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Vendor To Adopt Spotify Freemium Model For Games

A little known game vendor called GamersGate wants to change the way games are being played by introducing a new free-to-play ad supported platform for PC and Mac systems called FreeGames.

Like Spotify, users will have to live through a short advertisement before the launch of the game after which they will be able to play the game. Set to be launched at the beginning of September, Freegames promises to be radically different from in-game advertising solutions.

There will be a limit of five games per month although users will be able to add more games to their accounts by paying for them. Up to 200 games are expected to be available at launch from a catalogue of more than 3000 games.

Publishers are expected to be lured by the prospect of receiving ad revenue while expanding their audience. The games will be downloadable apparently without digital rights management and users will only need to be online when watching the ads.

This means that you will be able to install the game on different computers but you will only be able to play on one at the same time; it is not known whether two users wil be able to share one computer.

Like in the case of another freemium service, Dropbox, users are encouraged to recruit others to get more slots, and FreeGames has confirmed that the frequency at which users play FreeGames titles will also help them gain more game slots.

It seems that the gaming industry will be following the scheme closely; a back-of-envelope calculation shows that it would take around 3000 players to make £50 per game; it might be small but at least it better than gamers pirating the game in the first place.

It will be interesting to see how potential competitors, like games-on-demand service Steam (which has around 2500 titles), will react. Users can still register for the beta process (opens in new tab).

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.