The deal was actually consummated last week, when eUniverse soft-launched its games on MSN.
Play-for-cash skill games represent a fast growing segment of online gaming that combines fast-playing, well-known parlor games with the lure of cash prizes for tournament winners. No gambling is involved -- the games rely on the skill of the players, in games like solitaire, tetris, mah jong, trivia, and so on.
Players fund their accounts with a credit card or Paypal, select their skill game of choice and pay a tournament entry fee. The player who earns the highest score in the tournament wins the pot of money. You can compete against just one other person, or participate in a larger tournament. Prize amounts are directly related to the number of players in a tournament and the tournament's entry fee. Cash prizes range from under $1 to thousands of dollars; the more people that play in the tournament, the bigger the pot of money for the winner.
AOL and Yahoo! have already entered this arena, having inked agreements WorldWinner to provide their cash-tournament games.