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.
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.