OnLive had to remove all Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment games from the marketplace and the PlayPack on behalf of a request by Warner Bros. OnLive already stated that they are in negotitations with Warner Bros. to get the games back and renegotiate their partnership. Here is a list of all the Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment games that were removed, marked in brackets are the games that were also a part of the OnLive PlayPack:
- Batman: Arkham City
- Batman: Arkham Asylum (OnLive PlayPack)
- The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
- LEGO Batman: The Videogame (OnLive PlayPack)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (OnLive PlayPack)
- F.E.A.R. 3
As with any game removed from the OnLive marketplace to date, people who purchased any of the removed Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment titles are still able to play them from their My Games tab.
OnLive senior manager of customer relations Nathan Barsetti posted at OnLive Fans:
Warner Bros. has requested that we temporarily remove their titles from the Marketplace, pending some talks between that company and the new OnLive.
As with any game removed from sale, anyone having purchased one of the following titles will be able to still play them.
Batman Arkham Asylum
Batman Arkham City
Lego Hairy Potter (both versions)
Lord of the Rings: War in the North
I'm told the relationship is solid, just that legally OnLive 2.0 isn't able to sell them until this paper is in place.
To quell fears of OnLive gamers Nathan Barsetti later posted this wonderful allegory on the removed F.E.A.R. games at OnLive Fans:
Just do what I do, take a deep breath, straighten your back, and repeat the Bene Gesserit Litany against Fear from the novel, Dune by Frank Herbert.
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
After OnLive went through ABC bankruptcy and its assets were purchased by Lauder Partners for $4.8 million, OnLive is legally a new company so the deals that OnLive made before their ABC bankruptcy are void and games publishers and other former partners don't need to heed them anymore. Of course this is one of the reasons that OnLive went with the ABC bankruptcy as they could get out of expensive long term server contracts, but as everything has its good and bad side, the bad side is biting the restructuring OnLive in their ass in recent times and they have to renegotiate their contracts with games publishers and are losing some games from their catalog.
Speaking of bites in the ass, OnLive is getting a fair share of them lately from games publishers with the removal of 4 Konami games in the US, the removal of 3 of these Konami games that were still on OnLive in the UK and Belgium, the removal of Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 from the OnLive Marketplace and the removal of GREED - Black Border from the PlayPack.
The game of the highest caliber that was removed from OnLive to date is Dead Island, which was recently removed along other games because of a GameSpy issue on October 2nd. The other games resurfaced the next day as the GameSpy issue was fixed, but we still don't know what happened with Dead Island. The only response from OnLive was a brief comment on their Facebook page, "We are aware of the Dead Island issue and are working on fixing it." This response could mean that they are also in negotitations with Deep Silver, the publisher of Dead Island, to bring the game back, or if one would mistrust OnLive that the negotiations already fell through.
I do wonder if the new OnLive also lost some of their technology and hardware partners, since some of them reportedly lost their money on the old OnLive this is highly likely and we may get to know this in the near future as this is something on that OnLive's future survival and growth depends.
Warner Bros. was a big OnLive investor and they were strong partners. For the release of Batman: Arkham City on OnLive, OnLive and Warner Bros. even partnered up for the Hugo Strange trailer which used the Mova CONTOUR reality capture facial motion capture technology from OnLive's subsidiary Mova.
Warner Bros. reportedly had to write off their OnLive investment. With this in mind, I think the probability is high that the negotitations will fail, though hope remains as Nathan Barsetti wrote "the relationship is solid." Losing support from a media corporation like Warner Bros. could also be very problematic for OnLive's content acquisition. It remains to be seen what other big games publishers that support OnLive like Ubisoft and THQ will do in the wake of OnLive's problems.