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Goa debuts free casual games portal

The online casual games market is one of the fastest growing sectors in the games industry, and a new web service called Goa.com is looking to take charge of the market with a portal offering free online multiplayer gaming.

The website, which went live today, has been launched in four languages (French, English, German and Spanish) with the aim of reaching the widest possible market across Europe. Two games will be available from the off – light-hearted golf title Pangya and action game Gun Bound World Champion.

As well as offering a range of deliberately accessible titles, Goa hopes that the fact that its service is free to play will prove to be a major winner with gamers. Revenues, meanwhile, will be generated by encouraging users to spend cash on additional in-game extras.

"Gamers can play for free but if they want to customize their character in-game they can buy those special items,” Goa’s product manager Frédéric Xicluna told MCV. “Some items can be bought through virtual money that can be obtained by playing, whilst others can only be bought through real money. The price varies for each item, but they're not that expensive, ranging from 50 cents up to a couple of euros.

"The concept of item selling is very new in Europe but is already popular in Korea and Japan and is also coming to the US. We think Europeans will be attracted to this new concept since they don't have to pay a monthly fee.”

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