As the trend towards digital distribution of content continues to gather pace, Sega has signed a new deal with Digital River to offer downloadable games via the company's oneNetwork sales channel.
Digital River, which was also responsible for designing Sega's online shop, will handle digital purchases of games such as Virtua Fighter, House of the Dead and Eastside Hockey Manager 2005 through Sega.com. Selected titles, including House of the Dead 2 and the Virtua Squad games, will also be offered on oneNetwork.
"Online distribution presents growth opportunities for Sega and we are poised to bring leading-edge games into that channel," said Sega's Chris Olson.
"Digital River's oneNetwork will allow us to quickly and easily expose our games to a very large audience of consumers that shop on popular, high-traffic online retail sites."
Digital River CEO Joel Ronning added: "With more than 10 years of experience, we have developed e-commerce best practices to successfully grow an online business."
"By selling software through branded online stores and our oneNetwork online sales channel, our clients can maximize their market and revenue opportunities."
Sega is not the first publishing giant to enter the world of digital distribution and follow in the footsteps of companies like Valve, which launched its Steam service in 2003. Earlier this month Electronic Arts launched a new download service to distribute the new Battlefield 2 expansion pack. A festive-themed add-on for The Sims 2 is also now available via the service for USD 14.99.
EA Online's Chip Lange said that this was just the beginning, promising that "a wide array of games and new game content" will be available digitally in the future.
"We've been working on digital distribution for more than a year now and are thrilled to deliver interactive entertainment in a new way to our players," Lange continued.
"Digital distribution will keep content flowing to players, keeping their current EA games fresh and delivering new EA games quickly and conveniently."