OnLive Ditches Subscription Gaming

Remember OnLive? It’s the gaming service that set its sights high towards offering cloud-based gaming that doesn’t require any special hardware except a system capable of streaming 720p content. It has the potential to revolutionize the gaming industry over time and just as much potential to fail miserably.

Recently OnLive took another step towards success, making the platform more accessible to the masses. What have they done? They’ve ditched the base subscription required to access OnLive. Read on for more info. and why we think this is a vital step towards success.

If you’re not sure what OnLive is, take a look at our in-depth review, OnLive: Next Generation Gaming, during it’s initial release period.

OnLive Overview

OnLive Overview

OnLive Subscription

When OnLive was first released, pricing was set at $14.95 per month with founding members and beta testers granted a free year and discounted pricing thereafter. Among other pitfalls, this was one of the more prominent for potential gamers. Who was going to pay $15 per month in addition to the cost of games?

Title Prices

Title Prices

One of the biggest drawing points for OnLive was its availability to the masses without consoles or expensive gaming rigs. The monthly subscription essentially went against that advantage, reducing its appeal. Now that OnLive has been available for awhile, they’ve been able to better gauge its potential success or possible failure.

What have they determined? The OnLive platform is sustainable without a monthly subscription. This is very exciting for a variety of reasons.

1. Accessible to more people

Ditching the monthly access fee gives potential users a “no loss” reason to at least try the service, which will, no doubt, result in more permanent OnLive users and in turn result in more money for game developers.

2. Try games before buying

One of the features OnLive touted was its ability to allow users to instantly demo games; no installs, no waiting, no fees, no downloads. Without the subscription fee, interested gamers can sign up and immediately play a game demo of their choice. This will, again, translate into more sales.

3. PlayPass selection

Unlike your local game store, OnLive offers PlayPasses of differing lengths. If you’d like to purchase the full game, you can. But, if you only want to play the game for 3 or maybe 5 days, you can save some money with shorter length PlayPasses. It’s like a rental, except you don’t have to leave your comfy chair, use your car’s gas or mess with those old school discs (no more scratched discs!). As with points one and two, this will translate into more sales.

4. Free online gaming community

Unlike some other online gaming services that charge monthly or yearly subscription fees, OnLive is now able to offer people an online gaming community entirely free. You’re able to watch others play games live and lots of other fun stuff.

Why OnLive?

Getting rid of the monthly subscription will help OnLive succeed, or at least that’s what I believe. More users buying more games means game developers will be more likely to get their games on the OnLive platform, which just makes gamers all the happier. As OnLive grows, gamers will be able to spend their money where they actually want; on games rather than hardware to play the games.

Along with ditching the monthly subscription, OnLive is bringing new features to the table such as game play over WiFi (which wasn’t previously available), continued contests to engage the gaming community, 1080p streaming, etc.

What Do You Think?

I’m clearly a fan of OnLive but I’d love to hear what you think about OnLive and the removal of the monthly subscription plan. Will you consider using or at least trying OnLive now that it’s free? How do you think this change will affect the gaming community as a whole? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks!