Officials from AOL and telecom company Verizon have announced the launch of a new online games service named PlayLinc
. The service is free to use and allows users to host games on their own PCs and invite friends to private Internet gaming sessions.
At the same time Verizon also announced the launch of a new online community site at games.verizon.com
, which will showcase PlayLinc and include forums, blogs, gaming news and other related content.
PlayLinc and the new website are apparently key parts of Verizon's overall strategy to establish relationships with and encourage the growth of a loyal community of both serious and casual gamers. This community is intended to fuel business opportunities for Verizon, including digital distribution of games, in-game and on-site advertising, promotion of other Verizon services and increased adoption of Verizon's FiOS and DSL broadband services.
Verizon's introduction of PlayLinc is the result of the company's new relationship with SuperComputer International (SCI), a provider of high performance game server hosting solutions and gaming portals. Verizon acquired an equity position in SCI in May.
"PC gamers have long been held hostage, having to rent expensive servers to host games with their friends, or having to take their chances on public servers with ill-matched players of varying skills," said Colson Hillier, director of new product development for Verizon. "It's been frustrating."
The service was launched on Monday by SCI partners Verizon and AOL, with other partners such as Intel, America’s Army, the Cyberathlete leagues and new AOL acquisition GameDaily
set to launch their own private label PlayLinc services over the coming days and weeks.
"We're changing the world for gamers," said Hillier. "PlayLinc sets players free to enjoy online gaming the way it should be - fun, easy and affordable."