The release follows a successful trial with The Matrix Online, Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment Inc.s massively multiplayer game, which is loosely based on the film trilogy. The system allows users to search out other gamers or to talk to friends from inside the game environment.
"The marriage of the AIM service with online games gives developers a unique opportunity to massively increase the popularity of their games," America Online Inc. spokesperson Chamath Palihapitiya said.
The development kit "offers online game developers the nations largest instant messaging community to not only add new players to their games, but to enhance the overall experience," Palihapitiya said.
The AOL Messaging Software Developer Kit allows game creators to incorporate AIM, ICQ services and AOL Buddy List features directly into the game.
It also allows for the creation of "player interaction Bots" or "Help Me Bots" that can offer real-time helpful hints and other customer services.
In-game messaging is nothing new to the online gaming world—developers have used varying forms of messaging in games for at least a decade.