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OnLive metrics helping developers "design games better"

Founder Perlman claims cloud service is "managing core gaming with metrics the same way that Zynga manages social gaming"

OnLive's user feedback is helping developers and publishers design core games more attuned to the player than ever before, according founder Steve Perlman.

The cloud streaming service claims to be offering detailed metrics to partners in such depth only previously seen in the social gaming sector by companies like Zynga and Playfish.

"If you look at Zynga, one of the things I see as complete genius is that they study the data so carefully to understand what makes the best sense for the users and what makes the best sense from a business point of view, and they come up with this happy medium where people love playing their games and they make a lot of money. What's not to like about that?" said Perlman in an interview published today.

We have a very, very unique way for people to look at the whole process of development

Steve Perlman, OnLive

"It's been very, very hard to do that in the core game market because of the very high friction it takes to getting the games out there, and of course with the decline of PC gaming, there's fewer and fewer high performance PCs out there, most people have laptops if not tablets, once again its very hard for the publishers."

"So we gave the publishers tons and tons of data, they love it. It allows them to go and make decisions, to design games better. Now in the design process we can actually go and put up games in a beta group that's closed off from the rest of the world even though it's running on the same servers but no one else can spectate that." He added: "We have again a very, very unique way for people to look at the whole process of development in addition to the opportunities for merchandising."

"This is managing core gaming with metrics the same way that Zynga manages social gaming, that they've never been able to do before."

Perlman also claims publishers receive better margins by selling games via OnLive, as they don't have the second hand market cutting into sales almost immediately after a game has been released.

"From the publishers point of view they want to sell as many of these as they can and right now it's tough because they have this cliff right after the game's released because the used game market begins to carve into all their sales.

"It gets harder and harder to sell new games after they've been out for a couple of months. And then of course, especially on the PC side, but also now on Xbox 360, they're getting increasing amounts of piracy and it's easier to distribute through bit torrent and so forth."

"When it comes to videogames, there's no way to pirate a cloud based game. Because the game is not running locally, it's running in the cloud. And there's also no used games, so the margins zoom up for them. And what that means of course for the consumers is that prices can come down."

The full interview with Perlman, where he details plans for this year's European launch and more, can be read here.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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