Destra is to bring online, on-demand gaming to the Australian market.
The ASX-listed web-hosting company has signed an exclusive Australia/New Zealand agreement with Exent Technologies to provide games on-demand to its broadband customers.
From next quarter, the company will be offering the latest PC games for a monthly access fee of $15 via broadband Internet.
The company also recently launched an online digital music service.
“Online gaming is very much part of our overall digital entertainment strategy,” Destra chief executive officer, Domenic Carosa, said. “First we offered pay-per-download music, now it’s gaming, and next will be videos on demand.”
The gaming market is currently worth more than $1 billion, and Destra hopes to capture a slice of this pie.
“This service is not just for the hardcore gamers, it’s also for families who have kids that want the latest games,” Carosa said. “They can give their kids a variety of games for a flat fee instead of having to go out and buy each game individually.”
The company said that offering games online would not cannibalise CD game sales, but rather that it would expand their market.
“Retailers have limited shelf space,” Carosa said. “They can only keep the latest games on their shelves — it’s unprofitable to keep old games.
By offering users access to a full library of old and new games we are actually creating revenue for CD game makers.”
Online gaming would also help to stem piracy, Carosa said, as players could only load games level by level.
The system also uses a security system that is part of a de-classified system used by the Israeli military.
The company is in discussion with several publishers in an attempt to further broaden its catalogue.
“This technology is still very new,” Carosa said, “but if you look at the market in the US and Asia, it is growing rapidly. I believe we will see the same in Australia.
“We usually have a fairly conservative view in relation to our digital services, but this market is so big, we expect that we can secure a percentage of it in the next 12 to 36 months.”
ARN understands that several ISPs were keen to talk to Destra about this service.