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OnLive Is Live No More As Sony Gobbles Up Its Assets

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One of the earliest entrants into cloud-based online gaming will be shuttering its doors come April 30 due to the acquisition of its parent company.

Sony is acquiring OnLive, but has decided to close down the OnLive Game Service.

In a note to gamers and fans OnLive Game Service may have inadvertently revealed that Sony has some other sort of online game service brewing if you parse the wording:

"After five years of uninterrupted service, the OnLive Game Service will be coming to an end. Sony is acquiring important parts of OnLive, and their plans don't include a continuation of the game service in its current form," states the note from OL2 Inc., the corporate name of OnLive. Current users' service will stay in place through April 30.

"As the first-ever game streaming service of its kind, everyone who has ever played a game using OnLive has contributed to the technology and its evolution in some way. We're immensely proud of what's been achieved and extend our heartfelt gratitude to you for being a part of the OnLive Game Service," concludes the announcement.

It's the "current form" phrase that may lead some to wonder if Sony will create or develop a new gaming service as part of OnLive. The service also provides a comprehensive FAQ sheet for user support and those wishing to know more regarding the shutdown.

OnLive Game Service will switch off its data centers and take the service offline. All user accounts will be closed and all data, from game achievements to payment data, will be deleted.

"If you purchased a Steam game from OnLive, that game will still be available on Steam. No refunds will be available for any game purchases, hardware purchases, or subscriptions," states the FAQ sheet. "We will have extremely limited coverage for customer service over the next 30 days," adds the message with a final goodbye included.

"We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being an OnLive customer, and we wish you all the best."

Industry watchers believe Sony bought OnLive for its patents as a way to shore up its PlayStation Now service.

In its heyday, OnLive was once viewed as the most promising video game startup. It was founded more than 10 years ago by Steve Perlman, who had worked for Apple and Microsoft. The service lets users play high-level video games without having to buy hardware.

OnLive went into bankruptcy about two years after its formal launch in 2010. As of 2012 the service said it had 1.75 million users. The game service, which cost $9.99 monthly, offered games for play on devices ranging from PCs to smartphones, tablets and TVs.

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