Recently at the TMC Communications Developer Conference, Paul Amery, director of the Skype Developer Program, announced that the popular VoIP service is set to launch a new channel for casual gaming and the "Game Developer Program" through a partnership with Easybits Software, giving third party developers access to Skype's nearly 196 million registered users.

"People are increasingly using Skype to interact with one another, with many choosing to play simple games like checkers or backgammon," Amery said at the keynote. "However, the tremendous size of Skype's user base makes it an ideal environment for multi-player and community-based games in which people can play against or collaborate with one another."
Skype is looking for new ways to enhance the user experience adding features other than voice calls, and also to further capitalize on their huge user base. Games, however, are nothing new to Skype as they have been available before through the program's "Extras Manager", though this new feature will bring a channel focused exclusively on gaming.

Developers, on the other hand, will be able to charge for their games, which will only be playable through Skype as they will handle all of the distribution, marketing, billing, and DRM for the games.