OnLive drops monthly fee from gaming service

By on October 5, 2010, 9:25 AM
Itís been roughly four months since OnLive launched its cloud-based gaming service in the U.S. amid both praise and criticism. Although many were pleasantly surprised to see games running smoothly as advertised, the main issue most people had was not with the technology, but with the companyís business plan. Basically they wanted to charge a $15 monthly fee for a subscription that didnít include the price of the games themselves, just access to the community and free demos.

Full games must be paid separately and cost from $9.99 to $49.99, depending on the title. To be fair, the service hasnít actually charged this monthly fee to anyone yet, as it offered a launch promotion that included free access for a year to all its ďfounding membersĒ (or everyone who signed up). Nevertheless, OnLive broke some good news yesterday that will make the service much more appealing in one simple move: they have scraped fees altogether.

Apparently this was the plan all along but it couldn't be announced until they had built a large base of regular users and looked at usage patters to figure out whether the service could be supported without monthly subscriptions. This means instant-play demos, massive spectating, brag clip videos, messaging and other community features will be available for free. Youíll still have to pay for games in a rental or full access basis, but paying only for the content you want to use makes a lot more sense. Unfortunately all the other drawback are still there Ė any game you purchase is locked to OnLive, no playing offline or installing to your local hard drive.

User Comments: 4

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Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well, with their original pay-to-access and pay-per-title double-dipping pricing structure, they really never stood a chance of surviving long... At least with this economic model, there is more of a possible future for the service.

Still, can't help thinking that they could gain a much larger base by charging the monthly sub for access, and drop the pay-per-title stuff. Of course, they'd potentially make much less money that way, so I can see why they went the route they did. Plus, I'm sure the game publishers want a nice licensing cut, and the pay-per-title makes it easy to figure out how much each publisher is entitled to.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

I still don't trust the cloud with my sensitive data or my gaming experience.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

now it's interesting enough to check it out, too bad it will 'never' come my way, well one must NEVER say never! :P

for games that we won't own, i feel it's too much paying same price as with other services (steam / d2d /gog / etc .. & PSN / XBL) ...

I agree that steam & alike do sell full priced games, but the games are yours, you have updates & special achievements (steam). i understand that with onlive you don't need to invest on the gaming machine, but still as long as a game isn't yours, i'd agree on 40 instead of 50$ ...or @ least 45 for newer games ...

games on PSN / XBL tend to be around 30$ & less ...

I wish onlive good luck & sure hope it goes international so i can enjoy such services too ...


Guest said:

With onlive you must also look at what it provides that no other service does.

Full version PC demos, not like the demos publishers push out.

They also rent full version PC games.

So that FPS with its 8 hour sp campaign can be had for about 6 or 9 bucks for a 3 or 5 day pass, where as with any other service you'd be paying 40,50, or even 60 dollars for the same 8 hour sp campaign.

Also, there is no downloading of anything, so that brand new demo that came out can be played quickly through onlive without downloading or installing, same as full version.

They only really have a few big hurdles to make it mainstream and the buggest of those is the tiny game library you can choose from....for now.


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