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OnLive CEO On Post-Launch Status, Game Licenses 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the cloud-gaming-doesn't-involve-lakitu dept.
CNET has a lengthy interview with OnLive CEO Steve Perlman about how the service is shaping up almost a month after launch. Demand seems to have outstripped their expectations, and it required some quick server expansion to compensate. He also addresses a common concern among gamers — that the licenses for games could expire in three years. Perlman says, "It's less of an issue about the licenses evaporating, and more of an issue of whether or not we continue to maintain the operating systems and the graphics cards to run those games. If a game is tied to a particular Nvidia or ATI card, or if it's relying on a particular version of Windows with different drivers, we can't be sure that those will continue to be available as our servers age and need to be replaced. If it's a popular game that can't run on old hardware anymore, the publishers can do an upgrade for the game. Also, servers usually do last longer than three years, so chances are we'll keep running them. But we have a legal obligation to disclose what might happen. I think the probability of us pulling a game in three years is on the order of 0.1 percent. It's also highly unlikely that a game server will evaporate after three years, but we have to allow for that possibility." He also goes into future plans for expanding OnLive, both in terms of the content they offer and the devices they may support. The Digital Foundry blog followed up the latency tests we discussed with a full review, if you'd like an unbiased opinion of the service.
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OnLive CEO On Post-Launch Status, Game Licenses

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  • Re:Uh... (Score:4, Informative)

    by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Friday July 16, 2010 @07:51AM (#32924650) Homepage

    Why do you have to set a limit on a license for a fully purchased game?

    Maybe because they are actually honest and tell you the limitations of their system upfront instead of pretending that the system will run forever and there never ever will be a problem with it? You know, pretending that a service will run forever simply doesn't make it so.

  • Re:Uh... (Score:4, Informative)

    by hedwards (940851) on Friday July 16, 2010 @08:34AM (#32924880)
    Read the ToS more carefully, Steam calls it a purchase, but treats it much more like a license. People can and do lose entire accounts worth of games when somebody hacks in. And even if you get the games back, if the person got you banned then they won't undo it.
  • by MiceHead (723398) on Friday July 16, 2010 @09:45AM (#32925444) Homepage
    Sooooooo! So. We're Dejobaan Games, a small indie (redundant?) studio responsible for a game called AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity [dejobaan.com]. If you've used OnLive, you've probably seen the damned thing listed at the top of their games selection because they sort alphabetically. Our next game will probably be called something annoying like !!!00000LoL and be even higher on the list.

    I digress.

    I like OnLive; I like the guys I've met that work for OnLive; I'm also the Hair Club President. I want them to succeed, because the more ways for folks to get games, the better. Here's our guarantee: If you pick Aaaaa! up on OnLive, and they stop carrying our game in 3 years, we'll give you an offline copy. I'm not sure if folks are having tech issues, but honestly, the licensing issue is really easy for us to fix. :)
  • Re:Uh... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cornelius the Great (555189) on Friday July 16, 2010 @10:01AM (#32925594)

    Read the ToS more carefully, Steam calls it a purchase, but treats it much more like a license. People can and do lose entire accounts worth of games when somebody hacks in.

    Not a problem- ask nicely and Valve will restore your account.

    And even if you get the games back, if the person got you banned then they won't undo it.

    You're referring to a VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) ban, which will ban you from VAC-enabled servers. That doesn't keep you from playing the game- you'll be able to play on non-VAC servers. However, Valve's policy is strict for a reason- anyone who has been caught cheating could claim their account has been hacked and then anyone could continue playing on VAC servers.

    Multiplayer is a completely different animal when dealing with software licensing. You're never guaranteed that the "official" servers will stay up indefinitely, and if the game lacks support for dedicated servers (ahem, MW2), then you're completely out of the online at some point in the future. Needless to say, VAC-bans are the least of my worries.

    It's a fair tradeoff, and the ToS is reasonable enough to me that I've made most of my game purchases through Steam. Plus, their DRM is breakable if Valve ever goes away, so just make sure you make backups of your games, use a strong password, and be wary of phishing pages and keyloggers (a good general rule anyway), and you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

  • Re:Uh... (Score:2, Informative)

    by drc003 (738548) on Friday July 16, 2010 @10:06AM (#32925650)
    Yes, they are setting a 3 year limit. I'm not talking about what they are "SAYING", I'm talking about what they are setting up to support in legal terms. People can say whatever they want. You can sign your house over to someone in your family while they are "saying" they will never kick you out and sell the house. However if at anytime they decide to do so they can and will.
  • Re:Utter crap (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @10:28AM (#32925918)

    The bad latency argument has already been debunked.

    Except that the article that we are discussing shows it's not debunked. They said it was "better than expected" but it was still "nowhere near the claims that have been made for the system". All you did was quote mine to try to make a point but no one is buying it.

  • Re:Is it just me? (Score:2, Informative)

    by tbcpp (797625) on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:22AM (#32926596)
    Have you actually used the service? I tried it out (I'm a founding member whoop-dee-doo). And it's exactly the opposite of what you state about World-of-Goo. I found UT3 perfectly playable, with very little noticeable lag. In fact on my second Team death match, I ranked at the top of the list for kills. It's about the same sort of lag I'd expect from using the average bluetooth mouse. World of Goo (and other 2d games) on the other hand was unplayable, the mouse lags so much that it's almost unplayable. So yeah...I'd say your general statement was false. Yes, Latency is an issue, and yes, the video quality is bad. But the heavy 3d games run waaaay better than the lighter 2d games.

Contemptuous lights flashed flashed across the computer's console. -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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