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MySpace launches casual games channel

Signs deal with Oberon to add games for users of the social networking site

By Heather Havenstein
October 24, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - MySpace announced Tuesday that it has partnered with casual gaming company Oberon Media to create a gaming channel for the social networking site.

The MySpace Games offering will allow users to choose from hundreds of online casual games to play with friends in the MySpace community. It will allow users to add and share games through their personal profile page, MySpace said.

The new channel will be available in early 2008.

Under the partnership, MySpace users will be able to add games from Oberon's library of offerings to their profile pages for free. They can then challenge friends to multiplayer games, invite them to play single-player games or socialize via chat services while playing the game, MySpace added.

"Bringing entertainment in the form of fun, social, casual games will enhance our user experience," said Amit Kapur, MySpace vice president of business development, in a statement.  "Our goal is to provide our members with an easy way to play with their friends and give them with additional ways to interact."

MySpace and Oberon encouraged the developer community to submit ideas for new forms of social gaming to myspace@oberon-media.com. Social networking blogger Adam Ostrow noted that the move was not unexpected because MySpace has arranged deals with other companies, like Simply Hired for MySpace Jobs, to power different sections of the site.

"With other recently launched sections, including News, Sports and Weather, it's clear that MySpace is taking a very '90s approach to development, looking to turn its social network into a portal in hopes of keeping people on the site as long as possible," he wrote. "However, the completely stagnant news area and poor integration of other new features raises some questions as to whether this strategy has any chance of working."

However, on the VideoGamesBlogger site,  a blogger named "Astrotiforce" wrote that the agreement "will allow users to select from hundreds of casual games which can then be added to their MySpace profiles. Just another thing to ensure that MySpace users never leave the site. These five-minute distractions will appeal to MySpace users of all ages and even allow them to test their wits against other online players."

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