GamesBeat

Microsoft to OnLive employees: We won’t buy ya, but we’ll hire ya

In the wake of OnLive’s collapse, recruiters are circling in on the 200 employees whose jobs were terminated. Microsoft in particular is going so far as to host an OnLive networking mixer at its Mountain View, Calif., campus, which is not far from OnLive’s Palo Alto, Calif.-based headquarters.

OnLive is attempting to hire a number of employees back after a recapitalization following its filing for a bankruptcy alternative on Aug. 17. But many of the employees will be out of jobs. Microsoft is among many companies that are aggressively recruiting OnLive employees. Interestingly, Microsoft has been named as a prime suitor for OnLive, especially considering that Sony bought rival cloud gaming service Gaikai for $380 million.

Adding cloud gaming technology to a future Microsoft game platform, or to its Xbox Live service, could add a lot of interesting features for gamers. You could, for instance, log into an Xbox Live account from just about any device, regardless of whether it’s a game console or not. Older games could be made compatible with a new game console without the usual costly hardware tweaks. But for some reason, Microsoft didn’t purchase OnLive, which is run by Steve Perlman, who sold WebTV Networks — the early web-browsing appliance — to Microsoft for $425 million in 1997.

If Microsoft simply hires a lot of OnLive employees, it could build its own cloud gaming technology. Of course, it wouldn’t have the advantage of having OnLive’s patents, but it would cost a lot less to simply hire people.

Microsoft said, “We are eager to speak to individuals and teams affected by the OnLive transition. With the stunning success of Xbox/Kinect and the accelerated growth of this business, we are looking to add key players who want to make a real impact in creating groundbreaking new products and services. We have positions in both Redmond, Wash., and in Mountain View. There are big projects in the pipeline for the rest of 2012 and beyond, and the team is growing rapidly to support the work ahead! We’d love to have YOU be part of our team!”


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