For years now everybody has been saying that the internet is the future of gaming, but online focused games are still the exception rather than the rule. Pat Wyatt, Mike O'Brien and Jeff Strain, formerly of Blizzard, see that changing, and their new company Arena.net is based around the idea of selling their games direct to the public over the internet. And with previous work on Blizzard's Battle.net service and multiplayer code for Warcraft II, Diablo and Starcraft amongst other hits, the team certainly has experience on its side. According to Pat Wyatt, speaking in an interview with RPGVault, "Internet publishing has a number of clear advantages for game fans and game developers".
"Developers can release games directly to fans, bypassing the expensive and cumbersome process of retail distribution, and fans anywhere in the world can have direct access to the games as soon as they are released. Fans get to try each game before they purchase the full version, giving them the confidence that they are getting the highest quality game, and they can access and play their games from any computer, at any time."
"More importantly, Internet publishing allows us to design games around our global network. Arena.net games will be specifically designed to take advantage of the Internet and break the tradition of buying a game, playing and finishing it, and waiting for the next great game to hit the shelves. Arena.net games will utilize the Internet connection to transparently stream new content to players, providing regular new scenarios and features. Finally, because our games will be designed to run within the secure Arena.net environment, cheating will never be an issue."
Sounds too good to be true? We should find out within the next couple of years when their first games start to be released...