7Digital: Online platforms must be open

360, Wii and PlayStation 3’s online platforms should be made accesible to third-party services like Steam, says 7Digital.

The music download specialist is eyeing a move into the games sector after HMV bought 50 per cent of the firm for 7.7m.

And only last week the company rolled out its music store into the US and launched a music platform on BlackBerry. It is also working on a video offer for HMV and an e-book service for sister chain Waterstones.

Games is something I’m very personally interested in,” 7Digital CEO Ben Drury told MCV.

It’s something we are looking at, but we’re not working on it right now because we’ve got a lot of to do on music and video and books.

But games are not far from my thoughts.”

However, Drury is concerned about the console market and believes platform holders need to open up their platforms to allow for innovative new digital applications.
Games is very interesting,” he added.

It is a tough one for digital because consoles are essentially shut – third parties are limited to PCs, iPhones and BlackBerrys.

I worry about the console market. It will be hard for innovation to happen while they are all controlled by Microsoft or Sony. It will be a really brave decision to open these platforms up, but if they do it, it will pay dividends.”

Drury’s comments comes ahead of the October 27th London Games Conference, the first event to throw the spotlight on digital distribution. Contact Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk for more details.

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