Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Friday, June 3, 2011

OnLive Gets 100th Game, Facebook Integration

OnLive has been busy working on new agreements, and at E3 they will be showcasing their 100th game, Red Faction: Armageddon, which will be their first exclusive PC demo. Now that the OnLive library has hit 100 (up from the 19 they launched with), it's going to have an easier time getting players to sign up. Which in turn should make it easier to get more games to join their library.

More important, perhaps, than the milestone of 100 games is the expanded integration with Facebook. OnLive is clearly planning to leverage the viral marketing aspects of Facebook games by integrating Facebook into their games. It's not just posting messages to your Wall, it's an attempt to add spectating, video clips, and other advanced features to all the games OnLive serves up, all plugged into your Facebook account.

Done properly, this could help OnLive get more new members as they leverage the social networks of their players. OnLive is also pushing a new SDK to enable developers to take full advantage of their Facebook integration.

Meanwhile, OnLive is also pushing into the UK this fall. I'm sure they will be looking at Europe soon after. PLus they have more announcements lined up for E3. They are putting out their story early, which is a smart move to avoid getting lost in the wave of announcements that will be coming out of E3.

While OnLive is trying hard, it seems to me their ultimate success is still in question. They've made it to 100 games, but their $9.95 a month all-you-can-eat service has about 50 games available. Otherwise, you can rent games for 3 days, or you can buy them. The advantage of buying them from OnLive as opposed to just getting them for your PC is that they will have the most high-end graphics available... though of course you will have to deal with potential lag issues. The 50 games on the service are not your most popular titles, of course. It remains to be seen if publishers will want to let OnLive get the rights to their most popular games.

The other issue is still the high bandwidth required for the service to work properly, and even then you can still get into lag situations. Perhaps these issues will be less important over time, but the marketplace is changing. Will OnLive adapt itself to what players want? It will be interesting to watch what happens.

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