Destra offers games-on-demand

Digital Rights Management (DRM) provider Destra Corporation will be offering 'click-and-play' games-on-demand after signing an exclusive Australia/New Zealand agreement with Exent Technologies.Destra's chief executive officer, Domenic Carosa, said, "Yahoo, Bell Canada and Deutsche Telecom already utilise this technology in other markets.

Digital Rights Management (DRM) provider Destra Corporation will be offering 'click-and-play' games-on-demand after signing an exclusive Australia/New Zealand agreement with Exent Technologies.

Destra's chief executive officer, Domenic Carosa, said, "Yahoo, Bell Canada and Deutsche Telecom already utilise this technology in other markets. This agreement will significantly add to Destra's growing revenue base, derived from online services such as Web hosting, digital music and now games-on-demand."

Starting next quarter, Destra will be offering the latest PC based games for a monthly access fee of approximately $15 via broadband Internet. This will, the company claims, save Australian and New Zealand consumers hundreds of dollars in game purchases, many of which cost over AUD$100 per game.

"Seventy one percent of all Australian children between 5-14 years old spend between 5 to 9 hours per fortnight playing electronic games and spend AUD$450 million on software; AUD$250 million on hardware and AUD$300 million on peripherals," Carosa added.

Carosa said the technology is actually a by-product of a system used by the Israeli military and includes tight security restricting the ability of pirates to copy it.

"This has never been done in Australia and we think it will capture a big slice of the AU$1 billion electronic games market simply because the under 18 marketplace, which is the largest consumers of games, will now be able to play all the latest games without the need to purchase individual CDs from retailers. And aside from that, it protects the publisher's copyright," Carosa said.

"Destra will be working with local Internet service providers and portals on launching this service, which will help in their penetration and retention of broadband users. This announcement ties in with our strategy to offer music, games and eventually video on demand," Carosa said.

Carosa believes that although games-on-demand will be a hit in Australia, it will not eliminate the market for games on CDs. "There will always be a market for CD ROM games but with this technology, it gives the security and comfort to the publishers and at the same time make the games available for the consumers at a very low price. They will see this as an attractive offering since it negates having to purchase the game for very high dollar price only to have a certain life in terms of attention span especially for kids."