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Games on demand services are failing customers, says GDI boss

<i>GamesIndustry.biz</i> can reveal that GDI is preparing for the beta launch of A World of My Own, a new games on demand service that proposes to beat the competition by offering content within minutes rather than hours.

GamesIndustry.biz can reveal that GDI is preparing for the beta launch of A World of My Own, a new games on demand service that proposes to beat the competition by offering content within minutes rather than hours.

AWOMO lets players explore a 3D virtual world where players and games are grouped into regions so consumers can socialise with like-minded users. The world is created using Simutronics HeroEngine, the same technology signed by BioWare for an as-yet untitled MMORPG. Earlier this year, Virgin chairman Richard Branson predicted that the service will do for PC games "what iTunes has done for music".

According to GDI boss Roger Walkden, AWOMO leaves the competition standing as its technology allows users to start playing games within minutes of initiating the download.

"A lot of companies are using the term 'games on demand' very glibly at the moment," said Walkden, speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz

"I was sent a release the other day saying how a game was available for the user to play only a few hours after downloading. Well, why the hell do you have to wait a few hours for anything? That's what our service stresses. What is currently taking other sites several hours to download, our system does it in minutes.

"That is proper games on demand. Two hours isn't 'on demand', it's like waiting for a bus," he added.

GDI has yet to announce which companies have signed up to make their titles available via AWOMO. However, Walkden confirmed the company is targeting big names and blockbuster IP.

"We are currently talking to all of the major publishers," he said.

"If you think about it, this is a bit like the launch of a new platform. When you launch a new platform a lot of companies understand the benefits of being there first. Obviously we're encouraging companies to be in there at the start where there will be a considerable amount of new traffic as people sign up."

According to Walkden, AWOMO has stunned the publishing community thanks to the easy access it gives consumers and the business opportunities on offer.

"We're working with a lot of publishers to help them get used to our new platform in this closed beta. But it's been like pushing against an open door. It's so different and so unique," said Walkden - who prior to working for GDI held senior positions at Activision.

"Frankly, a lot of people have had trouble believing what we've got because it's so different, but once we get through that barrier we seem to have been okay. I've had some presentations where we've had to pull the wires out of the back of the machine simply to prove what we're doing is real."

Registration for the AWOMO beta test is now open at AWOMO.com, while the beta itself will begin in the next few weeks.

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Matt Martin avatar

Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.