Game Downloads - Like a Virgin

Maverick Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson announces plans to launch a PC downloads service called A World of My Own (AWOMO), claiming to have new technology to support the project:
The subsidiary Virgin Games and Game Domain International (GDI) this morning announced a new 3D ‘virtual world’ platform called A World of My Own (AWOMO).

Koch Media is the first traditional PC games publisher to express an interest in the technology.

The platform claims to offer key advantages over existing technologies - including rapid download speeds enabling play within minutes instead of hours, far greater security, and improved ease of use for the customer.

"This is a really exciting development for us, as it gives us the opportunity to do for PC games what iTunes has done for music," said Branson.

"The GDI technology will revolutionise how the mass market will play games, and will give them more choice for less money."

The PC games industry is plagued by high distribution costs and piracy which has hampered the growth of this market. Several of the world’s major games publishers have apparently already registered their support.
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Re: High prices hamper growth.
Feb 13, 2007, 04:01
Duc
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Re: High prices hamper growth. Feb 13, 2007, 04:01
Feb 13, 2007, 04:01
Duc
 
"This is a really exciting development for us, as it gives us the opportunity to do for PC games what iTunes has done for music,"

If I was a Virgin Interactive stockholder I'd be thinking about the fact that revenues were approximately 2 billion over 4 years with Apple making a loss or breaking even on many of the tracks sold on iTunes in a market where illegal downloads are still estimated to outnumber legal by 100-1. Additionally Growth in the digital music market is levelling off and even predicted to fall in 07, Apple pushed iTunes because it represented their attempt to be the sole provider for digital music to the hordes of iPod users - a platform in which they were already the market leader and where they make a very substantial profit.

Virgin doesn't sell hardware, it doesn't have the PC equivalent of an iPod to make money from and like Valve they still need the brick and mortar distribution channel to sell the majority of their product, I honestly can't think of a worse model to base themselves on than iTunes, DRM in digital music is a resounding failure.

If any of these companies wanted to take a lesson from Apple and iTunes it should be that the way forward is to develop a non-invasive consumer friendly and open method of digitally signing and distributing games. When digital downloads are essentially compatible no matter which store we buy them from and we can move subscriptions and purchases to another store if the one we are using folds then they might have a chance.

If they aren’t careful the direct download market is going to end up exactly like iTunes.

This comment was edited on Feb 13, 04:02.
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