Free games site in retail link-up

Freeloader.com, the Website which offers computer games free, has linked up with Electronics Boutique, which claims to be the UK’s biggest specialist high-street games retailer, to cross-promote one another’s Websites.

The deal makes Electronics Boutique Freeloader’s primary online games partner in the UK. Freeloader has built its business model entirely around advertising-funded gaming. Its site launches in May.

Freeloader will recommend games for purchase as well as directing traffic to the Electronics Boutique site. In return, Freeloader will receive a commission for each game sold by Electronics Boutique.

Electronics Boutique will also become an advertiser on Freeloader’s site. Freeloader chief executive Harry Holmwood says: “We have chosen to work with Electronics Boutique because it has a powerful brand heritage which will appeal to our audience of ‘freeloaders’. Electronics Boutique shares our vision of making games more available to a mass market.”

Electronics Boutique head of Internet services David Evans says that the impact of the Freeloader launch “cannot be underestimated. We recognise the site will be a market leader and will generate huge traffic. By teaming up with such a forward-thinking company, I believe we will sell more games to a wider range of people.”

Visitors to Freeloader Website will be able to download games in return for personal information that will be of use to advertisers. But Freeloader’s decision to go down the “free” route is a high-risk strategy for which there is no precedent.

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