Skype's Paul Amery has announced a partnership with Easybits Software to create the Skype Game Channel and the Game Developer Program, pointing out that users are already increasingly using Skype for purposes other than just making voice calls. The program will give third-party developers access to Skype's 196 million user base, and the company says that it will supply developers with all the SDKs, APIs, tools, information, and support they need in order to make their games Skype-compatible. Once a game is developed and approved, Skype says that it will handle all of the distribution, marketing, billing, and DRM for the games. Developers will be able to charge for their games, which will only be playable through Skype. It's unclear whether the developers will be able to determine game prices themselves or whether Skype will have a say in how much users are charged to play, but Skype is sure to get a cut of the fees.
"People are increasingly using Skype to interact with one another, with many choosing to play simple games like checkers or backgammon. However, the tremendous size of Skype's user base makes it an ideal environment for multi-player and community-based games in which people can play against or collaborate with one another. We hope the Skype Game Channel becomes a popular entertainment destination within the Skype community. Our goal is to make it as easy and profitable as possible for the developers while keeping it simple and fun for consumers to use," said Amery.
News source: Ars Technica