Are you tired of paying for games? Me too. But the fact is that they tend to cost money, and that’s that. But that used to be the case for TV, and now we watch our favorite shows for free on Hulu and other services. Why shouldn’t we be able to play games using a similar ad-supported model? This is the question being asked by online game marketplace GamersGate, which launched back in 2009 as an alternative to established services Steam and DirectDownload.
Creating a free-to-play platform for modern games seems to present a plethora of problems, but of course other free services have presented similar problems and worked out fine. GamersGate isn’t giving up too many details yet, but here’s what we know.
The platform, FreeGames, would be totally free, and ads would come in a few forms: ads on the site, ads while downloading the game, ads before the game — like when the studio and publisher movies play. All these ads are, of course, things you can ignore, but they also seem to me very ignorable.
Alternatively, a company can sponsor a game to be free-to-play. This could be the creators (for a free-to-play launch weekend) or just an interested company. The games would be protected by the usual DRM (SecurROM), though that’s never done much to curb piracy once the game files are on someone’s hard drive.
They’ll launch with about 200 titles, which will be determined by the publishers. GamersGate says they’re talking with several of the majors and they’re getting a good reaction, but will gamers want to deal with the ads? You have to be online when you launch the game, and although they assured me multiplayer would work, for some reason I still expect issues with it.
FreeGames is set to launch in September, with a closed beta opening up later this month.