Square Enix kills ad-supported streaming service

Tomb Raider publisher closes Core Online after it saw only "limited commercial take-up."

Square Enix's streaming service Core Online, which allowed users to play console-quality games through their browsers, is no more. Just fifteen months after going live in August 2012, the service has been closed due to a lackluster commercial response, Square Enix announced on its website.

"Core Online was released as an experiment to see what demand there would be for HD games played via the browser," Square Enix said. "However, due to limited commercial take-up of this initiative, Core Online closed on Friday 29th November 2013."

Core Online was a browser-based gaming service that ran natively within Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer. You could play games like Hitman: Blood Money and Mini Ninjas for free, but you had to watch intermittent video advertisements or spend real-world money to continue.

Though Square Enix may be moving away from streaming, Sony has big plans for cloud-powered gaming through its new PlayStation Now service. You can learn more about Sony's plans for streaming by checking out our roundup of what we know about the platform so far.

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Discussion

67 comments
Matt Green
Matt Green

They probably should have done some advertising? No one seems to have known it existed.

DefconRave
DefconRave

Didn't even know it existed until now.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Should have probably mentioned they were doing it a bit, but then again I would have disliked it anyway.

Jah_Glow
Jah_Glow

Square = fails at marketing new services.

Iamkalell
Iamkalell

If I had known about this I might have actually used it.

AQ AfiqQahhar BorhanNordin
AQ AfiqQahhar BorhanNordin

Well... Now that everyone finally knows about this thing, the fans will probably want it back...

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

ummmm.... I wasn't aware this was a thing...


Seriously, did they ever advertise it? I think you need to fire all of your marketing team for this one...


"Let's design a new service to generate revenue, then provide no proof it ever existed! YES!!! We'll create a website so far down the list of other websites not even we know how to use it!!!!"


I think this is the Bigfoot of streaming services, I'm TOLD it existed and shown a few pictures but I've never seen anyone who had first hand experience with it and the photos are blurry...

razor_rj
razor_rj

LMAO, i was going to say i never even heard of it, and just browsing the comments, i'm not alone,

MArketing fail

Blank2k2
Blank2k2

The what now? I live on the internet & for games, as do plenty of the friends I talk to daily.... and this is the first time I've heard of it.

BattleStarX
BattleStarX

Wait, this was a thing?  Why did I never hear of it before?

Trey Arline
Trey Arline

I used it playing Hitman: Blood Money. The graphics were pretty nice and there wasn't a ton of lag either. But I stumbled upon it by complete luck, and it shows they didn't even try to advertise it at all. Shame because it really could've been something.

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

Cloud gaming is dead on arrival, but it seems there need to be several more billions to be wasted before companies get the idea.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

I'm going to have to plead ignorance on this one.  I've never heard of this thing... and if I did it was years ago when it was conceptualized and announced and have just forgotten.  I mean seriously, almost any product will die like that if you don't market it.  Did they even market the thing within their own circle(by that I mean within their products)?


I wouldn't have used the thing anyway, but Christ on a cracker I'm sure 98% of gamers didn't even know this thing existed.

kamikazeespleen
kamikazeespleen

I actually used this once to play Hitman Blood Money while bored at uni while taking a lunch break. It wasn't that bad in all honesty. Graphics were good and there wasn't that much latency. But yeah, they didn't market it or show it off at all and no-one knew about it.

Nick McCabe
Nick McCabe

Also, this means that Final Fantasy: All the Bravest isn't Square's biggest flop.

Nick McCabe
Nick McCabe

It went live in August 2012? I visited the Square Enix website many times in the past 1.5 years and this is the first time I am hearing about this.

Primedio Javier
Primedio Javier

What did they stream with that? I guess nobody will ever know.

Gracjan Piejak
Gracjan Piejak

This is the first time I heard about Core Online :P

Dominic Barnett
Dominic Barnett

Um??? Didn't know Square Enix had a streaming service... LOL!!!

DVONvX
DVONvX

lol. Square is just garbage these days. First, a streaming service that's interrupted by ads? lol..ok. Second, it seems no one even knew this service existed in the first place.  

Adam Kun
Adam Kun

haha what they streamed didn't know lol

pszone
pszone

this first sign that full streaming don't work .   Stream console is doomed .

Tao_and_Zen
Tao_and_Zen

Gee, interrupting game play with adverts? And it didn't sell?! I wonder why.

LickTheEnvelope
LickTheEnvelope

This launched already: o_O  I heard about it ages ago but never knew it launched...

StHapns247
StHapns247

Imagen how many would use this if Enex had annouced it.

riotinto876
riotinto876

no1 on the internet ever knew this existed, good job square

decoy1978
decoy1978

.... I have seriously never heard of this service at all.... I spend a great deal of time behind the computer both at work and at home. I would have taken advantage of playing some old school Square games, if I knew it was being offered. Bad marketting? or limited release?

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

@pszoneI'd agree, but no one ever heard of this streaming service in the first place... Maybe if someone somewhere had made an effort to market this and it failed it would be a good sign, but if no one knows it existed....it doesn't mean anything.

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

@Dragon_Nexus@Ultramarinus@AlxT91Extreme example? You have never heard of online shooters or MMORPGs?

Cloud gaming in this form merely tries to replicate single player gaming which is already being done better since the very beginning of gaming. It's like trying to replace the wheel with hexagons. Online gaming however is a whole different experience than merely sitting on the couch with three friends or taking a PC to a LAN party. You can play with many more people from around the world without transportation issues and enables wholly different genres of games.

As I said, apples and oranges.

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

@AlxT91@Ultramarinus@Dragon_Nexus Good idea, I never thought inviting 63 people from all over the continent over to my house or having 10000 computers on a LAN and keep those occupied constantly to have a shard running. Sounds like reasonable alternatives to online gaming.

AlxT91
AlxT91

@Ultramarinus@Dragon_NexusOnline's gaming's alternative existed for half a century and works without latency or disconnects:split screen or LAN multiplayer.