OnLive founder Steve Perlman exits struggling game streaming firm


OnLive’s founder and chief executive, Steve Perlman, on Tuesday announced he has resigned from the company he helped build.

Perlman’s announcement is the latest development to rock the Palo Alto streaming game company. Just 11 days ago, the company laid off half of its staff and sold its assets to another holding company in a complex financial reorganization that left most of its investors in the cold.

Among the casualties were HTC Corp., a Taiwanese cellphone company that wrote off its $40-million investment in OnLive, as well as many employees who held shares in the company that are now worthless.


At the time of the reorganization, the company maintained that Perlman and the company’s management would remain. Consequently, Perlman’s resignation came as a surprise.

In a letter posted on, an enthusiast website, Perlman cited “other projects long in need of my focus and attention” and hinted that fatigue may have played a factor in his decision to leave OnLive.

“OnLive is by far the longest project I’ve ever worked on,” Perlman wrote. “For me, it’s hard to leave my creation behind, but there is also a huge sense of relief that I can finally step off the treadmill and know that OnLive is in good hands.”

Perlman is regarded as one of Silicon Valley’s brainiest inventors and entrepreneurs. He is credited with being the key developer of QuickTime, a multimedia software application owned by Apple, where he worked as principal scientist. He was also an early pioneer in building technology to bring television programming over the Internet with WebTV Networks, a company he co-founded. Microsoft bought WebTV for $425 million in 1997. It was Microsoft’s largest acquisition at the time.

A polymath, Perlman worked on a wide range of technologies. Most recently, he developed a digital motion capture technology used to animate Brad Pitt in the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Perlman did not say what his next project would be.

Neither he nor OnLive responded to requests for comment.


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