Terra Lycos Enters Subscription Play Into I-gaming
By Earl
In an effort to counter the ‘sharp downturn’ in advertising spending and the decline in revenue that came subsequent to that decision, Terra Lycos, the Internet media star, has announced it will begin online gaming via subscriptions. Surfers on the web will be able to play PC games with free software on broadband. Terra Lycos claims it will be offering games with better features that will attract subscriptions. Meredith Hanrahan, Vice President of Entertainment, said: 'As we [were] looking at opportunities in the markets, one thing popped out in terms of consumer demand: the explosive PC gaming market.'

Terra Lycos was formed by the merging of the U.S. based search engine Lycos with the Spanish company, Terra Networks. The company’s goal is to subscribe a full half of the users that connect to the web by broadband and who do so mostly from work. They will be the first service to offer subscription games. More than 47 million people play online every month and Hanrahan sees their target audience as both young adults and ‘older, mass-market consumers.’

Steven DeBenedictus, Senior Product Manager for Multimedia and Broadband, said of the other online gaming providers: 'The current online offerings are really a mishmash of individual solutions that haven't really succeeded en masse.' A customer at Terra Lycos will be offered a choice of games. Customers will register to play one game or an assortment of five games in a certain theme. 'We are taking the cable TV approach: Subscribe to a channel and that channel will be themed, such as family or action,' DeBenedictis said. 'New content will come in like it does on HBO and Showtime and we will present content [that] people ask for.'

A five-game package will cost about $8 a month. A pack of 20 games, that would allow access to all of Terra Lycos' titles, will cost around $14 a month.

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