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OnLive Acquires OnLive

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the crisis-of-identity dept.

Software 154

techfun89 writes with an update on OnLive shutting down. From the article: "The restructured OnLive has issued an press release and FAQ to attempt to clear up any rumors and misinformation on the companies recent changes. OnLive is emphasizing that the streaming game service will go on uninterrupted and the 'Newly formed company' will continue to use the OnLive name. The press release also outlines the Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (ABC) process OnLive used to settle debts and that an affiliate of Lauder Partners, a technology investment firm, was the new OnLive's first investor. The firm talked about the necessity of laying off its staff, stating that 'neither OnLive, Inc. shares nor OnLive staff could transfer under this type of transaction,' and confirming that nearly half of the previous staff had been offered positions at the new company. The new firm mentions that this acquisition holds hope for the future 'of transforming the OnLive vision into reality.' This effectively means that OnLive was essentially bought out by OnLive, or rather, more specifically, one of their original investors in the company who backed the startup back in 2009."

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heh (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41063387)

Xzibit's head just blew up

OnLive buys OnLive (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063469)

Gee, and I haven't heard of either one of them :-(

Re:heh (0)

ChodaBoyUSA (2532764) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063505)

So something good did come from this.

Re:heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41063685)

You're a racist.

Re:heh (0)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064583)

No, race doesn't come into it - whilst Xzibit claims to be a musician, the drivel he produces is insulting to anyone with any form of taste in actual music.

Re:heh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41063521)

Xzibit's head just blew up

he's a nigger so it didn't take much

Re:heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41064203)

Thank you for showing us two kinds of ignorance with one post. Idiot.

we're fucked (4, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063395)

just like we said. Corporate bastards can do anything the fuck they want.

Re:we're fucked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41063603)

Yep - that's why you are lucky to have a job, bitch. You are just a peon.

only 'coz we're pussies (1)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063757)

Fine, so man up and go to one of those companies like Upstart, who'll bankroll you into your own DotCom

Re:we're fucked (5, Interesting)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063683)

I've put together a plausible scenario based upon the really vaguely written press release. I have no inside knowledge of the situation. If you know more, please correct me.

It sounds like an original investor held shares in OnLive(1). He lost all of his original shares of OnLive(1) just like everyone else. Rather than pump more of his own money into OnLive(1) and remain saddled with debt and overhead, he chose, along with others, to put the company through the bankruptcy process. Remember, he paid his own money to help start and run the company. He has no obligation to continue to support it personally.

He then used his own money to found OnLive(2). He used his own money in OnLive(2) to purchase the latent assets left in OnLive(1) and then proceeded to offer jobs to employees from OnLive(1).

So, it doesn't sound like all the investors in OnLive(1) divested the employees, kept their own shares and started over after screwing over the staff. It sounds like investor(s) bootstrapped a whole other company with a whole bunch more of their own money and bought the assets of the shell of the original company.

Re:we're fucked (1)

six025 (714064) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063761)

... a plausible scenario ...

I think you meant to say this [slashdot.org] .

Re:we're fucked (4, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063821)

He then used his own money to found OnLive(2). He used his own money in OnLive(2) to purchase the latent assets left in OnLive(1) and then proceeded to offer jobs to employees from OnLive(1).

Purchase? From whom? Not the shareholders of OnLive(1) -- they get nothing. Perhaps the creditors of OnLive(1)?

Does anyone know how much OnLive(2) paid for the assets? Did OnLive(2) pay a reasonable price?

Re:we're fucked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41064125)

Yes, from the creditors. ABC means "assignment for benefit of creditors".

Re:we're fucked (3, Interesting)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064131)

As usual, the shareholders will get whatever is left after the debtors get paid. Which will very likely be nothing since the company was bust. That is how it is supposed to work (unless you are an investment banker in which case you get a government bailout instead).

I'm sure there'll be law suits filed if they didn't pay a reasonable price (and probably if they did anyway) or if the transaction wasn't sufficiently at arms length.

Re:we're fucked (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064157)

Depends how much they actually had in debt too. They might have wound up *before* they had unmanageable debt, but just very low income, or they might be completely screwing nearly all of their creditors out of their investment.

Re:we're fucked (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064937)

it sounds like they had arranged the buyer beforehand, that way it's easy to say that they didn't get as good a deal for the assets as possible.

but for example htc just wrote down 40 million they put into the firm this year! and the onlive douche said last year that onlive was profitable, on forbes.

Phonenix Company (2)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064201)

This sounds like the definition of the Phoenix Company http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_company [wikipedia.org]

I have gone through something similar with a previous employer. It didn't end well at all.

Re:Phonenix Company (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41065299)

That happens in the Netherlands with kitchen stores. People have to pre-pay their kitchen, and when the store has enough people who payed for their kitchen upfront they file for bankrupsy, then restart with almost the same name in the same building with the same inventory. And they do this year after year after year.

Sounds Like a Shell Game (4, Interesting)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063399)

Sounds like some loophole method of getting out of your debts

Re:Sounds Like a Shell Game (4, Insightful)

guttentag (313541) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063591)

Sounds like some loophole method of getting out of your debts

Exactly. From TFA:

Unfortunately, neither OnLive, Inc. shares nor OnLive staff could transfer under this type of transaction, but almost half of OnLive’s staff were given employment offers by the new company at their current salaries immediately upon the transfer, and the non-hired staff will be given offers to do consulting in return for options in the new company.

So basically, "you're fired. Now, you can come back to work for us with no pay, just stock options that will be worth absolutely nothing when we do this again."

Like all shareholders, neither Steve [Perlman] nor any of his companies received any stock in the new company or compensation in this transaction at all. Steve is receiving no compensation whatsoever and most execs are receiving reduced compensation to allow the company to hire as many employees as possible within the current budget.

Right. Any time a CEO works for "no compensation whatsoever," it means they have an agreement in place for a ton of shares or options down the road. So, in effect, he makes it look like he got wiped out like everyone else, when in fact his compensation has just been swept under the rug/shell for safe keeping.

Shrug Off Your Debts (2)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063739)

It's worth mentioning that Perlman's original company was called "Rearden Steel" (a la "Atlas Shrugged"), which was then re-named to Rearden Labs
(I know, because I applied to it for a job, once)

http://www.flesheatingzipper.com/gaming/2012/08/can-you-trust-onlive-now/ [flesheatingzipper.com]

Re:Shrug Off Your Debts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41064345)

Stevie gets bonus points for not having to pay increased rates for unemployment insurance (read, debilitating anti-capitalist welfare for society's boat anchors who can't be bothered maintaining steady employment.)

Re:Shrug Off Your Debts (1)

fsterman (519061) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064401)

OpenSecrets shows he donated the max amount [opensecrets.org] to Maria Cantwell and Nancy Pelosi in 2011.

Re:Shrug Off Your Debts (2)

guttentag (313541) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064463)

It's worth mentioning that Perlman's original company was called "Rearden Steel" (a la "Atlas Shrugged"), which was then re-named to Rearden Labs ...

Great, a sanctimonious Ayn Rand fanatic who probably thinks this sort of transaction is OK because his company is holding up society by being, as the press release claims, "the future of computing and entertainment." Really? The future of computing? Someone should tell this guy he misspelled "Steal."

Re:Sounds Like a Shell Game (4, Funny)

Nationless (2123580) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063957)

I can't wait for the lawsuit where they sue the new OnLive for copyright breach and take them(selves) to court.

Re:Sounds Like a Shell Game (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41064991)

I can't wait for the lawsuit where they sue the new OnLive for copyright breach and take them(selves) to court.

Actually I think that has happened once. I can't remember what company it was but there were 2 divisions within the same multinational who got pissed at each other and sued.

It was like Sony Music suing Sony Electronics (this isn't the actual case, just a visualisation of what happened). The judge thought it was a joke and forced them into mediation instead.

Re:Sounds Like a Shell Game (1)

DuncUK (2433370) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065459)

Should keep the cross-examination simple: "I can't handle the truth!"

This is why we need more workers rights / unions (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063987)

This is why we need more workers rights / unions.

Just wait for walmart of others to pull the same crap.

Re:This is why we need more workers rights / union (0)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064305)

Right! That way the company becomes a toxic burden of debt for investors, and after the first attempt goes bankrupt, everyone can lose their jobs because nobody wants to pick up the pieces.

Re:This is why we need more workers rights / union (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#41066019)

The company was basically bankrupt, what possible benefit could more workers rights or a union offer? apart from making what little is left to salvage undesirable to anyone?

Re:Sounds Like a Shell Game (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064287)

Sounds like some loophole method of getting out of your debts

Exactly.

Not quite. It does probably let them get out of long-term contracts and service agreements, and wipes the slate clean for future expenses. Assets that were previously locked in can now be dumped. While there may be some debt that is escaped, I doubt it'd be worth the financial damage from trying to rebuild what has to be sold off to cover those debts.

The other important detail is that it means the original company has effectively gone bankrupt. Everyone who contributed money to the original OnLive project (by buying stock) has lost their investment. That's where the money for debts came from.

So basically, "you're fired. Now, you can come back to work for us with no pay, just stock options that will be worth absolutely nothing when we do this again."

More like "Your employer has gone bankrupt, and the company that bought it doesn't want to pay for you all, but they want you to stay involved and stay in the loop for whenever they do hire again"

Right. Any time a CEO works for "no compensation whatsoever," it means they have an agreement in place for a ton of shares or options down the road. So, in effect, he makes it look like he got wiped out like everyone else, when in fact his compensation has just been swept under the rug/shell for safe keeping.

Stock options are compensation. In effect, he's still working toward the goal of having OnLive functional and eventually even profitable, but this time without the expense of his own salary. Perlman has a long history of chasing crazy ideas, so I think it's perfectly reasonable that he treats this company as a hobby... great if he can make money off of it, but pretty fun if it just works.

Re:Sounds Like a Shell Game (1)

ToastedRhino (2015614) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064731)

Sounds like some loophole method of getting out of your debts

Exactly. From TFA:

Unfortunately, neither OnLive, Inc. shares nor OnLive staff could transfer under this type of transaction, but almost half of OnLive’s staff were given employment offers by the new company at their current salaries immediately upon the transfer, and the non-hired staff will be given offers to do consulting in return for options in the new company.

So basically, "you're fired. Now, you can come back to work for us with no pay, just stock options that will be worth absolutely nothing when we do this again."

Like all shareholders, neither Steve [Perlman] nor any of his companies received any stock in the new company or compensation in this transaction at all. Steve is receiving no compensation whatsoever and most execs are receiving reduced compensation to allow the company to hire as many employees as possible within the current budget.

Right. Any time a CEO works for "no compensation whatsoever," it means they have an agreement in place for a ton of shares or options down the road. So, in effect, he makes it look like he got wiped out like everyone else, when in fact his compensation has just been swept under the rug/shell for safe keeping.

I'm confused. First, when they say half of the employees will be invited back as consultants, compensated in options, you say that those will be worthless and imply that options are therefore shitty compensation. Then, when discussing the CEO you say that if he has received options that will be sweeping his compensation under the rug, implying the options will be worth something and the CEO will get rich off of them. Sounds really, really contradictory to me, and yet somehow is modded Insightful. What am I missing?

That being said, there are most definitely some shady dealings going on here.

Re:Sounds Like a Shell Game (4, Funny)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064943)

well, it's options to the _new_ onlive. this time it's legit! /s

Re:Sounds Like a Shell Game (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065031)

Well, I don't know if it applies here, but CEOs and peons are typically compensated in different classes of shares, which results in the CEO having some protections in the next bankruptcy that don't apply to the peon's shares.

Re:Sounds Like a Shell Game (2)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063695)

It sounds like losing your ass, and then doubling down and pumping a bunch more money in to buy up the assets after bankruptcy, which is really risky. It assumes no one else would swoop in and get into a bidding war to try to offer creditors a better deal and you get nothing with the money you spent so much time putting together.

Re:Sounds Like a Shell Game (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063847)

Not in the current financial climate. Banks are really tight with loans right now, and getting sums like this quickly is not easy without financing. If the guy had funds prepared, he essentially had the deal in the pocket.

Re:Sounds Like a Shell Game (0)

wh1pp3t (1286918) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064149)

Sounds like some loophole method of getting out of your debts

GM did it in 2010 and appears to be ready to do it again soon.

Re:Sounds Like a Shell Game (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064217)

Sounds like some loophole method of getting out of your debts

Not quite. My understanding: after putting their money down (and loosing them with the bankruptcy), one (Lauder Partners) of the original investors decided to throw more money.
They want a better control on how these extra money are going to be used, but they have little or no control on how much of their original investment are going to recovered (they have no control over the "Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors" process).

Not a loophole at all (0)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064749)

Sounds like some loophole method of getting out of your debts

Corporations on the one hand and bankruptcy on the other are specifically designed as tools to limit and eliminate, respectively, liabilities.

Its not a "loophole", its the whole designed purpose of the institutions.

Uh... (1, Funny)

p0p0 (1841106) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063409)

"confirming that nearly have of the previous staff"
Uhh.... what. That's not nearly close enough to "half" and "halve" would just make my mind cry.

should be: nearly *half* of the previous staff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41063445)

I make plenty of typos in my own posts so I do understand, but I get annoyed with typos that obscure the meaning of the author's intent.

BTW that typo was carried over from TFA.

Ondead? (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063453)

What if the dead onlive were to try a pac-man defense against the living onlive?

Dick move to invalidate staff stock option awards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41063495)

This just really pisses me off.

Screwed Early Employees (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41063589)

The ONLY reason to do this is to screw over the other early investors and employees who had options in the company.

Yet another reason why a minority stake (including options) in a private company is worthless. Dont work for options people, you should always assume that they are totally worthless, because they can be made worthless by things like this.

Not the only reason (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065665)

Screwing over the banks would be another one. If the company had loans of any kind this would get rid of them for less money than they are worth. Loan holders are among the first to get paid with whatever a dissolved company is worth, but that doesn't mean they get everything they are owed. So say Onlive had $5 million in loans, they go bankrupt and this buyout happens for $1 million. The banks then get, at most, $1 million for the loans and that is that.

Basically it lets them get out of all financial obligations. Creditors (including people with options) get what they get which may be nothing and that is it.

Re:Not the only reason (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065817)

the fishy thing is that management arranged a sale of assets to a company represented by the old management.

doesn't make it seem like it's abc for benefit of creditors.. rather abc filing for the benefit of inner circle. the handler for the abc should have been a 3rd party entity weighing the assets value on it's own, not a guy who gives the assets back to the inner circle for a token amount of money.

Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (4, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063599)

This looks to me like classic example of a fundamental problem with free market capitalism. All perfectly legal too. So come on: defend this. Seriously. Not trolling. I'm dying to know why it is that we should tolerate this sort of thing.

Stuff like this is why countries have laws against firing people, btw.

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41063655)

"Dyed in the wool"

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41063709)

Because, you communist pig, at least some jobs are better than none.

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063715)

This looks to me like classic example of a fundamental problem with free market capitalism.

What exactly is this supposed to have to do with 'free market capitalism'?

Hint: corporations are government creations.

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063891)

I do believe this is one of the biggest red herrings I've seen in slashdot comments this year. It really assumes anyone reading this is incredibly ignorant of reality to buy it.

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063961)

Corporations are an abuse of the government by the wealthy. I think the phrase is along the lines of "Privatize the profits and Socialize the losses". Our last round of bail outs exemplifies this sentiment.

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (1, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063789)

This looks to me like classic example of a fundamental problem with free market capitalism. All perfectly legal too. So come on: defend this. Seriously. Not trolling. I'm dying to know why it is that we should tolerate this sort of thing.

Would you care to spell out exactly what the problem is, or do you just want to rage incoherently?

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063931)

Uncontrolled free market causes power focus into the hands of few powerful at the expense of many powerless. In this case, the manoeuvre allowed a big investor to essentially throw all small investors out of the company with minimal additional investment. If he had to play it fair and prop the company financially in return for additional relative share in the company, smaller investors would have gotten to keep at least a portion of their investment.

It's a pretty good example of how uncontrolled free market capitalism works on basic level, and why big publicly traded companies tend to include rules that deny or resist such manipulation to gain trust (and money) from small and medium sized investors (i.e. limit free market capitalism with regulation).

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064053)

Uncontrolled free market causes power focus into the hands of few powerful at the expense of many powerless. In this case, the manoeuvre allowed a big investor to essentially throw all small investors out of the company with minimal additional investment.

The company was insolvent. The investors were losing everything no matter what happened. It's not like the company was making money and he managed to screw the small equity holders out of it.

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065969)

You're missing the point. Investor wanted to prop the company regardless. But with this, he was allowed to prop the company while terminating ownership of all other owners.

But I like raging... (4, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064019)

when I see stories like this. Sorry, sorta hard not to do.

There's lots and lots of problems here, but the fundamental one is that the workers are at a marked disadvantage over the Capitalists. Those employees can't really do anything about any of this. OnLive wins, they lose. Even if they get a lawyer and go all class action they'll probably get nothing except a $5 off coupon for a 12 month subscription of OnLive.

I was just reading Wikipedia's articles on Voluntary Slavery and Wage Slavery. The point made by the Capitalists was you should have the right to sell yourself, the point made by the Socialists was that if you're in that position you're bargaining from such a weak stance that you don't really have any right's to begin with.

I guess my point is this: "Free Market" Capitalists argue that freedom will win out in the end. As near as I can tell this is either a hopelessly naive sentiment, willful ignorance, or a carefully calculated lie. I'm still waiting to be proved wrong. After all, it'd be nice to believe in the basic good of people and civilization. But I'm a cynical ole coot.

Re:But I like raging... (3, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064339)

There's lots and lots of problems here, but the fundamental one is that the workers are at a marked disadvantage over the Capitalists. Those employees can't really do anything about any of this. OnLive wins, they lose.

The original investors have also lost in the process.

I was just reading Wikipedia's articles on Voluntary Slavery and Wage Slavery.

It is usually called a mortgage. If your parents were not wealthy enough to give you a home (or tuition fees), you'll need to take a job. You'll need the same if you can't live without that shiny gadget (i...whatever-apple-is-pushing-now) or want to drive an SUV or ...

I guess my point is this: "Free Market" Capitalists argue that freedom will win out in the end.

Well, I think they may be actually right. Except that nobody is able to tell the cost of this victory.

Re:But I like raging... (0)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065831)

they screwed over 3rd party investors too. BIG TIME. like htc which put 40 million dollars into them this year.

so far it seems it was done for managements and steve's benefit, so that they get to keep the assets but get to clear debts and other investors off from the table. it's ridiculous, how can the service go on without interruption - they got to transfer all beneficial and essential contracts while shedding everything they don't want ??

it would be interesting to see the numbers they used to get the investment... the ceo publicly claimed before numerous times that the service is profitable too, which most certainly seems like a lie now.

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41064043)

I don't know about 571051, but my problem is that OnLive gets to run up debt then legally die while transfering it's consciousness and desired parts into a new body that, while sharing the name, parts, and purpose, gets to drop obligations. When we reach the point of being able to do comparable things with human biology, will that be a right held by human people as well? I hope to hear about about how the new OnLive owns the debt (perhaps structured) along with the IP. I expect I won't hear anything with the reality being that they just get away with it.

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41064535)

Sure we will! Only when you backup your mind, commit suicide to reduce your debts, then be reloaded into your fresh clone body.... they'll put you in jail for 2+ years for the criminal offence of committing suicide :)

Maybe by then it'll be the death penalty though :)

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41063907)

Wait, so you'd rather see the company go bankrupt and everyone lose their jobs than have only half of them lose their jobs by using corporate bankruptcy laws to keep them in business?

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064011)

Yes, that's exactly what he'd prefer. Because he doesn't want to see investors (who lost their entire investment in round one) come back and double-down as a sign of how much they think the business can still succeed. He doesn't want half of those people to lose their jobs, he wants all of those people to lose their jobs - because he wants them to become dependent on the state, instead.

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41064167)

yea cause its such a good solid product that has done nothing but prove its worth, what really happened is half the people lost their jobs, the investors got squished out, debt was erased and someone bought the assets for dirt cheap based on a loophole, out of everyone involved only one made out good.

Then in another 2-3 years the whole thing will go belly up again cause its a shit idea that only exists to loop its histroy

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41064329)

You're forgetting the small investors and the debtors. They, along with the employees, are screwed. If the other investors had so few shares that this was accepted, though, it means they were playing with big fishes so it's not surprising they got eaten.

That's not what's happening here (4, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064389)

I've watched videogame companies bailed out by the owners. The president of Sega did it. He put up his fortune to keep the company afloat and lost most of it. That's not what's happening here. What's happening here is that a bunch of people were promised valuable stock options in exchange for a lower salary than they would normally command. They were then systematically cheated out of that using blatant and dishonest legal tactics. They've been defrauded in practice, just not legally. AOL did this too, and we all railed against them.

RANT MODE ON

And @$#! am I fed up with conservatards using the threat of job loses to keep us at each others throats. Better let the Job Creators do what they want or they'll take EVERYTHING away. It's there's after all. Mitt $#F#!@ Romney built it all with his own two hands. Him and John Galt. Jesus, what the hell is wrong with us? When did we become such a bunch of fsckin' cowards that we let these yahoo's push us around?

RANT MODE OFF

Re:That's not what's happening here (2)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064725)

All systems are eventually replaced with a better system. Capitalism won't last forever. I don't know what the new system will be or when it will get here but geeze I hope it comes soon. I am hoping for something like the venus project but who knows what it will be. It is not like we have had capitalism for very long or that any of these systems last for very long. Our technology ends up at odds with our economic system and destabilizes it and we create a new economic system capable of working under the new technological reality.

Whatever the new system is I hope it does better by a greater number than our current system. I don't think any of the prior systems are viable paths forward so no I don't believe the next system will be communism etc.

Re:That's not what's happening here (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065103)

The problem is that whatever system replaces capitalism will be much, much worse. Instead of "let's fix the system," we get libtards (your term reversed, how does that feel?) saying "let's burn down the system and implement socialism." Sorry, but you need a proven, workable system before touching the one system that's actually known to function.

And what's with the "Jesus" statement? Are you one of those Christ-tards? Isn't it fun to call people we disagree with "tards"? How do the differently-abled feel about that?

Re:That's not what's happening here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41065615)

Your proposed term for insulting liberals falls too close to "libertard", intended for insulting the libertarian branch of conservatives. I suggest liberaltard.

Re:That's not what's happening here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41066259)

you don't need a proven workable system before touching anything. He's just angry at folks saying, "let us screw over some people otherwise we'll screw over everybody." to be honest, that is a pretty crappy choice to be given. hence the "tard." if people stop trying to only enrich their own lives and instead enrich the lives of everybody, then yeah, we might be better off. but until one side stops saying, "let us take more money" and the other side stops saying, "let us give everybody money" no one will get anywhere.

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064271)

This looks to me like classic example of a fundamental problem with free market capitalism. All perfectly legal too. So come on: defend this. Seriously. Not trolling. I'm dying to know why it is that we should tolerate this sort of thing.

Because the investors decided to throw more money into the game (the original investment is lost in the bankruptcy).
It's like somebody says: "Well, I liked the original software concept. They failed in the implementation throwing in a lot of feature creep... it's gone/lost/bankrupt/whatever, I lost something myself. Let's fork, clean the garbage and give a new try"

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (2)

mstrcat (517519) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064427)

I'm not sure if I can defend it, but it actually happens quite frequently to start-ups that burn through investment monies before they become profitable. Essentially a group of people invest money...we'll say A-D in this case.. At some time after investment, company X is still not profitable and have spent all the invested capital and none of the investors want to put new money in. If no one is interested in the business, it just dies. All the workers get fired, any debts get settled in court, and all the investors loose 100% of their investment. In many cases however, one or more of the investors will say, "I'll buy the company for Y dollars, assume the debts, hire some of the staff, ect.". Sometimes Y is very low, so all the remaining investors get nearly completely wiped out, all the stock is worthless. I think of it like a poker game where everyone else folded. Surprisingly the staff at the new company isn't typically all that upset about loosing their stock options. They've known for a while their company wasn't making any money and the options were worthless anyway.

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065017)

Could you maybe attack it first? I don't see what's wrong. A company that was out of money restructured, letting go half the staff. That's what happens when the money runs out. One of the original investors decided to double-down, but only put in additional funds for a reduced operation.

What did you want to have happen?

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065117)

Empirical results? The best economies are capitalist. The more capitalist an economy becomes, the stronger it becomes.

Maybe in the future a better form of economy will come about, it's difficult to imagine.

In this specific case, a company that was doing poorly and about to go out of business, was able to quickly & easily re-structure itself and stay in business.

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41065391)

"Stuff like this is why countries have laws against firing people, btw."

The company was bankrupt, there is no way to get out of this without fireing people. If this is abuse, the issue is that rather then put in new investments to the old company and pay out their debts, they abuse the bankruptcy system and form the exact same company in order to avoid paying debts. It should be possible for anyone they ow to sue the new OnLive to collect their debt with the very reasonable argument that it's the same company and therefore should get the debt along side the assets.

Re:Ok, let's see you died in the wool capitalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41066427)

It can't be defended, this is what you call a blemish on an otherwise well functioning system. The premise of your comment, that capitalism is flawed, misses a rather important footnote - it's the best "flawed" system out there. Oh wait, I'm sure the Euro-zone quazi-socialist system is far superior to capitalism. Ask Spain how that 25% unemployment rate is working out for them...

Spin (4, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063707)

...confirming that nearly half of the previous staff had been offered positions at the new company.

I guess that sounds better than "we fired more than half of our employees".

Re:Spin (2)

kat_skan (5219) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065429)

...confirming that nearly half of the previous staff had been offered positions at the new company.

I guess that sounds better than "we fired more than half of our employees".

Which in turn sounds better than "we fucked over all of our employees."

OnLive is dead. (4, Funny)

drfreak (303147) | more than 2 years ago | (#41063729)

Long Live OnLive!

Re:OnLive is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41064573)

OnLive 2: The Search for More Money.

Re:OnLive is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41065387)

In-game advertisements. Advertisements on top of advertisements. Tailored to all your inputs since they already read all controller input anyway.

Re:OnLive is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41066131)

"You've pushed the left stick up! Enjoy Pixar's Up, available in stores now on Blu-Ray and DVD!"

Onlive Subject is very interenting on slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41063873)

Onlive Subject is very interenting on slashdot..
best wishes to Salshdot.. for more progress..
http://newanytime.net

WTF is OnLive? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064123)

Is it bad if I don't know what OnLive is? Is it worse that nothing other than "streaming game service" is the only piece of information in the submission?

Re:WTF is OnLive? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064193)

streaming game service is what it is, they run the boxes and buy games, then you rent time for a live stream to that box running the game.

Ill give you 3 guesses on how popular it was, and how good of an experience trying to play a video game via VNC is

Re:WTF is OnLive? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064199)

They run virtualized machines that do the actual processing of the games, then stream the video and audio output to your computer over the Internet. You play the game from what is literally a remote desktop session for a monthly fee and get access to a much larger library of games than if you bought all the titles and can play them on a much lower spec machine on your side since you don't have to actually run the game on your local PC.

Re:WTF is OnLive? (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064303)

No, that's about it. They have been running a cloud gaming service where they run the game code on their servers, and stream the data to your computer in real time. They have a 'console' that's basically a cheap video player with a controller to connect to the service if you don't want to use a PC desktop client.

That's their entire business model. And it's not all that successful. There were only really two big outfits in this business gaikai and onlive, and both exist in an effort to get bought out by a big company, or at least did, until gaikai got bought by sony. There are some smaller other asian outfits as well, but that's about it. Pay a subscription fee, play games anywhere through an onlive client (with their box), without needing to buy gaming hardware.

I would think the big market for this will shortly be legacy games, I bet 10 000 PS2's would serve the entire PSN, and be 'good enough' for legacy gaming, same sort of thing with the original xbox, and if there is a major architecture change for the PS4/Xbox3 they could need literally millions of boxes as an online service. The other avenue of course is people on laptops who can't get decent parts for whatever reason.

In the really long term obviously most game services are going this direction, but I think they're too far ahead of the curve to make enough money to cling to life for another decade or so.

Re:WTF is OnLive? (2)

Onymous Coward (97719) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065173)

It's okay if you don't know.

Just don't go on about how the service is great or awful if you haven't tried it.

That bugs me to no end.

If it's available in your area, just try it out first, for free [onlive.com] . Then rant either way.

Fools and their jobs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41064209)

They *offered* 50% of their former employees their jobs back. I'd like to know how many actually take them up on this.

Personally, I think you'd have to be a complete fool to work for these jokers again.

Re:Fools and their jobs... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41064557)

Nevermind how many of them would be benedict arnolding their former compatriots.

Doesn't seem like something that'd be good to do for when they're looking for that replacement job in a few months/years, and their established buddies mention to the hiring manager that they stayed at an insolvent company twice :)

good money after bad (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064253)

sounds like one of the original investors in throwing good money after bad. Face it the concept is not a good one with to many downsides and too small a niche market to ever be able to do much more than break even if it's lucky.

Don't use their service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41064309)

If you want to stop this kind of thing, then do not use their service and spread the word. No users means no company with evil owners such as these jokers.

And this, Ladies and Gentlemen ... (1)

ryan.onsrc (1321531) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064951)

... officially marks the point in time where we have *literally* heard everything. From this point forward, stuff just begins to repeat.

i worked for another Lauder company (3, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#41064999)

Interestingly, we were doing something similar, back in 1990 (ICTV). We had computer gaming over remote hardware using cable return path for the display (cheap custom box for keyboard/mouse). We eventually figured out that this was a fundamentally impossible to win game because of the light speed latency issue. OnLive will figure it out too.

Re:i worked for another Lauder company (1)

guttentag (313541) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065315)

Interestingly, we were doing something similar, back in 1990 (ICTV).

The real question is: 22 years later, are they still paying you in stock options instead of salary?

Re:i worked for another Lauder company (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065471)

Nope. Oddly enough, they stopped paying me entirely when I left. I did earn a combination of salary and worthless stock options while I was there, though. My second try with stock options (Guidewire) turned out somewhat better.

What is dead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41065259)

What is dead may never die. Or just experience extreme latency issues not entirely solved via compression. Either version.

Great scam! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41065271)

Sounds like 3 card monte.

Oh the company is gone! Now its over here!
Find the company find the company find the company and win your debt back!
Come on everyones a winner! Step right up!

1. Keep all the execs that ran it into the iceberg (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#41065593)

2. Lose half the staff who keep it running.
3. Profit!

No, wait, not profit, the other thing: keep bailing and set sail for the next iceberg.

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