AOL creates kit for 'ping and play'

America Online is releasing a tool kit designed to let online game developers integrate its AIM and ICQ messaging software into their titles, the company said on Monday.

Doing so will give players the ability to see whether fellow gamers are online and then communicate with them in real time. They will also be able to "ping" friends from inside a game application. As instant-messaging services have continued to gain popularity, companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo and America Online have been adding more features and frills. Microsoft recently launched a subscription-based gaming service over its MSN messaging software.

News source: C|Net News.com

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