Gamasutra is confirming that all OnLive employees have been laid off.
Today OnLive, the company that offers cloud-based, streaming gaming, was reported to have fired its entire staff. The company has denied that the OnLive service is shutting down, but confusion continues to swirl about whether employees were let go. Word of the layoffs first came from industry insider Brian Fargo, founder of inXile Entertainment:
Just received an email that OnLive is closed as of today!
Fargo has since provided the text of the email he received:
I wanted to send a note that by the end of the day today, OnLive as an entity will no longer exist. Unfortunately, my job and everyone else’s was included. A new company will be formed and the management of the company will be in contact with you about the current initiatives in place, including the titles that will remain on the service.
It has been an absolute pleasure working with you and I’m sure our path with cross again.
Minutes later, Fargo fired off the following tweets:
The OnLive employee has sent a “recall” message on the email. Now what does that mean?
I don’t think there is an internet “undo” button they can hit.
Mashable, citing an unnamed source, reported that an all-hands meeting at 10 am Pacific time resulted in the layoff of the company’s entire staff. Its source also stated that some of the employees may be rehired once the new company is formed. An update to Mashable’s report quotes OnLive Director of Corporate Communications Brian Jaquet as saying “no comment,” but emphasizing that the OnLive service will not be shutting down.
The OnLive service is a solid platform and the company appeared to be doing well. It even released a number of new features this year, including streaming Windows 7 to iPads. In fact, rumors of layoffs don’t seem to have deterred OnLive’s public relations company from advertising the service’s latest offerings. The official OnLive Twitter account just sent out the following tweet:
Exciting news: the first VIZIO Co-Stars (Google TV stream players) w/OnLive built-in have just arrived in customer homes! Cloud Gaming FTW!
What exactly is happening at OnLive is still unknown. Though the company has issued carefully-worded statements that the OnLive service will not be shutting down, it has not commented on possible layoffs or made an official statement. Kevin Dent, CEO of Tiswaz Entertainment chimed in on Twitter and summed up the confusion felt throughout the industry:
This OnLive stuff makes zero sense unless someone just wants an asset sale, but even then I am confused. Perlman wanted to be CEO of a PLC
The Perlman Dent refers to is Steve Perlman, founder and CEO of OnLive.
Updates to this story will follow as more information becomes available.