OnLive to bring MOVA animation tech to video games

"It can't run on Xbox, it can't run on any 2012 technology, so it's only going to be running in cloud based computing"

OnLive wants to bring its market-leading facial and motion capture technology Contour to video games in the near future, claiming that the graphical quality is only possible using game streaming services.

The technology, developed by OnLive sister company MOVA, has featured in multiple Hollywood movies, winning an Oscar for Achievement in Visual Effects for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and most recently seen in Green Lantern, the latest Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter and Transformers releases.

It has also been deployed in Warner Bros. Batman: Arkham City trailer, which OnLive CEO Steve Perlman described as a "test", as he hopes it will next be used for in-game graphics in video games.

"It shows the kind of capability we're going to be doing in games for OnLive, live," he told

"It can't run on Xbox, it can't run on any 2012 technology, it's not going to run on a PC, so it's only going to be running in cloud based computing," he added.

"What makes this real, what distinguishes this from any other trailer, is the face. None of the other stuff is different from the sort of 3D stuff that's being done, but when you see this real human face suddenly you say 'oh my god, this is live action'".

Perlman, who also acts as president of MOVA as well as streaming games service OnLive, said it's now time to bring the two technologies together, and added that the company has proven itself to publishing and development partners with the successful roll-out of OnLive over the past year.

"This is where gaming's going, and it's going to be on every kind of device, everywhere you are, and the publishers, there are over 50 publishers that are supporting us, so we're no longer in a position where we're like 'OK, are we going to work, are users going to adopt this thing, is there an economic model that works?'"

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Latest comments (7)

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game9 years ago
So the question now is are puplishers going to invest in this, presumably ramping up costs, for a platform with an at the moment low install base, knowing it can't be re-used for other formats, not even high end PC gaming, let alone the two consoles that are likely to give them a chance of recouping costs? Anyone want to fund a $100M OnLive exclusive?
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Robin Clarke Producer, Zattikka Ltd.9 years ago
OnLive today announced to investors it was exactly like [popular thing] because of [selective example].

What's the story here? That current platforms aren't powerful enough to run precanned motion captured animations in in-engine cut scenes? (Which would seem to run counter to the evidence of L.A. Noire, Enslaved, Heavy Rain, etc.)

Or does he mean that the actual motion capture can be carried out in real time, in which case this is an exciting development for out of work actors.

This seems like a very tenuous attempt to link two unrelated businesses.
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Jeffrey Kesselman CTO, Nphos9 years ago
+1 Robin. Onlive has been on a PR campaign blitz to justify their existence when they still can't solve the most fundamental flaws in their basic proposition-- that it is a higher cost way to deliver inferior gameplay (laggy and with visual artifacts.)

I smell a run up to trying to sell off this turkey, either to investors or the public.
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Show all comments (7)
All credit to their marketing team for choosing to use the fact that 'almost nothing can use it' as a selling point.

It sounds like it would be a great benefit to the games industry, but it's certainly a risky strategy to put such a big egg in a relatively small basket.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christopher Beckford on 29th June 2011 4:01pm

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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game9 years ago
Another point would be any game using this, building a new engine that can utilise it in game is going to take at least 4 years, maybe more, and from the comments made no development seems to have started yet. In four years we expect to have new consoles from MS and Sony, and four years worth of new PC graphics cards, so by the time any game is ready to use it, who is to say that it won't be able to run on PC or console?
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Mario Tommadich Software QA Analyst, Indie Game Developer 9 years ago
Something that cannot be used by anything is by definition useless. So what is the point? This OnLive business to me seems more and more like a bloated bubble that's about to burst.
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Eliott Large Intern, interxion9 years ago
If they want it to be so close to real people, why not just use real people?
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