BT gains exclusive rights to bundle OnLive in UK

Cloud gaming service secures commercial partnership and investment with operator

BT has entered into a commercial partnership with OnLive - a move which sees the telecoms operator gaining exclusive rights to bundle Onlive with its broadband packages in the UK as well as a 2.6 per cent shareholding in the games firm.

OnLive was unveiled in March 2009 following seven years in development and officially launches in the US this summer following a beta trial. BT will announce further details about its launch plans later in the year.

"Entertainment is going to be at the heart of what we offer customers in the future," said Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Retail.

"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 £2 billion."

"The UK market is extremely important to OnLive and our video game publishing partners as we expand into Europe," added Steve Perlman, CEO of OnLive.

"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."

OnLive's launch date of June 17 was announced at this year's GDC. The service, which delivers games directly to a TV, PC or Mac will be accessible for a subscription fee of $14.95 per month and uses video compression technology to stream games using a broadband connection.

The move into cloud gaming by BT will enhance the company's current entertainment offerings from BT Vision, it's on-demand digital TV service.

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Latest comments (6)

Joseph Marlow Blogger 11 years ago
A great reason not to choose OnLive.
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Neil McPhillips Senior Development Manager, Blazing Griffin11 years ago
That is a pity, I'll never go back to BT Broadband so I'll never get to try OnLive i guess.
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Dwain Hill11 years ago
Is this just a deal to bundle it with a broadband package, not a deal that you can only use it exclusively on BT..? If it can only be used on BT, that's pretty stupid..

edit: I was assuming it was just the bundle deal, otherwise that would have been ridiculous. Never underestimate stupidity though :P

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dwain Hill on 13th May 2010 4:39pm

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Show all comments (6)
Paul Cardy Programmer, Rebellion11 years ago
Good way to kill a fledgling service, I would have thought. Can't see many developers/publishers rushing to (re-)release their games on a single-ISP service.

edit: Apparently it's just the bundling that is exclusive, which is less of an issue but still a little odd.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Cardy on 13th May 2010 2:13pm

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Katherine Brice Deputy Editor, GamesIndustry.biz11 years ago
I've just confirmed with BT that it has the exclusive right to bundle OnLive with its broadband packages but that users of OnLive will be free to set up the service with any ISP. That was what I assumed was the case when I wrote it, but the announcement was a bit ambiguous...

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James Poole Managing Director, Sarcastic Hedgehog Ltd11 years ago
14.95 a month to have the right to rent games...reminds me of the days when you had to pay to be a member of a video rental store to be able to rent VHS tapes.
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