Germany's RTL Relaunches Online Gaming Platform

RTL Group
RTL hopes to score a bigger piece of Germany's $300 million free-to-play market.

The big broadcaster is expanding its game offerings through deals with Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and others.

COLOGNE, Germany -- German commercial broadcaster RTL has relaunched its online gaming platform, signing a series of deals with game makers such as Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Bigpoint to expand its free-to-play offerings for the German market.

RTL put its new game channel online just ahead of this week's Gamescom, the world's largest gaming conference and trade fair, which kicks off in Cologne Wednesday.

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Among the games on offer on RTL's site are racing title Need for Speed World and strategy games Forge of Empires, The Settlers Online and Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances.

The free-to-play market generated more than $300 million in revenue in Germany last year, according to official gaming association BIU, with players paying for virtual gaming items.

RTL plans a major cross-promotion campaign on its German TV networks to promote the gaming site, which the broadcaster says will target both casual and hard-core gamers. Up until now, RTL's gaming activities have focused largely on spinoffs of its hit TV formats, such as the German version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?