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Pay to play, says AtomShockwave

The online entertainment company will move into paid content Wednesday with the release of 20 downloadable games based on the Shockwave format.

Online entertainment company AtomShockwave will move into paid content Wednesday with the release of 20 downloadable games based on the Shockwave format.

The games come in two packages. Midway Classics consists of 10 games based on arcade favorites such as "Joust" and "Spy Hunter." Shockwave.com Favorites brings together 10 popular Shockwave online games, including "Real Pool" and a new version of "Tamale Loco."

Customers can download the games from Shockwave and play them offline using the Shockmachine player.

AtomShockwave, formed late last year through the merger of Shockwave and AtomFilms, is primarily known as a provider of streaming media. But the company has always offered offline options through Shockmachine, said Mike Edmunds, AtomShockwave's senior vice president of interactive entertainment.

"AtomShockwave's message has always been about delivering entertainment anytime, anywhere," Edmunds said. More offline content has been one of the top demands from customers, particularly those with dial-up Internet connections, he said.

Like many online media companies experimenting with paid content, AtomShockwave's greatest challenge will likely be getting consumers to pony up--$19.95 for one games package, $29.95 for both--for the type of content they've been getting for free. Edmunds said the downloadable packages will include new features and levels, as well as games that haven't been available before for offline play.

"Like any entertainment company that's going to be successful, we need to have multiple revenue" sources, he said.