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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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Codemaster Readies Online Gaming Portal Launch

by Rainier on Aug. 11, 2005 @ 1:14 p.m. PDT

Codemasters will launch an independently branded online gaming portal, Funsta.com in September to expand its presence in the online gaming market with a vast catalogue of games available for play through several distribution methods, including browser, download-purchase, subscription, micro transaction or via a dedicated gaming client, the Funsta Arcade.

Under the tag of “Games for Everyone”, Funsta.com is set to offer the widest range of games available on any online gaming portal with more than 1,000 games targeted to be available from the site.

The launch of Funsta.com sees Codemasters developing its games publishing activities beyond retail-released titles as part of its growth strategy following investment from Benchmark Capital Europe earlier this year. Funsta.com is the first project from Codemasters Online Gaming, a new division that drives the company’s interests in the online gaming marketplace.

“As online distribution becomes a more regular route for broadband Internet users to access entertainment products, Codemasters is perfectly placed to launch Funsta.com as an all-in-one gaming portal,” said Nick Pili, Codemasters’ Head of Internet Gaming. “By bringing together the best content providers to one site and promoting it to our extensive audience and beyond, we will make it a key online destination for both causal and core gamers.”

Funsta.com will arrive with more than 300 downloadable free-play games for the Funsta Arcade, 85 free-play browser webgames, over 500 downloadable premium-brand PC video games, games on demand, plus a series of sports management games and prize-based skill games.

To launch Funsta.com Codemasters has signed a series of comprehensive content deals with leading online gaming and on-demand providers.

For casual gaming, Codemasters has partnered with RealNetworks, Inc. to feature a wide variety of downloadable content available through its RealArcade game management software. The content will include puzzle, word, sports, board, arcade, action/adventure and card games through individual game purchases or via a monthly subscription service called GamePass.
RealArcade will power the Funsta Arcade with 300+ free-play games, including Luxor, Bejewled 2 and Diner Dash.

For core PC players, Funsta.com will provide online gaming through the trial, download-purchase or subscription-based play of the latest full-release PC video games. To facilitate the service, Codemasters has partnered with Macrovision’s Trymedia business unit, whose game distribution technology and large catalogue of downloadable PC games will enable Funsta.com users to download and try before they purchase over 500 of the biggest brand PC games. An additional partnership with Metaboli will see a subscription-based service become available where users pay a monthly fee to access a selection of Codemasters’ PC video games.

A series of sports management titles, including football, cricket, baseball and hockey will also be integrated into Funsta.com from partnerships with CAT Games and Silent Manager.

Funsta.com will launch in September and initial marketing will include a registration incentive and be promoted to Codemasters 2.5 million monthly unique site visitors and its database of almost 1 million registered gamers.

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