Sling TV Offers Free Games to Subscribers via Arcade Feature

Dish Network’s Sling TV subscription streaming platform has added a feature called Sling Arcade that lets users play games while Sling plays television content in an optional adjacent window. Available only to Sling customers who have Amazon Fire TV or Android TV, it has 10 games at launch that the company describes as “both classics and contemporary favorites,” including “Tetris,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “Poker Online” and “Solitaire Clash.” Sling is offering Arcade free to those with the Sling Freestream FAST service as well as those with paid subscriptions to Sling TV.

TechCrunch draws a distinction between Sling Arcade and similar game offerings from Netflix and YouTube, which “are only for paid subscribers.” Sling Arcade users can choose between a split-screen format that lets them play games simultaneous to TV viewing, “providing entertainment during commercial breaks,” or “to expand to full screen to have a more immersive playing experience.”

The game titles come courtesy of Play.Works, “a connected-TV games provider that distributes games on more than 200 million televisions, and has teamed up with various major TV companies like Comcast, Cox, Samsung, Vizio,” and Sling, according to TechCrunch, which says new titles will be added “every few months,” among them “Asteroids.”

There is speculation that Sling will follow Netflix’s path and start acquiring independent game studios, as well as partnering with other game companies. “We are exploring all possibilities to bring our customers the broadest game catalog and the best gaming experience possible,” Sling told TechCrunch. In addition to Amazon Fire and Android TVs, Sling plans to add support for “most smart TVs,” starting next month.

“Sling is the most versatile, straightforward streaming service where subscribers and users can tailor everything to match their personal interests,” Dish Video Services Group President Gary Schanman said in an announcement. “Arcade will allow our users to experience the thrill of an immersive arcade gaming experience like never before with our innovative technology.”

“If you have a smartphone, a subscription to a streaming service, and two working thumbs, you’ve probably played games while watching a TV show. But unless you’re one of Sling TV’s product testers you’ve never experienced anything like Sling Arcade,” Sling says in an explainer on how to use Arcade.

“Arcade rolled out following last week’s quarterly earnings report from Dish, where the company reported a loss of 314,000 net pay TV subscribers across its satellite TV and vMVPD Sling TV services in Q4 of 2023,” reports StreamTV Insider.

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