Business – BSNL reloads online games for broadband users
M. Dinesh Varma
CHENNAI: In a tweaking of its gaming strategy for broadband users, BSNL Chennai Telephones has reloaded its arsenal of online games and is now even providing it as a freebie on a few monthly plans.
The “Games on Demand” (GoD) service enables DataOne users to choose and play from a catalogue of over 300 games without ever needing to purchase any of the games. Games are being offered either as freebie on select plans or on monthly rental.
The catalogue features international gaming addictions such as “Need for Speed”, “FIFA”, “BattleField”, “Age of Empires II”, “Brian Lara’s Cricket” “Lara Croft Tomb Raider” and “Hitman”. The premium package also contains over 50 educational games. It is also proposed to add new games every month.
“We hope to kickstart some action on the gaming front as user response to the initial schemes has been lukewarm,” a Chennai Telephones official told The Hindu.
The key features of the offer include waiver of game download charges, unlimited usage (against the monthly subscription there is no limit on the number of games or the duration of play), and a parental lock facility where the parent can lock certain games or even specify which games their child can play, and at which time of the day or week.
The GoD is now available in two packages — the “Casual Package” that gives access to over 170 games at Rs. 100 a month and the “Premium Package” with over 320 games at Rs. 200 a month. The charges are added to the broadband bill. “We are hardselling the fact that the packages are more cost-effective than purchasing game CDs for the sheer variety on offer. Users can also instantly access new games released internationally,” the official said.
“Online games are universal in their appeal and provide an important revenue stream for service providers,” said K. S. Krishna Prasad, deputy manager, Indiagames.
BSNL is also planning to launch “GoD Wizkid”, an educational games service with features like parental control and progress report card.
To sign up online, the broadband user has to log onto http://bsnl.indiagames.com and fill out particulars on a form. Once subscribed, a game needs to be downloaded only once after which the user can revisit the game each time he logs on to the site. Though the user needs to remain online while playing any of the GoD games, the bandwidth consumed is minuscule — about 50 bits every 5 minutes
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