This week I'm reminded of one of the perks of video game reporting—I will never have to stand in the middle of torrential rain and gale-force winds in order to prove that I've got my finger on the pulse of current events. I hope all of you who live in Ivan's path are safe and warm today. I can offer nothing more than the latest news from the video game industry, so here you are.
OnLive CEO Switchover
Last week, Onlive dominated gaming headlines when it was dissolved, bought out, and re-formed, minus a major portion of its staff, who were let go without severance packages. At the time, CEO Steve Perlman was supposed to stay on as the head of the company. This week, though, the new OnLive reported that Perlman would be leaving the company. The former head of operations, Charlie Jablonski, will be taking over as acting CEO.
According to The Verge, company insiders suggest that employees required Perlman's departure before they'd be willing to take positions in the new company. Although a skilled entrepreneur, Perlman apparently made a number of decisions that took OnLive in the wrong direction, such as refusing to work with companies that also signed on with OnLive's competitor, Gaikai.
Cloud gaming is still in its infancy, hampered by the spotty nature of high-speed Internet in much of the United States. Can OnLive become profitable under its new ownership? With either OnLive or Gaikai manage to make a serious splash in the world of gaming, or will the next generation of consoles wipe out what demand there is for cloud gaming? As I suggested last week, OnLive might want to diversify and use its technology for non-gaming purposes as well.
Black Isle Hires Actual Black Isle Employees
Another story I reported last week was that Interplay has resurrected the legendary Black Isle Studios—at least in name. While most of Black Isle's former leadership works for Obsidian and other companies, a couple of veterans have been moved off of Interplay's canceled Fallout MMORPG and into the new Black Isle. Designer Christopher Taylor and writer Mark O'Green, both of whom worked on the original Fallout, are on board.
We still don't know what kinds of games will be coming out of the studio, as Interplay no longer has a license to develop Dungeons & Dragons games, and Bethesda now owns the Fallout IP. My cynical side expects cell phone games based on Interplay's less-famous properties, but who knows? We could always be pleasantly surprised.