New Ownership, New Head of Engineering, New Opportunities.
In August of 2012, I became the majority owner and Chairman of OnLive, and this is my first blog post. It has been seven months since I jumped in to save OnLive from a financing mishap, and I have had the opposite of buyer’s remorse: buyer’s elation! It’s an amazing team that has created two groundbreaking services that have inspired accolades, a loyal fan-base and of course, imitators—the sincerest form of flattery.
Looking back, what was achieved by Steve Perlman and the team prior to my taking over as Chairman is remarkable. Here was brand new technology, which many industry experts argued was impossible, and yet a small Silicon Valley start up made it a reality. It takes terrific vision and inexhaustible drive from all concerned to have made this happen.
I had been involved in cloud-based delivery of interactive services for many years prior to investing in OnLive, which enabled me to correctly perceive what an amazing opportunity OnLive represents. Interestingly, OnLive successfully took on the most challenging of applications as its first service: fast-twitch games. The platform has many other valuable uses, most of which are complementary to the game service due to different time-of-use that fills in the valleys between peak game usage.
When the restructuring of OnLive happened in August, many misunderstood it to mean that the service and company were shutting down. Neither occurred, nor did we go bankrupt. We should have communicated better. As Mark Twain wrote, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Same with us. Our service continued without interruption both in the USA and overseas, and we have about 90 employees.
At the beginning of the year, we moved one town over to Mountain View, and are opening a satellite office in San Francisco this spring. We also have a few employees in Europe.
2013 is shaping up to be a great year at OnLive, and I want to share some of our good news.
First up, we want to extend a hearty welcome to Don Gordon, who joins us as our new SVP of Engineering. I know Don from our days at ActiveVideo Networks. He attracts tremendous talent that remains loyal to him. He is an inventor with more than 55 US patents in interactive TV and video technologies, and his innovations have already redefined the Smart TV as we know it. Don is the epitome of a “creative technologist,” with all the right skills in his toolbox to lead OnLive into the future.
Don and I also share a keen interest: to build on the success of the OnLive Game Service and OnLive Desktop and expand the uses of the underlying technology– for example, to the Enterprise. The Game Service and the Desktop are two great examples of what can be done with OnLive’s core technology, but they are just the beginning.
We have already delivered some significant milestones for the OnLive Game Service, in particular, being incorporated into our first third party device, the VIZIO Co-Star, and into Google TVs, starting with the impressive LG G3 Series—with more to come. We continue to bring new game publishers and games into the mix, and released Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced release from CD Projekt on Thursday, February 28 with a special promotion, which includes a free digital download copy of the game for PCs with purchase of a Full PlayPass. This is an important paradigm shift towards enabling our users to get their games in as many formats as they’d like, even if they are not delivered by our platform. We are busy exploring other new ways to serve our users’ and publishers’ interests capitalizing on our unique abilities.
I’d also like to brag a bit about our OnLive Desktop app—which uses the same technology we use to deliver games over broadband—to serve up productivity apps and ultra-fast web browsing to tablets. We’re proud to say that OnLive Desktop was named #1 app of 2012 by Time Magazine. OnLive Desktop demonstrates how OnLive’s core technology can be used to deliver more than just games. We’ve been hard at work expanding this capability, and will have some significant developments to share later this year. Though I can’t say too much yet, I will say that we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about having Don at the helm of engineering at this exciting time.
We just participated at Cable Congress in London and plan to be at all the big shows this year—including GDC in San Francisco (esp. a session on 3/28 at 1PM) and E3 in June where we hope that you will join us to see what we have in store. We’re expecting great things in 2013, and with Don’s vision and expertise to fuel us, you can trust that it’s only the start.
-Gary Lauder, Chairman of OnLive