Cloud Gaming’s OnLive Launched In UK With BT And Game Group

OnLive, which lets consumers play remotely-hosted games on multiple client devices, launches in the UK on Thursday through Game Group online retail and through BT (NYSE: BT), after the telco secured a 2.6 percent stake in the company with an earlier investment.

The service is offered via £6.99 ($10.92) monthly subscription or one-off rental and makes over 100 titles available to play on PC, Mac, Android and iPad. But the greater potential is probably on TV screens, via the Ethernet-connected OnLive Game System mini-console.

  • BT is touting “exclusivity” on a promotional offer for its broadband customers – three months’ free access, and OnLive traffic won’t count toward bandwidth use. But there is no price promo on the £69.99 ($109.31) mini-console.
  • OnLive itself is offering a game rental for just £1 ($1.57) as a promotion and is giving Eurogamer Expo attendees the mini-console for free.
  • Game Group will the first retailer to sell OnLive’s service when it offers it on and later this year, followed by its stores and by an unclarified integration with the stores’ loyalty cards.

This looks like a cautious launch. BT might have more closely offered OnLive amongst its bundle of telephony, broadband and BT Vision IPTV. Game might have started selling OnLive immediately…

  • BT Vision, which has struggled to make gains in the TV market, sorely needs a differentiator like OnLive. Neither BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) nor Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) offers such a games service. A BT spokesperson tells paidContent it may bundle OnLive with its other services in future, including with BT Vision or whatever its YouView proposition will look like.
  • Game Group is desperate to add more online revenue streams to its arsenal. If consumers flee consoles for online, social or cloud-based games, the company, which depends on selling plastic in boxes, is dangerously exposed.

However, this tentative approach seems best. Despite current “cloud” hoo-hah, it is by no means yet clear that OnLive’s paradigm will win out in video games over the holy trinity of console formats – Xbox, Playstation and Wii – each of which is now moving steadily toward an online distribution model, if not to “streamed” games outright.

Launch Titles

4 Elements
AC-130: Operation Devastation
Advent Rising
Alarm for Cobra 11 Nitro
Alien Shooter: Vengeance
Alien vs. Predator Classic 2000
Aliens vs. Predator
Alpha Prime
Alpha Protocol
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda
Around the World in 80 Days
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Deluxe Edition
Assassin’s Creed II
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Bloodrayne 2
Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition
Brain Challenge
Conflict: Denied Ops
Darkstar One
Defense Grid: Gold
Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
DiRT 2
DiRT 3
Disciples III: Renaissance
Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga
Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time
Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon
Duke Nukem Forever
Elements of War
Elizabeth Find, MD: Diagnosis Mystery
Evil Genius
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
F.E.A.R. 3
Faery: Legends of Avalon
Fate of the Pharaoh
Fishdom 2
Flatout 2
Frontlines: Fuel of War
Glyph 2
Grand Ages: Rome
Hitman: Blood Money
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
Just Cause
Just Cause 2
Kane & Lynch 2
King’s Bounty: Armored Princess
King’s Legacy
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
LEGO Batman: The Videogame
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
Luxor 2
Madballs in Babo: Invasion
Mafia II
Men of War: Red Tide
Metro 2033
Mini Ninjas
MLB 2K10
MX vs ATV Reflex
NBA 2K10
NBA 2K11
NecroVision: The Lost Company
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Ninja Blade
Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee
Patrician IV
Port Royale 2
Prince of Persia
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlord
Red Faction Guerrilla
Red Faction: Armageddon
Remington Super Slam Hunting: Africa
Royal Envoy Premium
Saints Row 2
Shaun White Skateboarding
Shellshock 2: Blood Trails
Silent Hunter 5: Battle of the Atlantic
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
Star Wolves 3: Civil War
Super Granny 6
Supreme Commander
Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance
Syberia II
The Ball
The Bard’s Tale
The Maw
Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X
Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
Tomb Raider Anniversary
Tomb Raider: Legend
Tomb Raider: Underworld
Trapped Dead
Tropico 3
Tropico 4
Unreal Tournament III
Vegas: Make it Big
Virtua Tennis 2009
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
World of Goo
Zombie Shooter 2

Coming Soon:

Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Assault Heroes 2
Batman: Arkham City
Call of Juarez: The Cartel
Civilization V
Driver: San Francisco
F1 2011
Fallout Tactics
Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game
Football Manager 2012
From Dust
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
Might & Magic: Heroes VI
MLB 2K11
NBA 2K12
Operation Flashpoint: Red River
Orcs Must Die
Red Bull X Fighters, International Freestyle Motorcross
Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3
Saints Row the Third
Sniper: Ghost Warrior
Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition
Trine 2
Wargame: European Escalation