Renting entertainment could be the wave of the future, and Microsoft isn’t about to miss it.
The company that brought us “Janus,” the digital rights management (DRM) scheme that allows subscription music services like Napster On The Go to exist, has announced a deal with Exent, of Bethesda, Md., a provider of “games on demand” technology.
Under the agreement, Microsoft will allow six of its most popular personal computer games to be delivered to online gamers through Exent’s on-demand technology, which is used by broadband providers such as Comcast , Yahoo , Bell Canada, Turner Broadcasting and RCN.
Licensed to the on-demand service — which costs from US$4.95 to $14.95 a month for access to anywhere from 50 to 300 titles — are Microsoft’s “Age of Empire,” “Age of Mythology,” “Dungeon Siege,” “Mechwarrior,” “Rise of Nations” and “Zoo Tycoon” product lines.
More details and analysis by following the link, but the key question is whether or not this is a hit on retail sale of PC games. Opinions vary.