David Perry has said that OnLive’s pricing model will cause gamers to flock to his free cloud service, Gaikai.
Speaking with GI.biz at GDC, Perry said that the pricing structure for Onlive is a “shot in the arm” for Gaikai, adding that he would be happy to stream the service on to consoles as well.
“It’s very different to OnLive. We’re not trying to replace the consoles,” he revealed. [OnLive] have done an amazing job with the user interface [but] the cost per data center to do all of that streaming is very expensive. That’s why they have a subscription. Would you pay $15 a month for it? You’re paying for the games on top of the service. You’re paying $15 only to have the opportunity to buy the games. $15 gives you no games. If you decide, ‘I don’t want to keep paying that subscription’, you’ve just lost access to your games bought at full price.
“We were just as surprised as everyone else when we heard the final business model. That’s why it’s a shot in the arm to us because now we’re just perfectly positioned. You can play Call of Duty over there for $15 or you can come here and try it for nothing. When you buy it from us, you own it, for the rest of your life. When you buy it from over there you have to keep paying a subscription to keep access to it.
“In a weird way I actually want them to be successful because it’s a good thing if streaming gets a really good reputation, so I actually want them to succeed. It’s healthy competition but we have very different strategies and it’s all going to shake itself out over the next 18 months.
“In 18 months let’s sit down and see what happened. It’s going to be interesting.”
Perry also said that Gaikai could stream onto “anything with a screen, internet connection and form of input, including internet-connected TVs”, according to GI, and customers reading gaming websites from these devices can automatically hit a link and try the game out.
“Instead of us marketing and trying to drive all the customers to a certain URL – like OnLive for example, they have to buy every player and convince them to come to a certain place on the internet,” he said. “It’s better when they’re reading an article that – bam – it says, ‘do you want to try it now?’ The publisher would like that. The game might not even be ready for release so you’d be looking at an early preview. We can run it on our servers, they can experience it on your site, and they can make a pre-order to EA.
“So you win, you get a demo you could never have had before. The gamer gets to play something they could never have played before, and EA gets a pre-order a year in advance. Life is good for everyone.”
Purchases could also be made via online retailers, like Amazon, as well as directly through publishers. Users could also try out codeless Betas and applications like PhotoShop to stop potential hacking and pirating.
Also, players will also be able to use Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter which will be integrated into the service, so that you when you post a tweet or update, friends will be able to “one click” into what you are doing and join in.
“Say I discovered Starcraft’s Beta first out of all of my friends, I can tweet it out and say ‘I’m in Starcraft right now’ and, one click, and they’re all in the game too with me,” said Perry. “That’s unbelievably compatible with the marketing needs of the publisher. And you’re super cool because you’ve got all your friends into the Beta without them having to beg for keys, registering or anything.
“If a publisher works with us, we’ll actually teleport them to exactly where you stand because we can give where you are in with the link. You’ll see all these people appearing around you who are your friends. That’s what we’d like to get to – it’s longer term, publishers need to buy into it, but we think that would be awesome.”
Gaikai is expected to launch sometime during Q1 after Beta testing is complete.