Skype to pump out new games channel

  • London (England) - The Voice-over IP (VoIP) program Skype is moving into the world of games, with an announcement of a new embedded tool that will allow users to invite friends to play online multiplayer games.

    Similar to a feature offered on Microsoft's Live Messenger application, Skype users will be able to invite users on their contacts list to enter into an online gaming competition.

    The VoIP provider has set up free software development kit (SDK) tools for programmers to tap into Skype's GameXN framework.  Basic casual games like checkers are already available through Skype, but the new SDK could be used to have more advanced, communication-oriented multiplayer titles, says Skype.

    Nearly 200 million users have downloaded the free VoIP program, with a reported 18 million downloads of "Skype Extras".