InstantAction Kicks Into Action: Browser-Based Gaming Is Live

InstantAction made their official debut at GDC earlier this year, but the company wasn't quite ready at the time to reveal a shipping product. This week, that changes for the better, as the company's first offering is now available to all via the Internet. The outfit's claim to fame is their innovation in the browser-based gaming space, an area that might just explode with the explosion of netbooks, tablet PCs and other machines that primarily look to the Web and the cloud for entertainment.

The new direct-to-consumer online video game distribution service is now live, which enables game publishers to embed premium video games anywhere on the Web, including blogs, and social media sites such as Facebook. The first title to be supported is LucasArts' The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, but more games should be on the way as more content partnership deals are landed. Using a combination of in-browser, thin-client, and progressive downloading technologies, InstantAction allows games to be embedded right onto the web, and played within a browser. This is just about perfect for those who are constantly on the go, or better yet, those with extremely small hard drives but an always-on connection to the Web.

This also allows cash-strapped game publishers to push games out to millions of potential clients, all without having to sign a distribution deal with a "big name" company. More details on the service are below, including a guide to trying out the first title to see if it's for you. This may very well be the future of gaming, particularly if the browser takes over the desktop in a few years' time.

Using a combination of in-browser, thin-client, and progressive downloading technologies, InstantAction makes embedding video games as easy as embedding a standard video or photo, and at equivalent speeds – in most cases, saving consumers hours of download time. As a result, game publishers can dramatically expand distribution by embedding games online, where gamers' recommendations and invitations are most effective.

"It was only a matter of time before the Internet disrupted the extremely limited distribution channels available to game creators, enabling direct-to-consumer access and more control over sales performance and profits," said Evan S. Wilson, senior research analyst of Pacific Crest Securities. "The InstantAction platform virtually obliterates the obstacles to game distribution by making it possible for anyone to embed any video game anywhere on the web, just like embedding a video. For game creators, this opens up distribution channels that haven't previously been an option – especially for console-quality games. For consumers, it creates endless possibilities for game discovery, risk-free trial, and faster downloads."

The InstantAction platform allows users to play The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition via Facebook; on most websites that allow users to embed objects via iframes; and popular blog sites such as TypePad, Movable Type, Tumblr, Google's Blogger, and self-hosted WordPress sites. The InstantAction embed code will also work on any webpage that allows HTML editing, and supports Javascript and iframes. Currently, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition on the InstantAction platform can be played on PCs. Future games on InstantAction will support the Mac and mobile devices on a title-by-title basis.

"The InstantAction platform provides a brand new way to get games from their creators to customers, thus avoiding obstacles to publishing and discovering new games that are inherent in the traditional brick and mortar model," said Louis Castle, CEO of InstantAction.

"We give game creators a secure way to offer free trials, item purchases and pay-as-you play options, with a broad range of monetization formats and platform compatibility," continued Castle. "Gamers not only get the try-before-you buy and rent-to-own benefits; they can easily embed full games into their social networks, accessing their friends' lists and adding social features to games where they may not have existed. InstantAction not only changes how games are distributed and discovered, but how they are enjoyed."

To play, purchase or embed The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition on Facebook:

  • Locate the "Add this game to your site" section, located underneath the gameplay section of the page. The gear-icon menu provides options for embedding the game into your page, including window size.