Yahoo has been on a spree of acquisitions since Marissa Mayer came on board as the new CEO in July 2012. An announcement on Wednesday showed how Yahoo will be making a push into the gaming space, introducing the Yahoo Games Network for developers, and Yahoo Classic Games for visitors.
As reported previously, Yahoo had been making multiple acquisitions in the gaming space since 2012, and the announcement of these two new products from Yahoo shows us the direction the company has been heading in.
Detailed the new initiatives with a Tumblr post, the Internet giant said Yahoo Classic Games is a touch friendly web-based games platform, which means that you could visit it from your browser on just about any device and get access to a large number of free games, along with gaming news. This is a fairly big step, but unless web based apps can give perfectly smooth and dependable experiences to the users, it’s going to be hard to break the hold that apps have on the mobile experience. Yahoo says it will work seamlessly for Android and iOS devices.
The post mentions Yahoo games such as Yahoo Poker, Yahoo Pool and Yahoo Bingo, but there is also a lot of third party support. Visitors to the site will also be able to play popular games like KingsRoad, The Last Stand: Deadzone, Ballistic, Bingo Blingo, Rise of Mythos, Vegas World and Slotomania. To increase the number of games being offered, Yahoo is working with a lot of other companies including Rumble Entertainment, DreamWorks, SGN, ChangYou, Namco Bandai America, Playtika, FlowPlay, and Con Artist Games.
One of the big advantages of Yahoo’s Classic Games platform is that the experience is device agnostic, and therefore offering crossplay between different platforms will be simple. Yahoo claims to have 400 million users on mobile worldwide; it’s safe to say that there is a wide mix of devices and platforms there, and this move will make it easier for them to connect to one another.
The second announcement, of Yahoo Games Network, is the platform which all this will be powered by. Developers such as the ones mentioned will be able to use Yahoo Games Network to distribute their games, authenticate players, monetize games, add social and analytics support.
These services are already available from highly popular game platforms such as Kongregate andNewgrounds which have been very important for the smaller developers in reaching their audience, but breaking into mobile can still represent a challenge. For these developers, a single platform solution that reaches people across all devices might be the best way to get noticed, before making apps themselves.