Videotron becomes Quebec's First Cable Provider to Offer Multiplayer Online Gaming Service

Trisha Richards

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04/19/2005 -- Videotron and Reeves Interactive have announced the launch of Microplay Online, a new service that will let subscribers to Videotron's broadband Internet services play online games on a Quebec-wide private network.

The launch of Microplay Online makes Videotron the first cable provider to offer a multiplayer online gaming service, developed by the Reeves Interactive new media agency, over its servers.

Videotron, Sun Microsystems, Reeves Interactive and Le SuperClub Videotron worked together on the project.

More than 51% of the population plays games on the Internet, according to Statistics Canada. Plus, the online gaming industry drew revenues of more than US$7 billion in the United States alone in 2003, making it larger than the movie industry.

"Video gaming has been a driving force in pushing back technological limits in terms of scalability, stability and system redundancy. Microplay Online complements our vision for the e-entertainment industry," said Stephane Boisvert, president of Sun Microsystems Canada.

Advantages for players include Teamspeak support to enable players equipped with multimedia headsets to communicate with each other, an important feature for first-person shooter (FPS) games that require team play.

Subscribers to the service will be able to match their skills against the best players in monthly competitions on the site. Individual results will be compiled in numerous categories; the top scorers will be posted and will qualify for prizes.

"We want to make it possible for gamers from all parts of Quebec to compete against each other online and communicate with each other," said Marc Reeves, executive vice president of Reeves Interactive.

Videotron's online gaming service is available to gamers aged 18 and over at $5.99 per month for subscribers to Videotron's High-Speed Internet service or Extreme High-Speed Internet service, and $7.99 per month for non-subscribers.

There are a number of games available.

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Approve all three?  
Approve the CHUM "Canadian" option?  
Approve one or both of the satellite options?  
Approve none?