Giant Bomb News

109 Comments

OnLive Gets Rid Of Its Monthly Subscription Fee

It's like bizarro Netflix now.

One of OnLive's biggest stumbling blocks, it's double pay-to-play setup that, in theory, would have had users dropping coin on a game rental in addition to a monthly subscription, has been ditched as of last afternoon. The service from this point forward no longer requires a monthly subscription fee, though to be fair, it probably never collected one to begin with--the Founding Members program, which has offered a free year of the service to anyone that has joined the service since it went live, has made that impossible. 

In a recent blog post, company CEO Steve Perlman described the decision to even mention a subscription cost from the get-go was a necessity bore from being trailblazer. OnLive has since found that it can, apparently, operate without the $15 a month fee.

"… we wish we could have confirmed no monthly fee from the get-go, pioneering a major new video game paradigm is hard," Perlman says, "we had to first grow to a large base of regular users before we could understand usage patterns and operating costs. Now that we’ve reached that stage, we can confidently say a monthly fee is not needed, which deserves a double WOOT! WOOT!" 
  


== TEASER ==In addition to this, Perlman also announced that the mini-console TV adapter device and its companion controller are in manufacturing. However, Founding Members are to "get first dibs" on both. 

I should note that you can now sign up for the service without a credit card, meaning you can check out the PC/Mac interface and jump into demos at will. Only rentals, from three-days to "full," will require your precious digits. Uh, woot?
109 Comments
  • 109 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Posted by BradNicholson

One of OnLive's biggest stumbling blocks, it's double pay-to-play setup that, in theory, would have had users dropping coin on a game rental in addition to a monthly subscription, has been ditched as of last afternoon. The service from this point forward no longer requires a monthly subscription fee, though to be fair, it probably never collected one to begin with--the Founding Members program, which has offered a free year of the service to anyone that has joined the service since it went live, has made that impossible. 

In a recent blog post, company CEO Steve Perlman described the decision to even mention a subscription cost from the get-go was a necessity bore from being trailblazer. OnLive has since found that it can, apparently, operate without the $15 a month fee.

"… we wish we could have confirmed no monthly fee from the get-go, pioneering a major new video game paradigm is hard," Perlman says, "we had to first grow to a large base of regular users before we could understand usage patterns and operating costs. Now that we’ve reached that stage, we can confidently say a monthly fee is not needed, which deserves a double WOOT! WOOT!" 
  


== TEASER ==In addition to this, Perlman also announced that the mini-console TV adapter device and its companion controller are in manufacturing. However, Founding Members are to "get first dibs" on both. 

I should note that you can now sign up for the service without a credit card, meaning you can check out the PC/Mac interface and jump into demos at will. Only rentals, from three-days to "full," will require your precious digits. Uh, woot?
Posted by BrainMeats

what

Posted by DukeTogo

Exactly how it should have been.

Posted by Aquavelvaman

Too bad the library is so small

Posted by Bollard

Horray!  
 
Is what I would say iIf my internet wasn't shite, and I didn't already have a 4ghz i7 with a GTX 480 in it.

Posted by echo13791

Meh, the service was laggy  when I first used it a few months back. Anyways, I invested money in a gaming laptop and have no need for this anymore. 
 
I have a feeling that it wasn't doing so well. I kept receiving "spam" e-mails saying that x game was on sale for 50 percent off, etc, almost every week.

Posted by lclay

tried it this morning 
 
it was laggy as hell

Online
Posted by SuperSambo

Anyone a user of it currently? How is it holding up?

Posted by AuthenticM

who cares

Posted by Pop

I got the e-mail yesterday but there aren't any EU servers and it said the latency was too high to play...

Posted by Jinstarwing

that thing is going to fail badly

Posted by adoggz

online "discovered" that it didn't need the monthly fee when no one signed up for their crappy service.

Posted by cassus

Still can't quite belive that this is a real thing. Back when they anounced this, investors were all "WOOHOO!!" and shoved millions at them cause.. well.. I guess investors are retarded. 
 
How the hell is this really supposed to work? I guess for scrabble and stuff it's good.. But so is flash.. My new 360 has some issues with controller latency, it's just a tiny smidge, but it's unbelievably noticeable. Unless you live next door to this service, you'll have that on ALL games you play. 
 
Dumbest technology I've ever seen, and I'm still baffled by how many people actually thought this would work. Both gamers and moneymen alike.

Posted by Doctorchimp

bizarro netflix made me chuckle

Posted by artofwar420

Neat, this is an important step for progress.

Online
Posted by Agonoid

Tried this from the UK and it was very technically impressive, I'd like some local servers to really see if this is plausible. Plus the service needs more titles, if this works it could really take some of my hard earned moolah.

Posted by Jayzilla

this would be the best service EVER if the games were in HD now as opposed to next year. I was in the closed beta for months and the games run really well.

Posted by MisterMollusk

Considering that I can beat many games during the three day rental period, this may actually get my attention...

Posted by Ronald

Even a blind man could see this coming. No one is going to pay $15 a month for the opportunity to pay more money to rent games or buy them. 
 
As to the quality, I rented Kane and Lynch 2 two weekends ago, there are still plenty of issues with the service, and when it then blames me for the issue "Your connection has dropped too low." The artifacting works since that game has enough, but lag hurts the game too much.

Posted by Shadowsquire
@Chavtheworld said:
"Horray!   Is what I would say iIf my internet wasn't shite, and I didn't already have a 4ghz i7 with a GTX 480 in it. "


Same here but with a Radeon 4870 instead.
Posted by PenguinDust

So how much do games go for now?  And this is still just a computer thing right?  There's not set-top box for easy TV play yet?

Posted by louiedog

I tried it out a couple of days ago when they ditched the credit card requirement for demos. I was surprised that it worked pretty well. There was noticeable controller lag in Borderlands, but it was playable. I don't know if I'd want to play anything competitive though. I'd still rather have a mid-range gaming PC.

Posted by Brenderous

Yay, now people don't have to pay to play laggy offline games.

Posted by poser

Was "double W00T! W00T!" just used in an official press release?
 
For an industry I love so much, I certainly do hate a lot of people in it... 

Posted by Korolev

I didn't even know it was launched!

Posted by UnlivedPhalanx

Service works amazingly well and now this guarantees I will be using it for some time to come. I get no lag that my brain can notice.

Posted by WilliamRLBaker

Too little too late, and Really of no consequence.
signed up for founders, was accepted into founders, downloaded onlive, messed with it for a bit found the video quality to be complete shit, found the audio quality to be complete shit, as well as latency.  Stopped using it, after a few months I uninstalled it and canceled my account.

Posted by Vafthrutnir

This might work in a few years, but I see this being dead by next year. Doubt many people are willing to buy the few games on this service as opposed to D2D, Steam or either of the consoles.

Posted by taugehz

I was quite blown away by it even though there was input lag (living in UK) i think its a great way to check out demos, was even able to run high end graphical games on my netbook. 
 
I also like the 'rental' prices for a 3-day or 5-day play of a game, which is great for games with short playtimes like Kane and Lynch 2 if you didnt care about the multiplayer or achievements. If they go down the rental route i think it would be great (as long as the servers can keep up).

Posted by fox01313

Agreed that it might be technically interesting, probably only good with older games that don't need a ton of resources to make up for the lag issues compared to a site like steam that just downloads it to your system.

Posted by FritzDude

This thing is on life support.

Edited by onarum

Nice, I might try it now, I only have a crappy notebook so PC games are generally a no go for me.
 
edit: scratch that... the app won't even connect saying the latency is too high, my connection is not top tier but I think that 8Mbps should be enough, I guess this is only good for north american users, don't think they have servers all around.

Posted by Lestater
@cassus: Have you extensively used the service?
Posted by SeriouslyNow

I'm chuckling at all the shills and FIOS users saying it's lag free.

Posted by Jasko45

What do they have? Like 10 games lol?

Posted by skrutop

Speaking of Netflix, why don't they rent games yet?

Posted by WEGGLES

What they really need to do is keep the subscription fee, but get rid of the need to buy the games.

Posted by BronzDragon
@Ronald: I don't think it's JUST the lag that plagues that game....
Posted by Olivaw

This actually makes Onlive pretty cool now.
 
Trying it out, the interface is super slick and zooming in and spectating someone's game is really impressive.
 
Hell, I might buy Assassin's Creed II and Splinter Cell on this. If I'm gonna need a constant internet connection to play them anyway, right?

Posted by Eijikun
@poser: God, I hope so.........
Posted by White

If you think about it, OnLive isn't really worth it financial wise. I mean you pay upwards of $100/month for a godly internet service to play a game proper, or you just pay the $2000 or something to get the godly PC you need once every 3 years to play the PC games you want. Or better yet, $300 for an Xbox 360 or PS3.

Posted by Nettacki

It wasn't that laggy when i tried some games via the wifi beta. However, I did run into many "Your connection is too slow" notifications. then again, my internet's not that good...

Posted by Chokobo

Played around with it.  Played a demo of Unreal Tournament 3.  Felt pretty good, even on school wi-fi.

Posted by Junpei
@skrutop: 
 
While Netflix and Gamefly are owned by two separate companies I don't see why Netflix would need to get into the game rental industry. While I agree it would be awesome to stream/rent games from the Netflix service the current gen already supports you'd never see the console makers agree to it. The reason it works now is because movies are a separate medium from games. Getting someone to rent a movie doesn't effect games where as if Netflix carried games 
no one would partner with them since they'd be hurting the game sales that the companies want (unless they got a massive part of the cut which wouldn't happoen). So if Netflix ever got into game rentals from a business standpoint they'd be going it alone like Gamefly is and lose their system connectivity with the consoles.
Posted by Chokobo

Basically, I just wish they had more games for it.  Glad I have a wired 360 controller, seeing how most of the games seem to have gamepad controls built in.  Looks like they only have about 20-30 games available right now.  On the "Coming Soon" page they only have about 10 games that aren't out or are coming out yet this year.  A bit of a bummer in that sense.

Posted by Crono
@WEGGLES said:
" What they really need to do is keep the subscription fee, but get rid of the need to buy the games. "
That's how I feel as well.
Edited by Driadon

Gave i a go yesturday, worked rather well seeing as I'm in Canada and was on shitty and inconsistent 4.5 Mbps Wi-Fi.  
I know many people that would love this.

Posted by Tirion
@White
If you think about it, OnLive isn't really worth it financial wise. I mean you pay upwards of $100/month for a godly internet service to play a game proper, or you just pay the $2000 or something to get the godly PC you need once every 3 years to play the PC games you want. Or better yet, $300 for an Xbox 360 or PS3.
Is the internet seriously that expensive in the US? And you seemed to have missed that you can use that internet service to do 38493 billion other things too.
Posted by Chokobo

Then how would developers be getting paid through this system.  This isn't like GameFly where the company buys the physical copies of games and then can do what they want with them.  OnLive has to have explicit permission from publishers in order to have games on the service.  a $15/month fee times 10,000 users (being VERY generous here) certainly isn't going to cover server costs + OnLive staff + whatever the publisher is going to want for digital release rights.
 
Also, if they made all the games essentially free, then it would create a deflated sense of value for full price retail games.  Definitely not a good thing for publishers, so they just wouldn't put their games on the service.
 
In summation.  They weren't increasing the user base, thus not making more money, using the "double pay" model, so they had to change that.  The publishers won't let them give away their games for no additional fee.  The subscription system had to go.

Posted by MisterMouse

still not enough interest to get into it.

  • 109 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3