Update, Friday, April 3rd: An on-line petition has been started to try to persuade Sony to keep SL Go running as a service. In all honesty, the likelihood of this succeeding is less than slim, but if you would like to add your name to the petition, it can be found here.
On Thursday, April 2nd, it was announced that the SL Go streaming service supplied by OnLive has been discontinued.
The move is part of a wider shut-down of services that will take place on Thursday, April 30th, following a decision by the company to sell its portfolio of patents to Sony Computer Entertainment America.
An official announcement on OnLive’s SL Go website reads in full:
It is with great sadness we must announce that OnLive’s SL Go service will be coming to an end. Sony is acquiring important parts of OnLive, and their plans don’t include a continuation of the SL Go service. However, your service should continue uninterrupted until April 30, 2015. No further subscription fees will be charged, and you can continue to enjoy SL Go on all of your devices until that date.
In our year of SL Go service, we have become quite close to the Second Life® community. Thanks to your patronage and constructive feedback, SL Go became one of OnLive’s most successful services. We know how important SL Go is for many of you, and it saddens us to bring the service to a close. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to you for being a part of “SL Go by OnLive” and wish you all the best.
With warmest regards,
Everyone at OnLive
In a personal address sent out to those with whom he’s been in contact with over the course of the last year or more, OnLive’s Product Manager for SL Go Dennis Harper – someone whom I’ve come to regard as a friend both in-world and through our communications outside of the platform – said:
To my good friends and partners in Second Life,
It breaks my heart to tell you that OnLive (OL2, Inc) has been acquired and will be closing down the game service, including SL Go. The official press release is attached.
SL Go Island will continue to exist for a while, but we have removed the Pay with L$ feature.
The OnLive and SL Go services will continue to operate in full capacity until April 30. All services will be free to anyone who has or creates an account. All prices for the service have been set to $0.00, including SL Go.
On a personal note; you all have been so supportive of SL Go. You have my heartfelt thanks for all you have done. I have made some good friends in SL and it greatly saddens me that this project is ending. You all have accepted us n00bs into your community and mentored us on what Second Life really is. I have learned so much! My sincere thanks to all of you.
This is and unfortunate end, not just for SL Go, but also for everyone at OnLive, a company which had come through a lot to provide a unique on-line gaming service and which has tried to enter a very unique environment with SL Go, and has done so by providing a very successful approach to providing access to Second Life (and OpenSim) to people while on the move through their delivery to Android and iPad devices, and to those using older, lower-specification hardware.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be somewhat closely involved in SL Go, initially being offered the opportunity to help beta the product, and then in helping to report on and promote the service, and (hopefully) provide OnLive, through Dennis and his team with useful feedback, support and advice.
As such, I’d like to take this opportunity to offer Dennis, Jeff, Shae, Jersey, Robby and everyone else at OnLive involved in SL Go – including Jane Anderson in the US and Mark Bevan here in the UK, my thanks and my heartfelt best wishes for the future. I do, however hope that we’ll continue to able to see one another in-world, at the very least.
In writing about the situation, in Ars Technica (linked to at the top of this article and in the links section below), Kyle Orland notes:
Looking back, it seems OnLive was just a little bit too far ahead of the curve, both in terms of market readiness and the Internet infrastructure necessary for streaming games. As low-latency bandwidth continues to become cheaper and more accessible around the world, it seems likely someone will nail the correct combination of business model, game selection, and easy-to-use interface to become the industry’s answer to Netflix. That company will owe a debt to OnLive for getting the ball rolling and proving that streaming gaming was something that was worth trying in the first place.
I couldn’t agree more.