AOL PlayLincs Gamers Through AIM

    August 29, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The young male demographic may be found in concentration among the gamers in the world, and a new initiative by AOL and Super Computer International (SCI) makes features available to them via PlayLinc.

AOL said the PlayLinc service places the tools and services online gamers need for more control of their multiplayer gaming. The announcement follows AOL’s acquisition of GameDaily, a gaming news and reviews site.

Gaming has great appeal for AOL, and the potential for an advertising revenue windfall that might accompany a well-developed gaming strategy. According to analysts at Parks Associates, North America’s online gaming market will increase to $4.4 billion by 2010.

“The surge in online gaming also would seem to tie in perfectly with the growing in-game advertising market,” the article noted. “As more and more gamers go online with their consoles or PCs, advertisers and brand marketers are doing their best to leverage those eyeballs.”

PlayLinc would tap into the online gamers among AOL Messaging’s users, who number about 80 million and use AIM, ICQ, and Apple iChat. AOL touted PlayLinc and the features it will offer to gamers beyond the AIM integration.

Gamers can launch servers for free through PlayLinc. They can be made public, or private and accessible by invitation only. PlayLinc also offers a voice service to connect 32 gamers with real-time talk through the use of multiplexed VoIP, instead of conventional peer to peer VoIP used elsewhere in the industry.

PlayLinc’s users can also form Gaming Clubs for themselves and their fellow gamers. Currently, PlayLinc supports game titles including Counter Strike, Counter Strike Source, Half Life 2 Deathmatch, America’s Army, Battlefield 2, Quake 4, Day of Defeat, and UT2004.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.