Verizon is now offering a beta to test their free game hosting service.
Ars technica reports that Verizon has launched Playlinc, a free service that will offer, “support for a variety of gaming platforms, messaging tools including AIMICQ and fully multiplexed VOIP, dynamic server launching, server browsing, buddy tracking, player invitations, Team Management, on-game controls, and more,” according to the official site. Users will login with their AIM or ICQ accounts to gain access to the service. What appears to set this apart is the ability to launch game servers hosted by Verizon and setup virtual LAN games that you can host yourself. The virtual LAN support is very similar to the Hamachi program, which simulates a Local Area Network over the internet. This would allow you to bypass the use of Gamespy in Titan Quest by launching a LAN game, for example.
The current games supported for free hosting are Quake IV, Counter-Strike, Half-Life 2, Day of Defeat and UT 2004. Most LAN-enabled games look to support player hosted servers, including console games according to the site.
You can learn more about the service and its features here.