OnLive Streaming Has “A Lot To Prove”, Says GOG
Classic games digital distributor, Good Old Games, has said it believes OnLive faces significant challenges in convincing gamers that streaming is the best way to play games.
Speaking to Edge-Online, the company’s public relations man Lukasz Kukawski explained what he saw as the major hurdles for OnLive to overcome if its to be successful.
"I have to say it all sounds really impressive and we are, probably like thousands of people who keep up with the technological innovations in the gaming industry, very curious about how all this cloud services will evolve," he explained. "Unfortunately it’s still too early to say how successful this technology will become. Not every gamer possesses the required internet connection to properly enjoy the streaming experience."
"Besides – even if one has a fast connection – games are more and more demanding in terms of data size and it would be hard to imagine people spending a few minutes streaming some content, while a retail copy would have taken a few seconds to load," he said, adding: "The streaming technology itself still has a lot to prove and this is why we believe gamers will keep on playing their recent titles on their native hardware for several more years."
Kukawski went onto explain that GOG.com wouldn’t pursue any streaming games service, saying that the always online nature of it is a form of DRM.
"The concept of cloud-gaming does not fit our DRM-free policy, as being obliged to have a permanent access to the Internet is already some kind of DRM as such," he said. "Ease of use is one of our obsessions at GOG and this is why our titles can be downloaded and played anytime and anywhere, without any need to have access to the Internet to install and play the game."
"We believe gamers should be free to decide how they want to enjoy their experience. Constraints are not part of our philosophy," he said.
Kukawski also offered his opinion on OnLive’s pricing, which was announced at GDC as a $15 subscription on top of games offered on an a la carte basis.
“The rates OnLive announced at GDC seemed pretty reasonable,” he said, “but I think pricing is not such an important point for now. The key question here is rather about OnLive’s target audience I would say. Considering their technology, their target audience definitely seems to be households equipped with a fast Internet connection.”
“People having this at home are very likely to be technology-literate and thus often possess quality gaming equipment at home. Are the latter willing to pay any kind of subscription to stream a game remotely while they already have the required native platform to play it in excellent conditions without any effort or monthly cost?”
He concluded: “OnLive’s main challenge will be to convince publishers to forget 1st party manufacturers (PC, consoles) and move their content onto this streaming service. Then only can they be appealing towards end customers. Then only will pricing come into perspective.”
Earlier this month, Dave Perry dismissed OnLive’s pricing as a mistake, saying it benefited his own planned streaming service Gaikai.