October 9, 2012
AOL Unveils Updated Games.com Site
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
AOL today announced a new revision to their Games.com site, bringing about new features which allow online-gamers to easily discover more games as well as personalize their own profile with their favorite games.In addition to overhauling the site with new features and styles, AOL also added some cross-platform titles. Now, some of the games featured on Games.com are able to be played on smartphones and tablets.
According to John Fox, general manager at Games.com, the newly revised AOL site now gives gamers access to more than 5,000 online games for free. As a part of the personalization of the new Games.com, gamers can not only get recommendations for new games to play, but also see their entire gaming history as well as keep track of their badges, points and other stats.
"AOL users have always been passionate about gaming and we're excited to give them an industry-leading experience that operates fluidly across all devices," said Mr. Fox in the press release announcing the changes to Games.com. "We're focused on creating an experience that allows users to discover, play and share games.”
AOL made the announcement today at GDC Online in Austin, Texas.
According to Mr. Fox, some two and a half to three million people visit Games.com every month. Zynga, on the other hand, facilitates this many gamers every day on Facebook. While games.com isn´t the largest gaming Web site, they do bring in enough traffic for small and mid level developers to take note.
Part of the redesign of Games.com is the Social Bar, a section on the right hand side of the screen which features recently played games, recommendations and a global leader board.
Games.com now also works on mobile devices, featuring games which can be played with simple taps. In order to bring these games to mobile devices, the Games.com team had to retool their site and rely on HTML 5 based games. In another comparison to Facebook, the social networking giant recently abandoned their plans to allow third-party developers to write these HTML 5 games for the site. AOL, on the other hand, hopes that a few key agreements with HTML 5 developers will help set them on top as well as bringing them all the advantages of HTML 5.
Online gaming competitor Zynga has also been working on their own portal as they expand past Facebook-only games. These kinds of online-based games can also be found on other competing Web sites, such as BigFishGames.
Mr. Fox, on the other hand, took some time on his Huffington Post blog to mention something he felt gives Games.com an advantage over these other competitors: History.
“As we´ve been building Games.com this past year, I uncovered quite a bit of history about AOL and the gaming space,” writes Mr. Fox.
“I was surprised to discover that AOL was one of the original online gaming pioneers. In fact, the first product the company launched was an online gaming service back in 1983 when the company was called Control Video Corporation. It was a service for the Atari 2600 called GameLine that let users download games to play on their Atari system. It looked like a larger, silver Atari cartridge with a phone jack on the side.”
Mr. Fox then goes on to track the rest of AOL´s gaming heritage, saying: “AOL has deep roots in gaming and we are committed to continue offering our users a leading place to discover, play and share games.” Games.com is available to try out today.