Microsoft seeking former OnLive employees to join Xbox team

OnLive's collapse means that many talented people are currently without a job. However, many of them may find a new home: Microsoft.

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OnLive's collapse means that many talented people are currently without a job. However, many of them may find a new home: Microsoft. The company is hosting an OnLive "networking mixer" at its Mountain View campus, not far from OnLive's Palo Alto HQ.

Although Perlman and OnLive are attempting to get as many people back with the newly restructured company, there will still be many unable to (or unwilling) to return to the game streaming company. Microsoft's pursuit of former OnLive employees is particularly interesting, especially when considers Sony's recent acquisition of Gaikai, a competitor in the game streaming space.

According to an invite from Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment division (aka "the Xbox group"), Microsoft is "eager to speak to individuals and teams affected by the OnLive transition." Adding, "with the stunning success of Xbox/Kinect and the accelerated growth of this business, we are looking to add key players who want to make a real impact in creating groundbreaking new products and services."

As VentureBeat points out, Microsoft and Xbox Live have a lot to gain from OnLive technology. Microsoft was a long-rumored contender to buy OnLive, but it's certainly cheaper to hire the brains behind the operation instead of an entire company.

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  • reply
    August 24, 2012 2:30 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Microsoft seeking former OnLive employees to join Xbox team.

    OnLive's collapse means that many talented people are currently without a job. However, many of them may find a new home: Microsoft.

    • reply
      August 24, 2012 2:38 PM

      I guess Microsoft needs something to counter Sony's acquisition of Gaikai?

      • reply
        August 24, 2012 6:09 PM

        According to giant bomb, MS tried to buy online before sony finished up buying Gaikai, but the Onlive CEO wanted A BILLION FUCKING DOLLARS.

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          August 24, 2012 6:56 PM

          Well...haha...companies have paid similar prices for acquisitions that brought far less to the table so I guess I'm not surprised.

    • reply
      August 24, 2012 2:56 PM

      the way Onlive has treated their employees and shareholders has really rustled my jimmies. Any interest in their products I may have had is now gone.

    • reply
      August 24, 2012 4:05 PM

      I've been saying that this model is the future for console for a while now. It's the next step console makers could take to combat piracy. It'll suck to require always being connected. And, you know games won't be any cheaper (you know, because there's no disc to press). But, something like this is about the only way MS can continue to enhance graphic quality with textures and video without paying Sony for blu-ray license fees. So, either games will be only available via xbla or they'll go some route like this where the game is virtual on a server running VM Kepler gpu's.

      Ya, I say all that, but what about the part of the market that can't afford 20mbps download? IDK... that's the main missing piece of the puzzle for this model. There isn't a good way to provide an offline mode like this. Maybe Sony/MS just decide to do an Apple and leave some customers behind. *IF* they really believe it'll put a dent into piracy, I can believe they'd do it and sleep well a night.

      • reply
        August 24, 2012 4:10 PM

        You think cloud streaming makes sense to increase graphics fidelity and avoid Blu Ray fees... Even though OnLive has a marked reduction in visual fidelity even this generation, and had monthly operating costs enough to force bankruptcy with $30-40 million in debt. How much do you think a Blu Ray license costs...

        • reply
          August 24, 2012 5:21 PM

          Graphic fidelity is a function of the virtual gpu and your bandwidth. Those are things that can be specifically designed for a console solution. I really believe this is why Nvidia did the VM Kepler solution.

          As for blu-ray, why would MS want to give its competitor even $.01 if there is a technology that can avoid that and cut into piracy?

          MS can build the correct infrastructure and have the right hardware partners on favorable terms. These are business things that OnLive just wasn't in a position to negotiate favorable terms on. Not to mention they probably just didn't have the volume of business to make their model work - the whole chicken and egg thing.

          • reply
            August 24, 2012 5:34 PM

            As for blu-ray, why would MS want to give its competitor even $.01 if there is a technology that can avoid that and cut into piracy?

            One good reason is if the alternative costs 100x as much and has no proof of success.

            MS can build the correct infrastructure and have the right hardware partners on favorable terms. These are business things that OnLive just wasn't in a position to negotiate favorable terms on. Not to mention they probably just didn't have the volume of business to make their model work - the whole chicken and egg thing.

            This is not a chicken and egg situation. That applies to platforms which in this case is only relevant insofar as OnLive had a hard time selling anyone on multiplayer titles since they segregated the community.

            How does OnLive become significantly cheaper to run at scale? Does more people allow them to more effectively utilize hardware? No, the ratio of machines to subscribers doesn't change if they need to guarantee availability. Does it reduce how many data centers they need? No (quite the opposite).

            Do all these costs offset the relatively minor amount of revenue lost to console piracy? I don't really see Activision and others complaining about 360 piracy the way they do on other platforms (PC, DS and PSP come to mind).

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              August 24, 2012 5:43 PM

              and MS already gives money to Sony with every 360 sold. Guess who was part of the alliance that developed the HDMI spec?

              http://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/adopters_founders.aspx

            • reply
              August 24, 2012 6:19 PM

              My point about blu-ray actually came from an article I read long ago during the HD DVD & Blu-Ray format war. MS said they would never come out with a BR drive for Xbox. They never said why, but critics speculated it was because they didn't want to help fund their competitor.

              Ya, there is the whole thing about Sony helped to develop other tech.

              • reply
                August 24, 2012 6:33 PM

                Not wanting to help a competitor build a fledgling platform/format is very different from not wanting to pay them for some particular feature/technology/etc. The former could have far wider reaching consequences, the latter is just determining if you like the ROI on a particular investment vs the alternatives.

    • reply
      August 24, 2012 6:39 PM

      * IF YOU CAN'T ACQUIRE 'EM HIRE 'EM 'D *

      • reply
        August 24, 2012 7:06 PM

        You've got imagine in certain cases it's just cheaper to hire them. Are they any cases where a company like MS has made a blanket offer to most or all of the staff from another company to essentially buy their staff w/o buying the company?

      • reply
        August 25, 2012 11:55 AM

        Except in cases like this new-onlive would certainly make sure they re-hire the core talent. Mid-management and below probably are what MS would be able to attract.

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      August 24, 2012 6:42 PM

      Hopefully MS can pick some up, but there's a lot more to OnLive than just the gaming streaming. all of Rearden is done and Steve Perlman is only offering contracts to less than 5% of those that worked for them.

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