Software firm Stardock, best known for its hugely popular Windows customisation tools and PC strategy titles such as Galactic Civilisations, has launched a second phase of its TotalGaming.net digital distribution solution.
The system eschews traditional "heavy" Digital Rights Management (DRM) techniques in favour of providing incentives for users to use legal copies of software, and making it more convenient for them to do so than to use pirated copies.
Stardock hopes that TotalGaming.net will appeal not only to publishers - several of whom have already signed on to provide older titles from their catalogues - but also to small independent developers who can use it as a distribution outlet for their titles.
Among the major firms lined up to provide content for TotalGaming.net are Ubisoft, Take Two and Strategy First, while indies on the system include Chronic Logic, Nurium, Rake in Grass, Apus Software and Jagged Blade.
"Gamers want to know that when they purchase a game, it's theirs - forever," according to Stardock president and CEO Brad Wardell. "They don't want to have to worry whether the company they purchased from is still around three years from now. They don't want to have to worry about losing serial numbers or whether they can install it on their new computer."
"We believe that electronic distribution of games can be a great boon to first-tier publishers and indies alike if gamers feel secure in what they are buying," he concluded.