Square Enix Lets You Earn Gameplay by Watching Ads

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Square Enix Lets You Earn Gameplay by Watching Ads

CoreOnline offers cloud gaming for free without having to leave your browser.

Square Enix has announced a new browser-based game streaming service called CoreOnline. Developed in conjunction with Google, the service offers HD streamed games in exchange for watching commercials, and is compatible with Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer through a proprietary plugin.

CoreOnline streams individual levels one at a time, allowing players to choose where in the game they begin. When booting up a game, users are greeted with a prompt asking them whether they want to watch a commercial or remove ads from the game. If they opt to remove the ads, they can either pay for a game in its entirety or buy individual levels. The alternative is to watch a short commercial out of a selection, each of which grants a certain amount of free game time. There's a choice of different ads at the moment, ranging between 24 seconds and just over a minute, with players earning 20 minutes of gaming for every minute of adverts watched. It's pretty similar to most TV channels, but with a better rate of content to advertising.

Currently, only two games are available on the service. Mini Ninjas is playable in both Mac and Windows, while Hitman: Blood Money can only be played in Windows. Square Enix plans to expand its selection in the coming months with Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light in October, and Tomb Raider: Underworld and Gyromancer will follow sometime in the future. The company hopes to announce other games for the service within the next year.

Only time will tell whether the microtransaction model will be able to sustain CoreOnline. The recent demise and rebirth of similar service OnLive has shown cloud gaming to be a rather unstable area in the market.

Source: Joystiq

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That system is going to be easy to cheat. Just get a keylogger with a replay function which can playback your input, like Tasker, figure out how start the service up, and select to watch ads over and over for more game time, record the keystrokes required to do that, set the logger on infinite playback, and go do something else for a few hours.

If this actually works and makes money it could be a boon for gamers. Imagine if anyone could play any game and all they had to do was watch ads. I'm not sure it will work though. Companies are only willing to pay so much for ads, and games are expensive to make. It's still one of the most interesting fiance models I have seen in a while though.

Edit: This is potentially a really big thing in gaming... and its gotten less comments then the tread on 'Everyone is drowning!' Escapist, I am disappoint.

Blablahb:
That system is going to be easy to cheat. Just get a keylogger with a replay function which can playback your input, like Tasker, figure out how start the service up, and select to watch ads over and over for more game time, record the keystrokes required to do that, set the logger on infinite playback, and go do something else for a few hours.

I am not a computer magician so I don't know how that works, but what this guy said is pretty much what I was going to say.

Either way, I am happy with this so long as Square Enix doesn't notice we can cheat the system, because, hey, FREE GAMES!

Blablahb:
That system is going to be easy to cheat. Just get a keylogger with a replay function which can playback your input, like Tasker, figure out how start the service up, and select to watch ads over and over for more game time, record the keystrokes required to do that, set the logger on infinite playback, and go do something else for a few hours.

Well, so-so. As I understand this system that wouldn't be a big deal, if the person doing it sees some of the commercials. I think the idea on the timetable is based on the assumption that people are going to "game the system" to some extent. Not to mention that there are only going to be so many commercials.

The success or failure of a system like this all comes down to the sponsors making money, if they don't see an increase in sales after advertising on the new platform, then chances are they won't be lining up to pay for ad space.

As I tell people all the time, if you like something, one of the best ways to make sure it stays around is to buy some of the products being advertised. By this I don't mean clicking on ad windows and whipping out your credit card online, so much as paying attention to what commercials play (to some extent) during your favorite TV show or whatever, and then supporting the products especially when they coincide with what your going to be buying anyway. A lot of people don't think about it (or feel like a tool if they do) but think of it this way, if Kraft advertises mac and cheese, they are buying ad space that justifies the continuation of a show or whatever they are putting the add up for. When you go to the store to buy mac and cheese anyway, buying their brand, even if you pay a nickel more (which to be fair does add up) than the generic or whatever, can be seen as supporting the productions that Kraft is supporting so to speak.

In the final equasion it's not going to come down to time watched anyway is the point, and I think everyone knows that. The big question will be whether you'll buy products from sponsors that are basically providing free gamesffor you when you go out to do your shopping for whatever.

Incidently I think half the problem with ad supporting gaming, when it's been done unobtrusively, is that the products advertised and sponsors lined up are not nessicarly the kinds of products that most people are going to buy. As often as not it seems that video game sponsors seem to be those providing gaming products, like ultra expensive mice, keyboards, and headsets and such. Dropping $250 for a luxury keyboard is not something people are going to do casually, nor is it something a person buys more than once usually. As a result being sponsored by say "Razer" and having them appear in billboards in games is going to net limited results, the guys seeing that probably already know about you, and if you could afford your product they would have. On the other hand if your favorite game or MMO is sponsored by say Mcdonalds, and they make that clear by having a billboard or three in say the town square in Champions Online or whatever, everyone stops for fast food as a nessecity, and supporting a game someone plays might very well tip the scales when they are deciding whether to get lunch on the go from the Mcdonalds or the Burger King which are right next to each other on a strip. Overall, video game companies don't seem to even try to broker these kinds of deals as far as I can tell. Also it might help if the relationship was explained a little better, rather than just "greedy schlub trying to get money out of you" which is still true, but with a sponsorship deal it can be argued that the guys buying the ad space so a product or service can continue ARE giving you something if you use that product or service.

eh the adds are short, but still I think the constant ads would get on peoples nerves.

Could be good.

I'll have to look into it if I ever get a mouse.

Could we stop the "from within your browser!!!" stuff, when really, it's just a plugin you download? >.>

Blablahb:
That system is going to be easy to cheat. Just get a keylogger with a replay function which can playback your input, like Tasker, figure out how start the service up, and select to watch ads over and over for more game time, record the keystrokes required to do that, set the logger on infinite playback, and go do something else for a few hours.

Yeah, but is it really going to kill you to wait for an ad, so you can play a good chunk of game for free, on a regular basis? I see the ad, then it gtfo my screen and it doesn't try to lag me out or be annoying and everything's just fine.

It's not that I hate ads, I just hate putting up with constant animation and loading without consent. In particular, the Escapist had these full music videos loading on the side on virtually every page, and I'm not just giving my bandwidth away to a bunch of people just to read the news. They can make it so I have to start the video, or host a shorter ten second video instead of ten freaking minutes.

I tried Hitman: Blood Money and I wasn't impressed: You can't play on full screen and you can't change any settings. Instead of going through the game's menus, you pick a level from a web-page.

I hope they'll improve on it, and once they get it to work properly, add recent games to see if this model can compete with the others.

I think this is something that is certainly a step in the right direction.

People might hate adverts, but they can make certain things cheaper for you if they come with them.

To be honest, I'm surprised you don't find product placement in some games. By that, I mean stuff that would be fairly unobtrusive. Wouldn't work for all games, but for some it would go great. Such as Left 4 Dead 2 having billboards with real life products plastered on them, etc.

To people saying you could have a key repeater on it: The solution to this is for the companies to make it so you can only hoard 60 minutes of game time at a time maximum. Also, before people say how that would annoy them, just consider that it would be better than the alternative where you have ads that need some form of interaction from the user.

Edit: Also, I can't help notice how this compares to youtube.

So just do what I normally do and make a cup of tea?

Bring on the free games

Can I get an account where I watch an hour or so of commercials and then stockpile the gametime please?

if you can bank time that would be nice, but a commercial every 20 mins is too often. But 3 mins of commercials for an hour of play would be just about right. A good reminder to get up and stretch or take a leak.

That sounds.... Pretty reasonable actually. Then again, with the way TV is rapidly losing ground to on-demand services, taking cues from the former might not be the best idea.

I think this is an incredibly stupid idea. Mostly because I hate ads. Plus I don't think the idea of streaming games is a particularly good one to begin with anyway.

Lono Shrugged:
So just do what I normally do and make a cup of tea?

Bring on the free games

This is the reason why it's not going to work out as well as Square-Enix hopes.

Doom972:
I tried Hitman: Blood Money and I wasn't impressed: You can't play on full screen and you can't change any settings. Instead of going through the game's menus, you pick a level from a web-page.

I hope they'll improve on it, and once they get it to work properly, add recent games to see if this model can compete with the others.

You can go fullscreen and you can use the menus.

I actually hope this works. Would be a nice new model to stir up the industry.

rembrandtqeinstein:
if you can bank time that would be nice, but a commercial every 20 mins is too often. But 3 mins of commercials for an hour of play would be just about right. A good reminder to get up and stretch or take a leak.

Actually, you can do exactly that....

Is there a limit to the number of ads a user might watch in order to earn game time?
At any point you can accumulate a maximum game time of 60 minutes; as you use this game time, you will be able to top up again by watching additional ads.

http://beta.coreonline.com/help/

Eh, as long as it remains but an option, I have no grievance with it.

Though why spend time watching ads, when I can spend time creating my own games instead..

Hum, nice to see a publisher finally going out there and trying to find a modern way of monetising their games without trying to nail their customer's heads to the wall and make them pay for the privilege.

Hell, I might even use this to demo games before purchasing them.

Eh, I wouldn't cap game time at an hour. I'd use a captcha of some sort instead for each ad.

canadamus_prime:
I think this is an incredibly stupid idea. Mostly because I hate ads. Plus I don't think the idea of streaming games is a particularly good one to begin with anyway.

I don't know, free games for ads sounds like a good thing. Even if you don't like the idea you could try it to try out a game, and if you like it you can buy it so you can play it without ads; if you don't, you stop playing and the developer still gets paid. Add that to the fact that it's 20 minutes of gameplay per minute of advertising I'd say it has a lot of potential.

I'm willing to give this system a go, for the same reason i'm happy to watch ads before internet videos: You have to make revenue somehow, why not in a moderately unintrusive way?

Two-A:

canadamus_prime:
I think this is an incredibly stupid idea. Mostly because I hate ads. Plus I don't think the idea of streaming games is a particularly good one to begin with anyway.

I don't know, free games for ads sounds like a good thing. Even if you don't like the idea you could try it to try out a game, and if you like it you can buy it so you can play it without ads; if you don't, you stop playing and the developer still gets paid. Add that to the fact that it's 20 minutes of gameplay per minute of advertising I'd say it has a lot of potential.

Maybe, but if I have to endure shitty obnoxious advertisements I'd better get more than a measly 20 minutes of gameplay. I hate having ads shoved down my throat, it's for that reason I stopped watching television.

canadamus_prime:

Two-A:

canadamus_prime:
I think this is an incredibly stupid idea. Mostly because I hate ads. Plus I don't think the idea of streaming games is a particularly good one to begin with anyway.

I don't know, free games for ads sounds like a good thing. Even if you don't like the idea you could try it to try out a game, and if you like it you can buy it so you can play it without ads; if you don't, you stop playing and the developer still gets paid. Add that to the fact that it's 20 minutes of gameplay per minute of advertising I'd say it has a lot of potential.

Maybe, but if I have to endure shitty obnoxious advertisements I'd better get more than a measly 20 minutes of gameplay. I hate having ads shoved down my throat, it's for that reason I stopped watching television.

I'm with you on that one. I absolutely hate commercials.

I wouldn't be able to tolerate commercials in the middle of my gameplay. It'd do nothing short of enraging me. People know not to interrupt me when I'm playing a game, but being interrupted by an advertisement that's probably going to be 10 times louder than the game? Blood will flow and heads will roll.

(More likely, services will not be used. But you get the picture).

When I read the title my first though was "The fuck?" but after reading the article, it actually sounds quite reasonable. Definitely better rate than ad based TV channels where you get 2:1 ratio of content to ads.

And some ads can actually be quite funny! We have this one for a fabric softener which has had the same formula for many year (women casually pulls it out of her handbag) and now they started to make fun of it themself (a man casually pulls hit from behind his back /out of his ass/)!

Eh, back on topic.
I have to say this looks good, and I'm gonna give it a try. Never played any Hitman, so might as well try it. Will keep an eye on how this turns out.

DeltasDix:

Doom972:
I tried Hitman: Blood Money and I wasn't impressed: You can't play on full screen and you can't change any settings. Instead of going through the game's menus, you pick a level from a web-page.

I hope they'll improve on it, and once they get it to work properly, add recent games to see if this model can compete with the others.

You can go fullscreen and you can use the menus.

When I pressed Escape, it just suspended the game and the windows mouse cursur reappeared, but no menus.

Cool, does this mean that you would be able to skip through the 2-3 first hours of every game you play? That would be pretty damn awesome, since the beginning is almost always excruciatengly boring! (and sometimes borderline insulting, since mostly every game assumes that the player is stupid) :D

Iīd never use the commercial option though, iīd rather pay since i canīt stand watching commercials. I watch them in the cinema and thatīs it.

It's an interesting idea. Don't know how well it will pan out and personally I'm not interested right now because A) I already have blood money and B) I don't really want to play mini ninjas (whatever that is).

Still, I think I'll keep an eye on it just in case something goes up that I want to try but can't be arsed forking money over for.

So 10 mins of adverts for ten minutes of gameplay? I don't know if the advert length justifies the length of gameplay in that case. The ten minutes of ad's will feel like forever and the ten minutes of gameplay will feel like nothing. If they adjusted the advert to gameplay ratio to 1:2 then i think i will be more willing to give it a try.

But... what's to stop you getting up and doing something else whilst your adverts are playing? I could mute my laptop and play on my PS3 or read a book whilst the adverts are running- after all i know exactly how long the adverts are. Could i set up three hours of adverts for three hours of gameplay? I could use the advert time to go out and do some shopping or do some work.

Nickolai77:
So 10 mins of adverts for ten minutes of gameplay? I don't know if the advert length justifies the length of gameplay in that case. The ten minutes of ad's will feel like forever and the ten minutes of gameplay will feel like nothing. If they adjusted the advert to gameplay ratio to 1:2 then i think i will be more willing to give it a try.

But... what's to stop you getting up and doing something else whilst your adverts are playing? I could mute my laptop and play on my PS3 or read a book whilst the adverts are running- after all i know exactly how long the adverts are. Could i set up three hours of adverts for three hours of gameplay? I could use the advert time to go out and do some shopping or do some work.

It's 1 minute of ads for 20 minutes of gameplay.

Da Orky Man:

Nickolai77:
So 10 mins of adverts for ten minutes of gameplay? I don't know if the advert length justifies the length of gameplay in that case. The ten minutes of ad's will feel like forever and the ten minutes of gameplay will feel like nothing. If they adjusted the advert to gameplay ratio to 1:2 then i think i will be more willing to give it a try.

But... what's to stop you getting up and doing something else whilst your adverts are playing? I could mute my laptop and play on my PS3 or read a book whilst the adverts are running- after all i know exactly how long the adverts are. Could i set up three hours of adverts for three hours of gameplay? I could use the advert time to go out and do some shopping or do some work.

It's 1 minute of ads for 20 minutes of gameplay.

I've just re-watched the video on full screen and it seems you can get ten minutes of gameplay for as little as 30 seconds of adverts.

Twilight_guy:
If this actually works and makes money it could be a boon for gamers. Imagine if anyone could play any game and all they had to do was watch ads. I'm not sure it will work though. Companies are only willing to pay so much for ads, and games are expensive to make. It's still one of the most interesting fiance models I have seen in a while though.

Edit: This is potentially a really big thing in gaming... and its gotten less comments then the tread on 'Everyone is drowning!' Escapist, I am disappoint.

Ads are big money, especially since a service like this can work towards targeted ads. As in stuff that actually interest you. I see no reason why it wouldn't work.

There are naturally some limitations, such as the quality of the in-game graphics and probably some other stuff that makes actually buying the game more attractive, but I've actually tried it and the streaming is flawless, no noticeable latency whatsoever (Something that OnLive had trouble with) and it's a really great way to play games that you might otherwise not want to spend money on.

I've heard there's a ISP in England that does the same thing, you get free x GB of traffic if you click on their adds.

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