GamersGate to offer free ad-supported PC/Mac games

By on June 9, 2011, 3:05 PM

Digital distributors frequently offer blockbuster PC games for pennies on the dollar, but playing such titles completely free of charge is generally only possible if you're willing to acquire them by unscrupulous means. GamersGate hopes to change that with its new service (PDF), which will allow PC and Mac gamers to experience a chunk of the company's collection without loosening their purse strings.

Simply called "FreeGames," the new platform will rely on advertisements to generate cash. In exchange for free playtime, you'll have to watch a "short" ad when a game launches. We also assume that you might be exposed to ads while browsing for games and perhaps even while downloading or installing them, but this is purely speculation and the company's announcement doesn't mention this.

Naturally, there will be some restrictions involved. For instance, the base service will only allow you to have five games installed at once. GamersGate notes that you'll be able to add more games, but this will presumably be locked behind a paywall and the company hasn't explained this yet. Considering you'll need an Internet connection for the ads, it's safe to assume there will be some degree of DRM.

Along with earning some extra dough off the ads, GamersGate CEO Theodore Bergquist notes that the free-to-play platform will allow developers to expand their audience. "The new service offers the best of both worlds for both gamers and publishers," said Bergquist. Not only will users be enticed to try games for free, many of them will purchase the full version to avoid the ads and clear their list of installed games.

Based on GamersGate's countdown, it seems FreeGames is scheduled to launch on September 1. Folks eager to try the service ahead of time can currently sign up for the beta, which will kick off in a week or so. It's unclear what games will be available during the beta and at launch, but the company expects to offer a "large portion" of its 3,000+ titles, which it claims is the biggest catalog available for download.




User Comments: 14

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

"".....many of them will purchase the full version to avoid the ads and clear their list of installed games.""

Or pirate the full version to avoid ads all together. Good way to demo a game but those that already are getting games by "other means" because of a financial situation will just pirate the game anyway to enjoy game with out ads. I don't think this will make it to far.

jetkami said:

Just wait for Steam to have a sale and buy the game cheap without the advertising hassle.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Still, those pirates will be exposed as the hypocrites they are.

I wonder what games will be available this way. In particular whether high profile games will be available to play. Also, there's always an issue of regional limitation, and ads make it even more relevant (since they often don't apply to overseas audiences). If this service debuts as US only, like most good things, I'll be very disappointed.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

There are a lot of interesting "B-list" games on GamersGate that I'd like to try, but don't want to shell out the 10-20 bucks just to try. Well, I signed up for beta, hope its cool.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Stupid Steam sales have already got me neck deep in so many games that I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to play them all. I'll pass on this one... :p

Emin3nce said:

So let me get this straight...

People could either play an advert cripple game for FREE

or download an advert free game for FREE...

Problem?

Guest said:

well i am thinking that those games will not containing any viruses or bugs...but these are taking time to be published its better that they are free and not getting any slowness or virus.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

No thanks...

I'll wait and pay 5 bucks for a Steam game rather than sit through 60 seconds of some woman telling me about the greatest feminine hygiene since sliced bread.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

BRAWNDO - The Thirst Mutilator - "It's got what plants crave!"

Guest said:

Got to love the people who don't read the full article, then make dumb comments.

You can buy the games to have no adverts, or you can play them for free with adverts. I think it's a fair trade, especially since you can test out the game for free with ads. Then if you like the game, pay to get rid of the ads to properly enjoy the game.

treetops treetops said:

Yeah this is like gametag or whatever that thing was called or gamespy. Pretty nifty if you ask me.

Tanstar said:

Emin3nce said:

So let me get this straight...

People could either play an advert cripple game for FREE

or download an advert free game for FREE...

Problem?

Only for people like you who have no problem stealing.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

have a lot of games off steamy site & alike (steam / impulse / GoG / gamersgate / d2d) & free is always welcome minus the ads :P

but if it is a good way to get a small yet interesting game to play for a while then drop it when finished it's OK.

the ad may be annoying yet you get the full online play capable where available & updated game.

it's a good way to fight piracy & to expose most games to the audience, for like some said, it's hard to shell out even 1$ on an unknown product, it's easier when tried & approved & demos not always do the thing.

i enrolled for beta too, the only limit for me would be zone restriction though.

cheers!

Guest said:

KUDOS to GG. Come on people, you will not spend a penny. It's Free. Hope this will be as good as it sounds. And there is no risk for viruses, as those crappy pirate one that no one knows what else is installed on your PC. Also the developers will make more money and as a result more games. If you do not like it, try another one, if you like it, as someone said above, buy it without the ads. All the TV shows have ads, do you complain about it too?

Lets hope more such new ideas will be implemented. Steam also started Freetoplay service. I see a brighter future for us real gamers.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.