That's not a headline I write lightly, but after an hour-long demo last week of InstantAction's new browser-based gaming tech. and about its future potential -- "World of Warcraft" via Facebook, anyone? -- it could be a game changer.
InstantAction is making some lofty claims.
Company general manager Andy Yang and VP of technology Brett Seyler showed me the InstantAction technology at a private demo last week. Yang and Seyler said their technology allows any game, developed on any technology (that includes Unreal Engine 3 and CryEngine 2) to be played over the web.
The duo claim there is no drop in performance when these games are played through a browser, either. They didn't show me "Gears of War" running through a browser, however, so I have to take their word on that for now, but I did see several examples of fully-capable 3D action games running flawlessly.
InstantAction is developing its own hub for browser-based gaming, but they're also licensing their technology to whoever's interested. That's where InstantAction's potential becomes really exciting for a couple of reasons.
One, later this year they're going to be launching InstantAction through Facebook. That means you'll be able to play any of the InstantAction games through Facebook and retain access to your friends list, leaderboards, etc.
Two, InstantAction claims any game could be easily converted to work on the web. I asked them if "World of Warcraft" could work. Seyler and Yang claimed Blizzard could convert "World of Warcraft" to be browser-compatible in a week, if they worked with an InsantAction engineer.
Are you connecting the dots? Technology wise, if InstantAction live up to their side of the bargain, you could be playing "World of Warcraft" anywhere and anytime, even through Facebook, so long as you had access to a web browser.
Where's the YouTube connection? The reason YouTube and other online hubs thrive are not only because of portal sites, but the ability to be embedded on any blog, message board of website. That doesn't work with games. Games have to exist on another piece of hardware, a separate executable or through Flash, which can't be easily dumped from one site to another.
InstantAction could eventually solve that problem. While it's not a feature yet, they said there's no reason the technology couldn't eventually include the ability to be embed games like images, movies and music already can.
I probably lost you at web-based "World of Warcraft," though, didn't I?
You can check out InstantAction online right now. What remains to be seen, however, is if the rest of the world decides to license their tech.
Are you listening, Blizzard?