Cloud gaming specialist LiquidSky has announced that it's going free-to-play, offering what it claims is 'high-end PC gaming at no cost' on non-Windows operating systems and mobile platforms.
While it's far from the first company to look at offering mobile and lower-end PC users access to triple-A gaming titles without the expense of a gaming rig of their own - many have tried, with most either being acquired by larger companies or failing entirely - LiquidSky is adopting a pricing model it claims makes it unique: adding a free, advertising-supported tier to its subscription options.
'From the beginning, LiquidSky has committed itself to changing the gaming status quo,
' crowed Ian McLoughlin, LiquidSky’s co-founder and chief executive, of the company's progress. 'By delivering the power of an ultra gaming PC to nearly any device for free, with the convenience and simplicity of consoles, we’ve made gaming more accessible than ever. Gamers across the world can finally enjoy experiences previously unavailable to them at home or on-the-go through the power of LiquidSky.
Previously, those wishing to make use of LiquidSky's beta-status platform - which, as with all cloud gaming services, runs the game itself on a powerful remote server before compressing the video output and streaming it to the client device - had to pay $0.50 per hour with a 10 hour minimum, $9.99 for 80 hours a month, or $39.99 for unlimited hours per month. Under the new model, while paid subscriptions will be available the company will also offer a no-cost tier which is supported entirely through advertising.
'We’ve partnered with true[x] and other ad partners to deliver high quality engagement focused ads that users choose to watch/engage with in exchange for receiving SkyCredits. True[x] is also partnered with Twitch to provide high CPM, high engagement ads similar to the ones we will be providing our users,
' the company told us of its plans. 'Users can interact with ads to earn up to 3 hours of game play for everyday. The SkyCredits users earn rollover and can be redeemed whenever they like. For example they could earn up to 3 hours a day during the week and decide to binge on the weekend for 15 hours straight.
As part of the switch, LiquidSky is to close sign-ups until the new platform launches in March. As well as cost-free access, the company has also promised to add additional hardware options for up to 32GB of RAM, 8GB of VRAM, and 12 CPU cores, support for DirectX 12, USB pass-through, and support for most game libraries. The company has also teased its own thin-client microconsole platform, to launch later this year.
More information is available on the company's official website