After Launching Its First Mobile Game, AOL Refreshes, a division of AOL, is relaunching today to go after one of this year’s biggest buzzwords: Cross-platform gaming.

As it existed in the past, the portal worked on computers, but now it will also run on phones and tablets — or at least some of the games will. Of the 5,000 titles, about 100 have been developed in HTML5, making them capable of running across multiple devices.

The games are free to play and subsidized by advertising. AOL plans to add the ability to charge for virtual goods at a later date.

John Fox, the general manager for, said the average visitor to the legacy site spends an impressive 29 minutes per visit, adding that AOL saw an opportunity to capture even more time by taking the property to more platforms. As more games are played on mobile devices and less on the PC, AOL probably had no choice. In doing so, it will also be going up against some already established competitors, including Big Fish and GameStop’s

As part of the relaunch, there’s a right-hand column that looks like AOL’s instant messenger service, but instead of listing conversations, it shows a player’s favorite games, recommendations and leader boards of some of the high scorers.

Fox said more updates are planned for the platform, including the ability to help promote mobile games by referring games to players through landing pages that redirect to Apple’s App Store or Amazon’s AppStore. AOL hopes to collect referral fees as another source of revenue.

For AOL, this is the second recent move in the games space. Just two weeks ago, the company launched its first mobile game with the release of Clucks, which provides a new take on the game Draw Something by using video instead of art. For the redesign, it has partnered with several game developers to make sure it has a selection of titles at launch, including Arkadium, Big Fish Games, Masque Publishing, Mochi Media and Tylted.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work