OnLive partnering with BT for European bundling initiative

BT sent out a press release today announcing a partnership with OnLive to bundle the streaming gaming service with their broadband plans. In exchange for “exclusive rights” to bundle the OnLive service, BT will acquire 2.6 percent of the company.

OnLive CEO, Steve Perlman, took to the company blog to comment on this new development and said, “I’m happy to report, that over the European Internet infrastructure, OnLive is AWESOME. We’ve tested OnLive across all of Western Europe spanning from the UK to Italy and from Scandinavia down to Spain.” This is the first official word about OnLive’s international rollout since the beginning of the ongoing US beta program.

Although the wording of this announcement makes it seem like a BT broadband connection is the only way to access the OnLive service, this is not the case. Perlman addresses this in the company blog post as well, he assures, “BT has an exclusive right to bundle the OnLive Game Service together with their broadband service offerings in the UK, although UK gamers will also be able to order the OnLive Game Service directly from OnLive to run over any UK ISP.” So in essence, the partnership only pertains to the bundling of the service.

OnLive is slated to launch this summer in the US, and other territories will follow with “the benefit of everything we’ve learned from the US launch.” No hard dates or pricing have been revealed.

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