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Summary:

InstantAction today officially unveiled its technology platform, which purportedly makes it possible to play any video game in a web browser. Not just 2D casual games, but hardcore 3D games with high-end graphics that would otherwise require a next-gen game console, or a huge client install […]

instant-actionInstantAction today officially unveiled its technology platform, which purportedly makes it possible to play any video game in a web browser. Not just 2D casual games, but hardcore 3D games with high-end graphics that would otherwise require a next-gen game console, or a huge client install on the PC.

Even, say, World of Warcraft, played in a browser? Yes, an InstantAction spokesperson assured me, “Any game.” How about the Microsoft Xbox 360 hit Gears of War? Instant Action Technology V-P Brett Seyler told me last week during a demo that if the company got Microsoft’s approval, his company could convert Gears for web-based play in “2-3 weeks, max.”

Neither of those games or other well-known titles were shown to me at the demo, but I did get hands-on time with some of the nine internally developed 3D games InstantAction has been hosting on its site during beta, and they are pretty impressive. For instance, Fallen Empire: Legions, offers fast-paced, first-person shooter action, while Ace of Aces gives you realistic WWI-themed dogfights; in both cases, you get a full 3D gaming experience that just happens to be on the web. Download and install the small 150K plug-in, download a particular game in a matter of minutes, and you’re ready to play.

How does it work? Seyler wouldn’t elaborate other than to say that the game runs as a separate process from the web browser, via what he called the company’s proprietary “secret sauce,” which applies API hooks to the code of any game engine. This process does require a 3D graphics card, but Seyler told me even low-end processors can handle the job. (The platform is derived from game engine company GarageGames, which IAC/InterActiveCorp bought in 2007.)

InstantAction execs tell me they’re in talks with “pretty much every big [game] publisher,” and to expect deals to be announced this year or 2010. If their technology is as robust as they claim, I expect a number of them. However, it remains to be seen how many 3D game publishers are ready to move away from the retail software sales model and re-package their titles as integrated web experiences. Doing so will probably require them to embrace new revenue models that better suit casual web play, such as advertising and microtransactions. Then again, considering the high number of web game players, and the skyrocketing costs of high-end 3D games, they may find themselves with little choice.

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  1. InstantAction Puts 3D Gaming Into Web Browsers – Gigaom.com | WoW Gold HQ News Blog Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    [...] Read the rest of this great post here [...]

  2. What do gamers say? There have been many browser plug ins during the years for games and 3D, they are all gone.

    I don’t see any point in taking a regular pc game and make a browser version of it, the gameplay will be less good.

    They should aim at the MMO market. There you already have everything from text based browser games to ultra high end 3D games. PC MMO games that are created by 5-20 people could find a better marketing and business model with browser based games instead of the traditional ones.

  3. @Andreas

    There’s been somewhat of a renaissance of browser engines as of late, and my guess is that InstantAction is looking to be a direct competitor against the Unity3D engine, which already has MMO capability. I think the real goal here is to use the browser as a VM abstraction layer in order to get access to the coming mobile gaming market. My hunch is that as the netbook/subnotebook market matures, you’ll see established game companies looking for a way to port their games to those devices. This platform seems to be offering a fairly low-hassle method of deployment.

    I would also argue the notion that game play is reduced on a web-game. Graphic performance perhaps, but not necessarily game play.

  4. this is odd that is been announced today when its been on their website for a couple of months already.

    The new torque3d version coming soon will enable 3d browser game play too but not like this.

    http://www.garagegames.com/community/blogs/view/15934

    I think this will be huge all in all.

  5. diamondTearz » Blog Archive » InstantAction Another 3D Browser Competitor- But with a Twist Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    [...] RelatedPosts around the web InstantAction Puts 3D Gaming Into Web Browsers Related Posts:Google’s Native Client Project- The Innocent Giant enters the RIA GamePosition: [...]

  6. InstantAction Puts 3D Gaming Into Web Browsers – GigaOm Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    [...] Random Feed wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

  7. @Moose

    Our method of running in the browser doesn’t actually change graphics performance at all.

  8. Breaking down Tiger Woods’ body, game – Chicago Tribune « Video Game News Blog Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    [...] InstantAction Puts 3D Gaming Into Web Browsers – Gigaom.comInstantAction today officially unveiled its technology platform , which purportedly makes it possible to play any video game in a web browser. Not just 2D casual games, but hardcore 3D games with high-end graphics that would otherwise require a next [...]

  9. good Luck

  10. InstantAction can turn 3D retail game into browser-based game in weeks – VideoGamesBlogger Thursday, February 26, 2009

    [...] currently in talks with big-time publishers to get their PC games supported by the platform. As Gigaom reports the game’s that InstantAction demoed were not well-known titles but were internally [...]

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