Pay-to-play games add to Murdoch's pocket money

News Ltd. has announced today that it will launch online gaming as the next step towards world domination. First cab off the rank is a pay-to-play trivia game, added to Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

The flash-based Telegraph Trivia is being created by Spanish company Amuso, who have various other games sites set up around the globe, working closely with sites such as MTV and one of News Corp’s other projects: MySpace. They’re also bankrolled by Mangrove Capital Partners, who you may know as one of Skype’s founding investors.

Following a template laid out by many other online games, Telegraph Trivia will feature a free-to-play option, but if you’d prefer to go head-to-head with other people, it’ll cost you roughly AU$1.50 to play, with the entry fees put into a prize pool.

If you choose to pay, you’ll be able to chat to other contestants during the game, and (of course) you can invite your friends to play too, picking questions from topics such as entertainment, movies, music, celebrities and general knowledge.

Now, a spokesman for News Digital Media has gone on the record as saying that “At this stage it is just a Daily Telegraph initiative,” but web-savvy gamers have noted that the game itself uses a nifty little embeddable Flash widget, so if it’s a success, it would be pretty easy to simply paste it into other News Ltd. websites.

CEO of media at News Digital Media, Michael Robinson, observes happily that “Our users will now be able to take advantage of world-class gaming technology.”

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch has been saying for more than a year now that he’d really like the company to start making “significant revenues” from its news websites, using sources other than advertising – and games like Telegraph Trivia are one of the early steps being taken in Australia to widen the possibilities of where this revenue might come from.

Hat tip: mUmBRELLA

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