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May 10, 2013
Shacknews - Steve Watts
Hitman: Sniper Challenge and Gyromancer have been added to Square Enix's free-to-play Core Online platform, the company announced today. The ad and subscription-supported platform now boasts six games in all, including Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Tomb Raider Underworld, Hitman: Blood Money, and Mini Ninjas.
Hitman: Sniper Challenge was previously a pre-order bonus for Absolution. Gyromancer is a gem-matching puzzle game.
CoreOnline allows you to play with ads for 20 minutes per day, for free, or pay a $2.99 monthly subscription fee for unlimited access to all of the games with no ads. You could also buy the games individually to escape the ads and get access, of course. You can access the service by clicking here.
Shacknews - Steve Watts
Square Enix is launching a new Web-based gaming portal that offers some of the company's back catalog for free. The "CoreOnline" service lets you play Hitman: Blood Money or Mini Ninjas by either watching advertisements between chunks of the games, or paying a fee to bypass them.
The CoreOnline site (via GI.biz) only boasts those two games so far, but promises others on the way like Tomb Raider Underworld and Gyromancer. Save data is also stored on the cloud, so you can pick up from a different computer or browser at any time.
This isn't the first time the publisher has experimented with cloud gaming. During the launch of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the publisher included a free OnLive version of the game with every retail copy, leading to a scuffle with GameStop. It appears Square Enix is now more interested in pursuing its own platform, instead of partnering with the beleaguered streaming company.
"Square Enix is at the forefront of experimentation of new business and services models in the game industry," said Square CEO Yoichi Wada. "Through our CoreOnline technology service, users can access our content easily through the browser."
Announcement - Valve