Square Enix Launches new Cloud Gaming Service
Just as OnLive can’t stop making news with details of its sudden death and resurrection, and Sony prepares a cloud-gaming assault with their recent purchase of Gaikai, suddenly Square Enix announces Coreonline, a new browser-based cloud-gaming service.
In a press release published this morning, Square Enix explained the new service that’s up and running right now. Apparently, Coreonline will allow for high-definition games to run right in the web browser, including Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. SORRY SAFARI.
Two games are available to play at launch: Hitman: Blood Money and Mini Ninjas, while Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Gyromancer will be available this October.
The interesting aspect of the new service is its business model, which is apparently based on watching video advertising. Users can watch ads, and then get several minutes’ worth of game content. A post on Joystiq about the new service breaks down how much you can get for watching ads:
“A 1:17 ad for Kohl’s for example, is worth 26 minutes of play time, whereas a 7 second ad for the Samsung Series 9 is worth 5 minutes.”
The release also explains that users can simply purchase content directly, bypassing the need to watch the ads.
The main question I have is “why?” Why has Square Enix decided to go this route? And why in the browser, as opposed to a dedicated game client like OnLive, Steam, or Origin? I’m sure that browser-based gaming lowers the barrier of entry, but all of this seems like it’s come out of left field.
It seems to underscore a desire for more cloud-gaming options among consumers than I’d ever imagined. Or is it that the casual nature of playing games in the browser opens up more of an audience than other cloud-gaming services tend to provide?
What do you think? Are you interested in what Square Enix is offering here? Or are you scratching your heads as well?