One of the concerns people rightfully have with digital distribution services is whether or not they will retain their purchases if the company overseeing the platform closes. That was one of my first thoughts upon hearing Friday's flood of rumors about cloud gaming service OnLive.
Despite everything that happened last week, you won't lose your OnLive purchases; "users are not expected to notice any change whatsoever," reads a press release. In restructuring itself as a company, not everything made it over, though "almost half" of the staff were given job offers "at their current salaries."
As for who's funding this slimmed-down version of the company, the first investor is an affiliate of Lauder Partners. The press release that clarifies some of these details, in addition to a brief FAQ, can be found below. I'm not an OnLive user myself, but I suppose this is reassuring news for those of you who are.
OnLive Assets Acquired by New Company
All OnLive Services, Devices, Apps and Partnerships Continue Uninterrupted
Lauder Partners Backs New Company as First Investor
Palo Alto, Calif. August 19, 2012 — OnLive, the pioneer of instant-action cloud computing, announced today that on August 17th all of its assets were acquired by a newly formed company that will continue to operate under the OnLive name. The OnLive® Game and Desktop Services, all OnLive Devices and Apps, as well as all OnLive partnerships, are expected to continue without interruption and all customer purchases will remain intact; users are not expected to notice any change whatsoever. OnLive’s current initiatives will continue as well, with major announcements of new products and services planned in the coming weeks and months. An affiliate of Lauder Partners was the first investor in the newly-structured company, holding the view that OnLive is the future of computing and entertainment, and a passion to see OnLive’s breakthrough technology continue to grow and evolve. The new company structure enables OnLive to do so.
OnLive, Inc.’s board of directors, faced with difficult financial decisions for OnLive, Inc., determined that the best course of action was a restructuring under an “Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors.” The assignee of the company’s assets then sold all of OnLive, Inc.’s assets (including its technology, intellectual property, etc.) to the new company. Unfortunately neither OnLive, Inc. shares nor OnLive staff could transfer under this type of transaction, but almost half of OnLive’s staff were given employment offers by the new company at their current salaries immediately upon the transfer, and the non-hired staff will be given offers to do consulting in return for options in the new company. Upon closing additional funding, the company plans to hire more staff, both former OnLive employees as well as new employees.
The OnLive Service has been in operation 24/7 without interruption since its launch over two years ago, and is expected to continue to operate smoothly under the new company. All games, products and services remain available, and the company has new product and partnership announcements on the way.
OnLive’s breakthrough instant-action cloud computing technology has been in development for over a decade and, despite immense skepticism, OnLive successfully deployed this highly disruptive technology as a polished consumer offering with commercial-grade reliability across a vast range of devices, including TVs, tablets, phones, PCs and Macs, connected over almost any Internet connection, including wireless and cellular. Only a few major corporations have ever developed and deployed products and services across such a broad spectrum. OnLive is rare among startups in both the depth and scope of its offerings.
The asset acquisition, although a heartbreaking transition for everyone involved with OnLive, allows the company’s core innovation and ongoing offerings–the product of over a decade of hard work transforming the OnLive vision into reality–to survive—and continue to evolve.
Given the widespread speculation about OnLive and the new company, a FAQ is below that addresses a number of questions both for the public and former employees.
OnLive is the pioneer of on-demand, instant-action cloud computing and instant-play video game services, delivering real-time interactive experiences and rich media through the Internet. With groundbreaking video compression technology, OnLive harnesses cloud computing to provide the power and intelligence needed to instantly deliver full-featured, media-rich applications and the latest, premium game titles to tablets, smartphones, PCs, Macs and HDTVs via the OnLive® Game System or connected TVs. OnLive is available in North America, the UK and Belgium and will continue expanding into Europe and Asia. OnLive’s technology is backed by hundreds of patents and patents pending worldwide. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. More information is available at www.onlive.com, www.onlive.co.uk and www.onlive.be.
Q. Will users see any change in the OnLive Game or Desktop Services? What about their purchases?
A. Users should see no change in the OnLive Game or Desktop Services. All of their purchases remain intact and available. OnLive has been up 24/7 since launch over two years ago and expects to remain so. OnLive has over 2.5 million subscribers, with an active base of over 1.5 million subscribers, connecting from a vast range of devices and networks, with many sessions running for hours. The user base is growing rapidly with OnLive’s addition into recently announced devices and TVs from major manufacturers. We expect this growth to continue under the new company.
Q. Is there any cash or stock in the new company provided for any OnLive, Inc. shares?
A. Unfortunately not. The nature of the transaction is such that only assets, not shares, were purchased. This is true for all shares of OnLive, Inc., whether held by investors, employees or executives.
Q. Did Steve Perlman receive stock or compensation in this transaction?
A. Like all shareholders, neither Steve nor any of his companies received any stock in the new company or compensation in this transaction at all. Steve is receiving no compensation whatsoever and most execs are receiving reduced compensation to allow the company to hire as many employees as possible within the current budget.
Q. Did all OnLive, Inc. assets transfer into the new company? Are any assets held by any other party?
A. All of OnLive, Inc.’s assets (e.g. technology, patents, trademarks, etc.) were transferred to an assignee, which then sold the assets to the new company. There was no transfer to any other party.
Q. Have OnLive, Inc. employees been offered positions in the new company?
A. Almost half of OnLive’s staff were offered employment at their current salaries in the new company immediately upon the transfer, and the non-hired staff will be given offers to do consulting in return for options in the new company. Upon closing additional funding, the company plans to hire more staff, both former OnLive employees as well as new employees.
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