This is a big week for innovative PC game distribution. Valve announced that Half Life 2, not to mention older versions of Half Life, Counterstrike, etc, would now require their online game distribution and patch system Steam. And Atari has apparently partnered with Kazaa to distribute The Temple of Elemental Evil, the new RPG that has old school D&D geeks drooling. 843MB and you can play free for 6 hours.

I imagine Atari is trying to head-off pirates stealing the game on KaZaA. Or maybe they've found a clever way to get their demo out. Or maybe they're brave and are actually trying a new distribution model? Greg Costikyan has written some good stuff on online distribution. The movie industry better be paying attention; they only have three years to figure this out themselves.

There's no way I'm installing the evil scumware that comes with Kazaa and Kazaa Lite is failing me. Bittorrent would be a perfect alternative. I fear it will be about six days before a crack for the time limit is released. There's a reason demos don't have all the game assets.

  2003-09-18 01:55 Z