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View Full Version : GamersGate reveals FreeGames: watch ads, play games for free



SirKicksalot
08-06-2011, 10:37 PM
Shameless copypasta:

GamersGate, the premier digital distribution service for games, today announced the upcoming launch of FreeGames, a free-to-play ad supported platform for PC and Mac games. FreeGames allows users to play and enjoy both PC and Mac titles free of charge after watching a short advertisement at the launch of the game. Gamers will be able to have up to five games available for free on their account at any time with the capability to add additional games.
With over 3,000 titles, GamersGate has the largest catalog of games available for download on the web. The company expects that a large portion of them will be available in the ad-supported model for the September launch.
“The new service offers the best of both worlds for both gamers and publishers,” said Theodore Bergquist, CEO at GamersGate. “Gamers can play games for free, catch up on franchises or try a game out before they buy. Publishers will receive ad revenue while expanding their audience. We’ve always been at the forefront of the digital delivery business and I’m confident that our new service will help reshape the industry.”

84 days until launch! Sign up for the beta.
http://www.gamersgate.com/freegames

Chris Evans
08-06-2011, 10:41 PM
Well that is certainly an interesting move, will be interesting to see how many people go for this. Will people put up with ads just to play for free?

Oak
08-06-2011, 10:50 PM
with the capability to add additional games

I wonder how that'll work. Based on how many games you've bought, maybe?

Malawi Frontier Guard
08-06-2011, 10:57 PM
There was a website I don't remember the name of back in the dotcom-era that had a business model like that. You clicked on ad banners and could download Creatures and GTA and Mahjong. Mostly Mahjong.

They didn't last very long.

I am not a teenager anymore, and I am not a serf. I do not watch advertisements to play games for free. Advertisement is a disease that consumes the mind.

Creeping Death
08-06-2011, 11:02 PM
I do not watch advertisements to play games for free.

Why not? You watch advertisements on tv to watch ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5 for free...

Honestly, some people are just silly. If I can put up with an advertisement before a game trailer or youtube video, I can put up with one before a game that will give me hours of entertainment for nothing.

Malawi Frontier Guard
08-06-2011, 11:05 PM
I don't watch TV. :)

Edit: That sounds so arrogant. I make smiley to that.

Mr Wibble
08-06-2011, 11:17 PM
There was a website I don't remember the name of back in the dotcom-era that had a business model like that. You clicked on ad banners and could download Creatures and GTA and Mahjong. Mostly Mahjong.

They didn't last very long.


I seem to recall that was Freeloader, that's somehow still going (http://www.freeloader.co.uk/). I remember they picked up GTA2, some version of Sensible Soccer and then went through several revamps.

SirKicksalot
08-06-2011, 11:23 PM
I enjoyed the hell out of 2008's ad-supported Far Cry. I had to watch a McDonald's commercial before loading every level, I think. Or maybe just the main menu?

Also, advertising can be really great if they put effort into it!

Malawi Frontier Guard
08-06-2011, 11:27 PM
I seem to recall that was Freeloader, that's somehow still going (http://www.freeloader.co.uk/). I remember they picked up GTA2, some version of Sensible Soccer and then went through several revamps.

Oh, I see. Maybe it was just the German version that went under.

8-bit
08-06-2011, 11:36 PM
you wont have to watch the adverts, its not like you need a camera on your monitor so they can make sure you do, they aren't apple you know.

I suppose it depends on what games are on the service and how they are implemented, it says there will be an advert when you launch the game and thats fine as far as I am concerned, certainly is a good way of saving money for me.

icupnimpn2
08-06-2011, 11:48 PM
I watch an ad for NVIDIA on my ATI card when I launch many games.

sinomatic
09-06-2011, 02:29 AM
I suppose it depends on what games are on the service and how they are implemented, it says there will be an advert when you launch the game and thats fine as far as I am concerned, certainly is a good way of saving money for me.

Indeed, if its done in a non-terrible, non-obtrusive way, then I can see this being used for those games that you wouldn't mind trying/playing but wouldn't go as far as putting money down on. As long as it doesn't break the flow or interrupt the game, the 'cost'
of a few minutes of ads to play x number of minutes/hours doesn't sound too bad at all.

trjp
09-06-2011, 02:55 AM
Ofc advertising done well is always unobtrusive - or even outright entertaining...

Problem is, 99% of it isn't done well at all - it's loud, obnoxious, blaring shite which drives you into turning-over/turning-off.

Take - for a random example - Gametrailers decision to commit suicide put ads in front of EVERY video...

Then there's the news sites which put 30 sec ads in front of 15 sec videos - once, amusingly, trying to sell me a SAAB ahead of a clip about a nutter driving a SAAB along a pavement trying to kill people...

End of the day, advertisers know they're a blight on the face of humanity and they just stop trying and squeeze money in the most obvious and banal ways...

SirKicksalot
09-06-2011, 03:58 AM
I stopped watching Gametrailers stuff and I don't even watch as many Youtube videos as before. It's simply not worth sitting through an ad that's 1/4 of the length of the actual video.

E3 2011 was terrible. As the feeds kept dropping, I was switching between Gamespot and IGN.
Gamespot mindfucked me with some chocolate-I-never-heard-of ad. At least they had the decency to swap the 30 seconds ad with a 5 seconds version during the conferences. Would've been better if that chocolate was available on my continent though...
Meanwhile IGN kept throwing Green Lantern and Battlefield trailers at me, and they also popped out during the live stream. That alone made me dislike the movie and the game.

icupnimpn2
09-06-2011, 12:39 PM
About four years ago Gametap in the U.S. still had an ad-supported version of their service that let you download and play full PC games with ads at the loading screen. I used it to try out a couple of games that I otherwise would not have bought. Steam hadn't quite taken off by then and games were still a lot more expensive. Waiting an extra few seconds didn't bother me much, and I would have continued to used the service if my computer hadn't been dying.

Now Gametap still has a subscription play service but only retro games (like Neo Geo, arcade, and some old adventure games) are available at no charge.

I'm excited for GamersGate's service. Their catalog certainly dives into the foreign and obscure. There are tons of titles that look interesting but have so few reviews that I'm afraid to plunk down $10. I'd love the chance to play these since there's often no demos available.

cwoac
09-06-2011, 01:04 PM
I wonder how that'll work. Based on how many games you've bought, maybe?

more likely based on how many extra slots you have bought.

deano2099
09-06-2011, 01:15 PM
you wont have to watch the adverts, its not like you need a camera on your monitor so they can make sure you do, they aren't apple you know.

I suppose it depends on what games are on the service and how they are implemented, it says there will be an advert when you launch the game and thats fine as far as I am concerned, certainly is a good way of saving money for me.

Same for me, though it's less the big releases I'm interested in. I'd love this for if I say, fancied a go on a quick hidden object game that looked interesting. I usually finish them in two sittings, and find them quite relaxing, but don't really like paying for them unless they're very cheap, as I'll never go back and they're pretty simple. I'd play them on something like this though.

vinraith
09-06-2011, 03:21 PM
I might use it to demo things, I suppose. I can't really imagine playing anything on a system like this long-term. If I like it enough to invest a few hours in it then I like it enough to invest a few dollars in it.

icupnimpn2
09-06-2011, 07:11 PM
I might use it to demo things, I suppose. I can't really imagine playing anything on a system like this long-term. If I like it enough to invest a few hours in it then I like it enough to invest a few dollars in it.

And thus you fall into their trap.

icupnimpn2
23-09-2011, 12:36 PM
Service is live. Per the terms I am allowed to say, "I am in the GamersGate FreeGames Beta."

Xercies
23-09-2011, 03:54 PM
I would like this for more advance games like maybe some Paradox games which have really terrible demos that don't give you any chance to really see the game but are a bit to complex for me to put down money on. Games like that is where this service would be really great.

vinraith
23-09-2011, 04:00 PM
And thus you fall into their trap.

If their "trap" is letting me demo games that don't have a formal demo, I'm pretty alright with that.

Heliocentric
23-09-2011, 04:00 PM
And thus you fall into their trap. I find it hard to pass judgement without having tried it, but DX:HR put advertising in a full priced game, so it. seems wrong to be overly critical of this.

NecroKnight
23-09-2011, 08:41 PM
I just hope it will be available in my country.

Kelron
23-09-2011, 08:48 PM
I am also allowed to say that I am in the beta.

TillEulenspiegel
23-09-2011, 09:11 PM
Ad-supported games are quite common on Android; Angry Birds for example is free, and IIRC has made a ton of money on ads.

This is potentially a decent model for PC games. Nobody with money will bother with the free version (except as a demo), but for games targeted at kids, say, it could really work well.

Smashbox
23-09-2011, 09:32 PM
Ah yes, kids. Their minds are so very poisonable.

icupnimpn2
23-09-2011, 09:35 PM
GamersGate sent an NDA that prevents you from talking about what you experience using the service, but they sent a brief FAQ in the email that is not covered by the NDA. I haven't actually tried launching a game yet anyway but if there are ads they aren't mentioned in the up-front description. Tho the FAQ says not all features are necessarily turned on at the start of beta.

From the FAQ (again, not covered by the NDA since the link was emailed to me and not exposed during use of the service), you have a certain number of slots, which the FAQ hints could vary. You can click on a slot to open a menu of available games. Then you choose a game to fill the slot. There's a cooldown time before you can change the game in the slot. Then you download, install, and play.

I think most of this info was mentioned in interviews and etc ahead of beta launch anyway.

Kaira-
23-09-2011, 09:38 PM
I got into beta also, gonna give a shot at EU: Rome to see what kind of thingy it is.

Kelron
23-09-2011, 10:20 PM
GamersGate sent an NDA that prevents you from talking about what you experience using the service, but they sent a brief FAQ in the email that is not covered by the NDA. I haven't actually tried launching a game yet anyway but if there are ads they aren't mentioned in the up-front description. Tho the FAQ says not all features are necessarily turned on at the start of beta.

From the FAQ (again, not covered by the NDA since the link was emailed to me and not exposed during use of the service), you have a certain number of slots, which the FAQ hints could vary. You can click on a slot to open a menu of available games. Then you choose a game to fill the slot. There's a cooldown time before you can change the game in the slot. Then you download, install, and play.

I think most of this info was mentioned in interviews and etc ahead of beta launch anyway.

IIRC, from the information they released before, higher level users on Gamersgate (those who've bought more games, essentially) will have more slots, and you'll also be able to buy slots directly.

icupnimpn2
23-09-2011, 10:29 PM
And GG has said elsewhere that it is ad-supported, so I guess there should be no surprise if ads do rear their head, whether or not mentioned in the FAQ.

Jamison Dance
24-09-2011, 07:07 AM
I must have received a different NDA, because mine says that I am only allowed to say:

No one expects the spammish repitition! (repeated four times)

sinister agent
24-09-2011, 08:25 AM
Like many others, I have a burning hatred of adverts. i will not be bothering with this new thing.

However, I do not condemn it. It's not being forced on anyone, and it's vastly better than advertising to people who've already paid, which is a practice that renders void the perpetrator's human rights, and earns them a solid kicking for at least twenty minutes.

icupnimpn2
24-09-2011, 02:30 PM
I think this will be more useful for crossing things off of my list than for adding them on. There are some games I just want a taste of, and once I do, I don't return. I'm willing to put up with an ad if it means saving $5 to sate curiosity later on.

cowthief skank
24-09-2011, 05:21 PM
Like many others, I have a burning hatred of adverts. i will not be bothering with this new thing.

I agree that adverts are horrible things. But I could be tempted into using this service if the adverts are such that you can just turn your monitor off and mute your speakers for a few minutes til the adverts have finished...

zeekthegeek
24-09-2011, 09:21 PM
I don't think Adverts are a huge problem if done well - IE not blazing loud repetetive shit. It all depends on how GG plan to implement them. I'd definitely give this a go if a few Paradox games I wanted to give a try pop up (Which they will, because GG and Paradox are the same company)

icupnimpn2
24-09-2011, 09:28 PM
I agree that adverts are horrible things. But I could be tempted into using this service if the adverts are such that you can just turn your monitor off and mute your speakers for a few minutes til the adverts have finished...

A few minutes? I think they'll keep it to less than a minute. I just think of it as an additional loading time. It's not too different from the @&$%^ unskippable developer, publisher, or graphics card manufacturer animations and logos that bog down some games.