Recently-launched streaming PC game company OnLive is one to watch, with a hefty valuation of $1.1 billion following new investments from BT and Belgacom Group, according to a new report on Venture Beat
While OnLive has only been available to the public for under two months, the market valuation indicates a substantial interest in services that could disrupt the current packaged video game and home console model.
VCExperts analyst Justin Byers told Venture Beat that the $1.1 billion valuation is likely accurate, judging by figures in publicly available regulatory filings. OnLive isn't commenting on the report.
OnLive, founded by internet entrepreneur Steve Perlman, was revealed in 2009, and launched to the U.S. public in mid-June this year. Prior to its unveiling, the company said it was running in stealth mode, developing the technology for the previous seven years. BT and Belgacom plan on launching OnLive in Europe.
Players sign up for the service and can pay a price typically equivalent to an MSRP for unlimited use of a title. They can also buy three- and five-day play passes for a few dollars.
The reason that OnLive could be a potential disruptive technology is because the service allows users to run high-end PC games locally from remote datacenters -- players don't have to install the game onto their hard drive, and can select and play games from a browser. It circumvents retail and is not confined to a proprietary game console.
OnLive has also attracted major publishers, and offers an up-to-date library of games including Assassin's Creed 2
, Batman: Arkham Asylum
and Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4
Other companies are getting into streaming gaming services, including cloud-friendly firms like Gaikai, InstantAction, Otoy and GameStreamer.