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Sony Acquires OnLive's Cloud Gaming Patents

The once-troubled cloud gaming startup, which relaunched last year, is closing down again.

Asa Mathat

Cloud gaming company OnLive has sold its portfolio of more than 140 patents to Sony Computer Entertainment America for an undisclosed sum, and will wind down operations at the end of April.

Those patents will likely play into the future of PlayStation Now, a cloud gaming service launched by Sony last year that gives owners of the PlayStation 4 and other hardware access to games previously only available on the PlayStation 3. Sony introduced a $20 all-you-can-eat monthly subscription for PS Now earlier this year.

In July 2012, Sony paid $380 million to buy erstwhile OnLive competitor Gaikai, whose solution for streaming games from the Internet became the backbone of PlayStation Now. One month later, the first incarnation of OnLive sacked most of its staff and sold itself to investment firm Lauder Partners for $4.8 million.

Last year, OnLive relaunched with IGN founder Mark Jung at the helm, and began offering its own monthly subscription service for PC gaming called CloudLift, costing $15 per month, which synced across platforms the games users had already downloaded. Twenty games were supported at launch, and at the time of this writing, 85 CloudLift games are listed in OnLive’s catalog.

Existing subscribers will be able to continue using OnLive through April 30, and anyone with a monthly subscription that renewed on or after March 28 will receive a refund. The 80-person company will cease operations in May.

A person familiar with the sale told Re/code that none of OnLive’s leadership team will join Sony.

Just for the hell of it, here’s a funny tweet from February pointing out that Sony’s PlayStation Now logo fits neatly inside OnLive’s:

This article originally appeared on

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