Square Enix opens ad-supported streaming game service

Coreonline offers Mini Ninjas and Hitman: Blood Money in browsers for purchase or commercial breaks; more games planned for future.

A new service from Square Enix offers console-quality games in browsers with intermittent commercial breaks. The publisher today announced Coreonline, a browser-based gaming service that runs games natively within Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer. The service's business model supports purchases as well as video advertisements.

Regular-sized ninjas are too big to fit in a browser.

Hitman: Blood Money and Mini Ninjas are the first two titles available for Coreonline, and both are fully playable with video advertisements. Users select from several sponsored videos of differing lengths; as of this writing some 10-second ads bestow five minutes of playtime and others that run more than a minute unlock 25, though they pause if the Web page is navigated away from. This playtime can be transferred from game to game, and if time runs out the action pauses and users are prompted to watch more ads.

Users can also pay at any point to unlock individual levels for $0.50 or the full versions of Mini Ninjas and Hitman: Blood Money for $5 and $6.50, respectively. Players can start from any level of the game they wish, and saves and achievements are stored on user accounts.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light will launch on Coreonline in October, and Tomb Raider: Underworld and Gyromancer are also undergoing work to appear on the service.

Coreonline was developed by Danish studio Hapti.co, which is owned by Square Enix. It joins fellow streaming game services Gaikai, which was purchased by Sony in July, and OnLive, which has undergone a restructuring within the last few weeks.

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0 comments
Daian
Daian

I love this idea, I have no problem watching 1 minute of ads every 20-25 minutes of gameplay (and by watch I mean rest my eyes for a bit and go grab a drink from the fridge) if I get to play a full big good game for free.

 

It's a much better idea than that Pay-to-Win bs.

 

PS. I tried Mini Ninjas, kept getting some "Uh-Oh" errors, couldn't get the game started.

anvilone
anvilone moderator

This actually sounds pretty good. Mini Ninjas, Hitman Bloodmoney and Lara Croft GOL are all cool games. Getting to play them for free with some commercial interruption then being able to unlock the full game at such a reasonable price is an excellent deal. If advertising money keeps the cost down, I don't see the problem.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

TV with adverts = annoying enough as it is... Put it in games where there are no points made for ad breaks, count me out. Would be better to just have in game assets for ads then I'd considder it, things such as billboards with real ads on them and [Insert character name here] is sponsored by [Insert brand of drink here] so that character is shows throughout the game only drinking that product... I like ads that I can ignore and people think are subliminally making me buy their product, that way the business' is pumping money into the industry without effecting me.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

This will not last long. Most people will just buy the games and not worry about commercials in their game. This is similar to "free" cell phone service with ads/commercials in order to use the service. Before cell phone was Ads/Commercials for pagers. So this service will not survive very long.

OJ_the_LION
OJ_the_LION

Unlike OnLive, it doesn't attempt to make you pay full price for a game you basically have an extended rental of, which I like. This model could work out with some support, although I'd obviously prefer to actually own the games in question.

DAOWAce
DAOWAce

Hey, it's just like TV.

 

Not bad.. but I prefer to own my games and not be disrupted by advertisements.. and not play in a browser, and configure my controls and options to suit my playstyle and take advantage of my gaming system.

 

Like OnLive and Gaikai, the main feature of this type of stuff (to me at any rate) is using it for demos, because demos are scarce in current generation games.

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

Not interested at all. Endless commercials are the main reason I stopped watching TV altogether. (well and the shit programs). Give me full worthy games at full reasonable price. Is it so much to ask for these days?

jorge69696
jorge69696

You forgot that poor people have slow ass internet connections and won't be able to play this smoothly. Also, pirating it would solve their lag issue.

 

It's ok I guess. Trying to milk 2 games that are not giving you any money.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

yikes....if i was playing a game and i had commercial interruptions, i would just buy the game in the first place

Granpire
Granpire

I tried this. My first time with Hitman, and I can't say it's kept my interest for long, but the ads are generous with your time (1 minute ads = 20 minutes gameplay, and you're able to watch about 3 or 4 minutes of ads).

 

I must say the performance (lag) is excellent for me, though, as well as image quality. Neither of which I can say for Gaikai or Onlive, both of which have horrible latency and blurred image quality. I would never have guessed I was playing a streaming game, honestly.

PeterTechGuy
PeterTechGuy

Just like how TV works, eh? Yes, it's pretty ad-heavy, but this might be just how game streaming service should work, not pay the stuff you already owned plus a subscription fee. However this should remains as an option, not a trend. For people who are too poor to buy video games this is absolutely a great news for them, especially in Asia; for others this should act like a demo or something. It's all very interesting how this will turns out. A good way to combat piracy IMO, but then again, this should remains as an OPTION and hopefully no one will abuse it.

 

So guys, don't just read the article title and rage all over the place. Stop for a minute to read and think. ;)

profilia
profilia

What on earth... hell no. :|

leeko_link
leeko_link

Seriously commercial breaks in-between gameplay, this is the only innovation they could come up with in gaming nowadays? I don't see how that makes browser gaming anymore unique, to me it's more of an annoyance.

interrasteral7
interrasteral7

Speking of Mini Ninjas, I wonder if there might be another Mini Ninjas or did Square Enix just do not want to publish another one. It might be forgotten in gamers mind, because I have pretty much forgotten it.   

saosebastiao
saosebastiao

Make all the publicity porn related. You could win Billions SE...

 

It could fund your next 13 Final Fantasies AND  Bushido Blade 3

ToTs_00
ToTs_00

Well I guess Square Enix didn't hear about Onlive going bankrupt then.

hadlee73
hadlee73

I know it won't actually work this way, but when I read this article my imagination took over. I imagined the Hitman creeping up behind a victim, reading to choke him with a cord, and just as he is about to make his move, "Feeling a little LIMP? Take advantage of these great Viagra SPECIAAAAAALLLLSSS!" :P

TimboII
TimboII

What a unique idea...I'm not a fan of browser based gaming but this is quite interesting and could go a long ways...

SolidTy
SolidTy

This doesn't seem so bad, but I won't playing this way, lol.

SolidSnakeFan
SolidSnakeFan

All this gamer entitlement! Such an enriching read.

thom_maytees
thom_maytees

I really do not like this idea as I resent adverstisements on video games especially those that resemble commericals.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

This is a FAR BETTER approach than "Pay To Win" / "Freemium" crippled gaming garbage.  These games are functionally unaltered, full-fledged gaming experiences, and those people who don't have a ton of money can still enjoy them.  If you just want to TRY a game, then this facilitates that as well.  ...or, just buy the game when you're tired of seeing ads. Bravo!

Wyckid
Wyckid

...maybe if they launched with games that were worth a damn...

Animatronic64
Animatronic64

I'd rather take a screwdriver in the ear than watch stupid commercials.

firehawk998
firehawk998

I can see it now you are playing a RPG like Mass Effect and you start romancing a character. Just about they are about to get it, on the game then blocks and shows you an ad For HERPES.

 

 

This is future concept of gaming that I want to die a horrible death

higherflyerJ
higherflyerJ

HORRIBLE idea.  God, gaming what is happening to you?!  Someone make it stop PLEASE.

nedrith
nedrith

I might also note that this is the perfect service for demoing a game before you but it.  You don't have to be worried that the demo is showing the best parts of the game because you can play as long as you want until you find out whether you want to buy it or not.

nedrith
nedrith

I'm 50/50 on this one.  It's nowhere near as bad DLC where you have content that is removed from gaming or used as a excuse to make money and overcharge for the small amount of content that is being added.  For kids and such this will give them access to games that they wouldn't of otherwise have access.  And if you don't like the advertisements, buy the full game, sounds reasonable.

 

On the otherhand, If this ever hits gamers as a whole it will just be disgusting.

blackothh
blackothh

fuck you guys, ur now on my blacklist with EA, Blizzard and Ubisoft

TrueGB
TrueGB

Commercial breaks while gaming? Oh, good lord...heck no!

ElJefeDeMedios
ElJefeDeMedios

Nope.  Won't even look at the game.  An exception to my opinion would be non-intrusive in-game ads such as what we saw (billboards) in Rainbow 6 Vegas (or was it Vegas 2?).