Square Enix has found a new way to cash in on its older core games, adopting the free-to-play model that has done so well for the mobile and social spaces.
The publisher has launched a new cloud gaming portal, dubbed Core Online
, which will bring microtransactions and advertisements to Square Enix titles like Hitman: Blood Money
and Tomb Raider: Underworld
. With this service, the company can continue monetizing its older games well after their original retail or digital releases.
Each game on the service has been divided into designated chapters, and users can pay $0.49 to play each chapter a la carte, or they can play for free by watching video advertisements. For each minute of advertisements, users will get 20 minutes of free game time, and they can continue to renew that time by watching additional ads.
Alternatively, users can purchase the games outright for a one-time fee. Currently, all games on the service are $4.99.
At launch, the service only supports IO Interactive's Hitman: Blood Money
and Mini Ninjas
, though Square Enix says games like Tomb Raider Underworld
, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
, and Gyromancer
will launch on the service in the coming months.