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Was OnLive defeated by a lack of users?

Reports suggest that even at peak periods, just 1,800 gamers were using the service at any one time

Reports suggest that even at peak periods, just 1,800 gamers were using the service at any one time

Over the weekend, OnLive was sold to another company and over half of its staff were laid off. At first, the news appeared shocking – after all, OnLive claimed to have around two million subscribers – but now it seems that there simply weren’t enough users at any one time.

Joystiq reports that the average peak number of concurrent users was around 1,800, suggesting that most of the two million people who had signed up for OnLive simply weren’t using it.

And OnLive’s CEO Steve Perlman suggested that this was the chief cause of the company’s financial woes, reportedly telling employees at a final meeting: “If you’ve got 8,000 servers and 1,600 users, how could we ever get cash flow positive?” Perlman said that, without any way of estimating how many users OnLive would have, the company had no choice but to purchase thousands of servers – and apparently this was a gamble that didn’t pay off.

OnLive has announced that the service will continue “as normal” during the transition to the new owner – the identity of whom is not yet known, but according to Perlman is a “very accomplished and well known venture capitalist”.

[via Joystiq]

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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

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