AOL launches dedicated games channel in UK

LONDON - AOL has teamed up with a string of online game publishers to relaunch its gaming site, which now includes more than 250 free games.

The revamped site will broaden its advertising capabilities and demographic reach by creating a new look, easier navigation and a more diverse library of games. As well as hundreds of games, the site also facilitates collaboration among players by offering user-generated game reviews, tips, ratings and chat capabilities.

Dana Dunne, CEO of AOL Europe, said: "The new community features will provide a destination where people can experience the games they love while connecting with players from around the world."

To provide partners with multiple advertising opportunities, the new site will feature deep, in-game ad opportunities in online games such as bingo, poker and solitaire. Pre-roll and in-game ads will also provide advertisers with a variety of methods to target an engaged audience.

Jonathan Lister, senior vice-president of operations for AOL Europe, said: "The newly relaunched AOL Games is the ideal portal for advertisers to target an engaged audience. The site offers games of a very high quality -- on many other sites you would have to pay a subscription fee to access content of this calibre."

Rien van Beemen, vice-president for Europe at RealGames, said: "AOL's audience has proven over the years that they enjoy our games, from 'Monopoly' through to 'Super Collapse' and 'Delicious', there is something to appeal to everybody."

AOL Games in the UK is powered by a selection of leading casual games companies, including Real Networks, PopCap and Big Fish Games and is also available in Germany and Austria. The relaunched site is based on the US site games.com.

The launch follows last week rollout of AOL's US men's site Asylum.com, which was expanded into the UK and Australia.