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Playce launches virtual world, rubbish game

By on February 26, 2009
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In-browser gaming is all the rage these days. Unity’s platform, QuakeLive, Runescape.

So what does Playce bring to the table? It’s another browser plugin that the company claims offers “a 3D virtual world for games” based on real cities such as San Francisco and New York.

It’s not a new idea. NearGlobal offers a similar product, although its focus is on social networking and retailing, not gaming.

But I think that Playce has some flaws (aside from the initial game being rubbish, although to be fair to Playce it’s more than a tech demo, and the company is clear that it is not and does not want to be a games developer)

  • How many browser plugins will users use? Flash has become ubiqitous; companies like Unity, Playce and others will be fighting to be the Flash of games, but Playce has one big weakness, which is:
  • It’s limited to playing in real world cities, which offers some potential, but puts a massive limitation on creative freedom for developers. This artificial constraint restricts the number and type of games that are possible on Playce’s platform compared with Unity
  • It’s limited to games, whereas NearGlobal has a much more flexible, open-world approach.

So while I am a firm believer in the future of games being in browsers, I am not sure that Playce will be a winner in this market.

If you want to check it out yourself, TechCrunch has some title=”TechCrunch: TC50’s plaYce Launches Real-World, 3D Game Platform as a Service (500 Invites)” href=”http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/02/24/tc50s-playce-launches-real-world-3d-game-platform-as-a-service-500-invites/”>beta invites.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com