A World Of My Own, or AWOMO for short, has just gone into a public beta with Rome: Total War being the first downloadable game on offer for absolutely nothing. Shocking stuff!
I have been involved in the early beta stages and I have been having a great time playing some really cool games. The premise of AWOMO is simple, it is to let you play games before you have finished downloading it. Thanks to the optimisation tests I have been involved in, you can play Rome in a little as 18 minutes on a 4MB connection, with the time required getting less depending on your connection.
Furthermore, any game you gain acess to via AWOMO is tied to just your account, there is no worrying about which PC you are using, you can simply log into your account and then bingo, you are on your way.
I really hope that AWOMO takes off, I think that the people behind the platform have a lot of really innovative ideas on how to get games to you, the gamers. Of course, their ultimate success really depends on what games they get to offer when the service goes fully live, and at what prices they are able to offer them at.
However, if AWOMO is a success, I think we can see a great price war amongst the various digital distribution platforms available to us on the PC. If AWOMO gets some good games at great prices, surely services like Steam will have to match them? Both on the prices of games and the quality of service and the way in which they deliver the content.
In the wider context, AWOMO is a very postitive addition to the digital distribution platform. The steps they are taking by letting player download a very small amount of the game before being able to play it are frankly brilliant. I don’t know if we can expect Steam and somewhere like Good Old Games to offer the same kind of service, but if they all meet the challenges being posed by each other, well in the long run that is great for us as PC gamers.
Here is to 2009 being the year of digital distribution.