UK telecoms giant BT has taken a 2.6 per cent shareholding in OnLive Inc., a Silicon Valley based, cloud computing video gaming business. The value of the stake is thought to be $500,000. The deal gives BT exclusive rights to bundle the OnLive® Game Service with broadband in the UK. The move by BT into cloud gaming is designed to enhance what the company already offers in the entertainment area with BT Vision its on-demand digital TV service.
Onlive will deliver the latest games from many of the world’s leading publishers direct to a customer’s TV, PC or Mac. OnLive works over a wired broadband connection and customers do not need high specification computers to use the service as the complex processing work is done at remote data centres. The service will compete directly with video game consoles.
Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Retail, said: “Entertainment is going to be at the heart of what we offer customers in the future. The partnership with OnLive complements our existing BT Vision service. It’s great for our customers – they’ll have access to a huge catalogue of games, available instantly on their TV or PC without expensive hardware. And it’s great for BT – it will enhance our premium broadband position and we’ll be entering into a market that’s worth more than £2billion.”
Steve Perlman, CEO of OnLive, said: “The UK market is extremely important to OnLive and our videogame publishing partners as we expand into Europe. We view BT as the ideal UK partner. As gamers are moving increasingly to online game distribution, OnLive delivers video games as a pure form of online media, playable instantly on almost any video-capable device attached to the internet. The implications are nothing short of transformative to video games and in time, all interactive media. OnLive is delighted to be pioneering this revolutionary technology in the UK together with BT”.
Neither company has revealed a UK launch date for the service. Onlive launches in the US on June 17th.
Location: UK, London