You're Basically Screwed if You Used OnLive

OnLive games and hardware are being rendered useless later this month.

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OnLive's shutdown didn't come as a major surprise when it was announced this week, but it is nonetheless an unfortunate development for those who have paid to make use of the service in the past.

An FAQ about what the closure (and sale to Sony) means has provided OnLive users with some bad news. OnLive used to offer PlayPass games, which were streaming versions of full games, like Splinter Cell: Conviction. Any such game purchased in the past "will no longer be available on OnLive after April 30, 2015." That means these games, which were locked to OnLive's platform and can't be downloaded and played like normal digital games, will disappear for good from owners' libraries in a few weeks' time.

As for game saves and achievements, these, too, will be deleted come May 1. The exception to this are games that supported CloudLift, which was the service OnLive began offering last year that allowed you to pay a subscription fee to play streaming versions of certain Steam games you bought. Any saves or achievements for games you played through CloudLift will continue to be available on Steam.

Some people made use of OnLive as a way of playing PC-only games on a Mac. With OnLive going away, Mac owners will suddenly have no way to access those games without resorting to some alternative, like dual booting. Those hoping this will entitle them to getting their money back are out of luck, as OnLive says, "Unfortunately no refunds are available for Steam games purchased via OnLive."

And finally, there is the OnLive microconsole and accompanying wireless controller. According to OnLive, this hardware doesn't work with any other platforms. And, like Steam games, no refunds are available for OnLive hardware, unless you happened to purchase it on or after February 1, 2015. If that's the case, you can email and request a refund using the subject "Hardware Refund."

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