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GamersGate Explain FreeGames

You might recall that GamersGate have been teasing the release of their FreeGames service, which apparently offers a service of uh free games in exchange for you being explosed to some advertising. I had a chat with GG's Theodore Bergquist about some of the details, and you can find that chat below.

RPS: What games will be available via the FreeGames service?

Bergquist: We're aiming at 200 on release, high and low from all categories. We have more than 3000 games in our catalogue and our aim is to make as many of them available as possible down the line. Unfortunately we can't disclose any specific games or publishers at the moment. Stay tuned for more info though.

RPS: Do you have to view an advert each time you play? Are there any other adverts displayed during playing the game?

Bergquist: No advertising when you play, only before. We're gamers too, and who would like to watch ads when playing? That would really mess up the experience.

RPS: Are the games all downloadable, installed executables?

Bergquist: Yes, you only have to be online when watching the ads.

RPS: What is your plan for rolling out the services (beta dates, etc)?

Bergquist: We just started the beta sign-up and we got some massive numbers on that one already. 10,000 signing up the first hours. Beta expects to start within two/three weeks, then ramping up to release in September. Aiming at a Septermber 1st release.

RPS: Are there any other limitations on play? Could I install the ad-support FreeGame on lots of different PCs, for example?

Bergquist: Yes, you can install it on different PCs, it's locked to your online account though. The way it works is that you can fill up to five "game slots" with games you wish to play for a month and then just play it. After a month you pick the same games or change. The more active you are on Gamersgate, the more loyal you are and the more people you recruit the more slots you get, and the more you can customize your slots, e.g a twenty-day (instead of thirty-day) slots, etc.

RPS: Do you think free-to-play gaming models of different kinds are the future for PC gaming?

Bergquist: I think free games open up for gamers to try more games and thus inspire developers to do more games. It will be a catalyst for creativity. In general I think the "free-to-play" games, especially the mmos and casual games will have a hard time. Many of those companies are funded by VCs and still does not earn any money. I think a hybrid of ad-supported content and pay-for will dominate for years.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

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Jim Rossignol