It's not much like Steam, and it's barely similar to OnLive. It uses a new streaming process that captures files onto your hard drive while you're playing, and similar to have an HDX quality movie plays from VUDU, this system downloads just enough of the game onto your HDD in order to get you going, and then it downloads more and more in the background as you play. The games that users can trial or purchase are full versions, and the same requirements that the out-of-the-box version would have are shared here. InstantAction enables users to download games and play them from within a web browser, but unlike OnLive, the actual processing happens locally on the PC.
The company has thus far landed a deal with LucasArts to bring those titles to the platform, and they're hoping that many other unknown game developers will choose this platform for sharing their games with the world. Rather than seeking out a publisher, this is a new way to self-publish software. Another unique feature of this software is the ability to embed full games into any web browser; each game is assigned an HTML embed code, and if you publish a game through InstantAction, you can them embed it into forums, blogs, etc. for others to see. From there, they can just click "Try game" in order to test it out for a given amount of time, or they can buy it and play it endlessly. Have a listen at the CEO below as he describes in detail what he hopes the service will accomplish; this may not be a true Steam rival, but it could definitely make a huge splash with gamers that already favor digital distribution.
Browser-based gaming innovator InstantAction today announced the immediate availability of a new direct-to-consumer online video game distribution platform that enables game creators to embed any video game anywhere on the web, including blogs, email, and social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace.
Using a hybrid combination of in-browser, thin-client, and progressive downloading technologies, InstantAction makes embedding premium video games as easy as uploading a standard video or photo, and at equivalent speeds. As a result, game creators can dramatically expand distribution by putting games where consumers are online and in settings where friends' recommendations and invitations are most powerful.
LucasArts announced last night at GDC they are using the InstantAction platform for online distribution of The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, which is launching soon.
Benefits of InstantAction for consumers:
- Browse and sample the actual game for free, or consume content in a pay-as-you-go method. No more paying large sums up front, sight unseen.
- Instant access. You don't have to wait hours to have access to the game... you're literally playing in just a couple of minutes.
- Better than ownership of a game... InstantAction is an entitlement-based platform. Once you've paid for the game, whether it was incrementally or in one chunk, you own it. You can play it on your computer, on your friend's computer, on a hundred computers. As long as you're logged in as yourself, you can play it. Additionally, all saved games are stored on InstantAction servers and backed up regularly.
Benefits of InstantAction for game creators:
- Free trials & rent-to-own capabilities put games instantly in front of more potential consumers.
- "Sample as you go" models produce more revenue and more loyal customers.
- The ability to embed a game anywhere means consumers can play a game inside the review site, on a fan site, and inside their Facebook or MySpace pages. Embed a game in the same way you'd embed a YouTube video... send an html email with a game just like you would a picture. Invite friends in your social network to play in same way you'd share pictures or movies. InstantAction is the only platform that offers this capability.