OnLive, the connected gaming technology company founded by *Apple* alum Steve Perlman, just received a major dose of credibility in the form of a double-digit round of funding from big, new investors like AT&*T*. Perlman didn’t disclose the amount, but said it was “much larger” than the company’s first two rounds; an SEC filing shows that OnLive raised $16.5 million from Warner Bros., Rearden LLC and Maverick Capital in 2007. Warner Bros. and Maverick returned for this latest round, along with new investors AT&T (NYSE: T) Media Holdings, Autodesk and Lauder Partners.
OnLive recently kicked off a beta test of its service, which essentially lets people stream video games through a special “micro-console”, instead of needing an actual Xbox 360, PS3 or Wii. For Warner Bros., the investment fits right in line with its acquisitions of Mortal Kombat-publisher Midway Games and RPG developer Snowblind Studios this year. For AT&T, the investment could point to specific DSL service bundles once the OnLive console actually hits stores (for example, pay ‘x’ amount and get three months of AT&T DSL included vs. the regular price).
There have been concerns about whether OnLive’s servers will be able to cope with tens of thousands of people playing simultaneously, particularly when it comes to multi-player games like Call of Duty, where lag times could ruin an entire mission (and leave players extremely disgruntled, to put it mildly). The company will likely use a significant portion of this new investment for its data centers; it currently has one on each coast, with a third under construction in Texas. The plan is to have a total of five nationwide before the official product launch.