Game vendor GamersGate, which currently hawks downloadable versions of PC titles, is getting into the freebie business. A countdown timer on the company's site teases the release of FreeGames, an ad-supported gaming service that won't cost users a dime. As I'm writing this, there are 78 days and 16 hours left on the clock, putting the official launch on September 1. I guess that means students won't have to choose between spending money on games and on their monthly Ramen rations.
Little is known about the FreeGames service, but Rock, Paper, Shotgun was able to squeeze a few details from GamersGate representative Theodore Bergquist. He doesn't reveal which games will be available through the service, but Bergquist says there should be 200 available at launch. GamersGate's catalog includes enough recent titles to give me hope the selection will be decent.
Unlike in-game advertising, FreeGames' ads will run before you play, likely providing enough time to refresh your beverage and make a snack. You'll have to be connected to the 'net to watch those ads, but it looks like a connection won't be required to play the actual games. Users will be able to play five games per month, and they'll be able to do so from any PC they'd like.
The viability of this service will of course depend on what games are available and how much advertising must be endured before playing. With a broad selection of titles and a reasonable amount of pre-game advertising, FreeGames could have a winning formula.