SegaNet Shifts to EarthLink ISP24 Jul, 2001 By: John Gaudiosi
As Sega.com prepares to shift its online gaming focus to multi-platform gaming, SegaNet, the first online console gaming network, will use Earthlink as the preferred ISP for Sega’s online games.
SegaNet subscribers, who were paying $21.95 per month, will be seamlessly rolled over to Earthlink.com for $19.95 per month. This move will allow Sega.com to focus entirely on online gaming. Dreamcast owners will be able to play Sega’s 26 online games for free over SegaNet, which will continue to serve as the online community with chat rooms, news and tournaments.
Although Earthlink is raising its monthly rates to $21.95 per month effective August 2 for its approximate 4.9 million subscribers, Sega users will be locked in at the lower monthly rate.
"This agreement allows Sega.com to continue to offer high-speed, low-latency gameplay while concentrating on building the best community and content for online console gamers," said Marc Connor, director of strategic partnerships and alliances at Sega.com. "EarthLink can provide the speed, reliability, and customer service that gamers want [in order] to be competitive online."
"We're proud to welcome SegaNet's Internet access subscribers into the EarthLink family, and we're pleased to bring them the full line of EarthLink services and features, from the personal touch of our customer service representatives to the cutting-edge technology of broadband and wireless Internet access," said Cliff Bryant, director of acquisitions for EarthLink.
With the advent of next generation online console gaming on PlayStation 2 late this fall and Xbox by next summer, Earthlink ‘s DSL service and SegaNet are expected to work together to serve as the hub for Sega’s online games.
Jupiter Media Metrix estimates that online gaming will grow to 68 million consumers by 2003. Although this market is dominated by PCs today, by next fall, all of the next generation consoles are expected to be running online games.