Lycos attempted to boost its strategy of providing users with a diversified selection of entertainment and information on its portal site by announcing plans to acquire Gamesville.com on Tuesday.
The $207 million deal to purchase the interactive entertainment company follows September's buyout of financial Web site, Quote.com, for $78.3 million and its $38 million acquisition of Mediascience in August. Mediascience's Sonique software enables PC users to download music from the Internet.
Gamesville.com, however, enables registered users to vie for prizes by playing such games as bingo, cards and sports trivia quizzes. The company slogan is "Wasting your time since 1996".
Lycos claims that Gamesville.com has seen a 300 per cent increase in its audience reach over the past year. It currently has 2.2 million registered members and that number is increasing at a rate of 10,000 per day.
Bob Davis, Lycos' chief executive, said that, because Gamesville.com was second only to auction site eBay in visitor "stickiness", the acquisition "grows our average daily usage minutes by nearly 20 per cent and adds depth to our direct marketing efforts".
He added that the firm also planned to expand its games site by adding new offerings from new partners such as a puzzle game from Abject.com, casino games from Interactive Gaming & Communications, an investment game from Maxinvest and multiplayer parlour games from Go2Net.
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