Comcast Adds $14.95 Online Game Tier

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Comcast Corp. boosted the content of its online portal last week, offering its high-speed Internet subscribers a new $14.95 per month “Games on Demand” package featuring 60 CD-ROM style games.

Over the past year, Comcast has added Real Networks’ Rhapsody music download service, MLB.com’s monthly subscription package and new broadband content in its “TheFan” streaming wheel to entice new subscribers to counter the inroads digital subscriber line service has made into cable’s high-speed data business.

“As a market-leading media and entertainment company, we provide the hottest on-demand content through as many channels as possible,” said Comcast senior vice president of marketing Greg Butz. “Games on Demand is a natural fit with the Comcast.net portal, and it further extends the value of the site for our customers.”

Exent Technologies is supplying the backend software for the gaming service. “The launch of Comcast Games on Demand service signifies the tipping point for attractive content services,” said Exent CEO Zvi Levgoren.

Exent offers secure digital delivery of gaming applications, and has worked with Yahoo, Bell Canada and RCN. Investors include AOL Time Warner Ventures and Comcast Interactive.

Games will be refreshed each week. Because of the broadband connections, gamers can play online with and against other gamers or by themselves.

The more than 60 games cover a variety of formats. The service includes strategy games Celtic Kings: Rage of War, Civilization III: Conquests, Disciples II: The Rise of the Elves and O.R.B.; adventure games Temple of Elemental Evil, Alone in the Dark 4, Zapper and Neverwinter Nights; and action games Pacific Gunnerand Robin Hood.

There are also family and kids categories, which include Monopoly, Risk II, Scrabble Complete, Clifford Learning Activities, Tonka Monster Trucks and I Spy Fantasy.

Comcast said sister company G4techTV will provide content designed for game subscribers, including clips from the network’s series, such as X-Play, Judgment Day and Sweat, gaming news and sneak previews.

Subscribers to the service can play an unlimited number of games The MSO is making the service available for a two-week free trial period as a promotion signup.

The service also offers parental controls to limit access to certain games.

Part of the pitch to consumers is ability for users to test certain games inside the service before going out and purchasing those games. One PC game usually costs more than entire monthly subscription Comcast is offering.

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