Square Enix launches ad-supported browser game portal

Square Enix has launched an ad-supported gaming service called "CoreOnline," letting users play select portions of the company's back-catalog for free.

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Square Enix is launching a new Web-based gaming portal that offers some of the company's back catalog for free. The "CoreOnline" service lets you play Hitman: Blood Money or Mini Ninjas by either watching advertisements between chunks of the games, or paying a fee to bypass them.

The CoreOnline site (via GI.biz) only boasts those two games so far, but promises others on the way like Tomb Raider Underworld and Gyromancer. Save data is also stored on the cloud, so you can pick up from a different computer or browser at any time.

This isn't the first time the publisher has experimented with cloud gaming. During the launch of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the publisher included a free OnLive version of the game with every retail copy, leading to a scuffle with GameStop. It appears Square Enix is now more interested in pursuing its own platform, instead of partnering with the beleaguered streaming company.

"Square Enix is at the forefront of experimentation of new business and services models in the game industry," said Square CEO Yoichi Wada. "Through our CoreOnline technology service, users can access our content easily through the browser."

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    August 29, 2012 9:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Square Enix launches ad-supported browser game portal.

    Square Enix has launched an ad-supported gaming service called "CoreOnline," letting users play select portions of the company's back-catalog for free.

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      August 29, 2012 11:44 AM

      going to give this a try, this does sound interesting

      • reply
        August 29, 2012 11:54 AM

        huh, well, I'll give this a try when someone in the house isn't eating bandwidth by watching netflix. In the meantime from what I've seen has promise.

        Either watch an ad that 1 min = 20 min of gametime (not horrible) you start out with 60 min when you register.

        Or pay by level or just buy the game outright. I looked at mini ninjas and the first lvl cost about 49 cents, or you could buy the game for $6.99. Not sure how the full price stacks up to other outlets but it sounds low enough.

        And the website has achievements for the games (or at least for MN, have not checked yet for Hitman.

        All in all looks like this might work, maybe.

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          August 29, 2012 11:56 AM

          Oh, and one more thing for now.

          Using Chrome when I went to start the game it had me go to the chrome store and link MN with my Chrome browser, not sure what happens when using the other browsers however.

          For Mac players MN is playable with Chrome, but as of now, Hitman is PC only.