GameTap heads to auction block

Turner Broadcasting confirms it is "considering strategic options" in relation to the sale of its online rental service.

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For a time, it appeared as if online game-rental service GameTap would establish itself as a major player in the gaming-enthusiast scene. However, not a year after stocking up on a number of veteran game writers, the Turner Broadcasting-owned Web site announced that it would be pink-slipping its editorial and video teams in an effort to refocus on its game-distribution offerings.

Now the service itself is about to be unloaded by Turner. Buried away in its second-quarter financial results released earlier today, Turner parent company Time Warner said that it took an $18 million hit to its bottom line due to the "decision to sell its online video game business." Turner debuted GameTap in May 2005, saying that it had support from 17 publishers and equating the service to a "cable box for games on your PC."

"There is considerable marketplace interest in the GameTap business and brand," said a Turner representative to GameSpot in a statement. "We are considering various strategic options but have reached no final agreement as yet. When there is a resolution, we will announce it."

GameTap currently claims to offer more than 1,000 retro console, arcade, and PC games. The service also plays home to a number of high-profile original episodic-gaming series, including Telltales Games' Sam & Max franchise and American McGee's Grimm, the first episode of which went live last week.

Discussion

23 comments
Gold-YF21
Gold-YF21

GameTap has some great games and they get new stuff every month. It started out pretty lame, but its really picked up now. The new Grimm game is pretty sweet and its a weekly episodic game. A new episode 4 times a month? That alone is worth the $10 fee. Its got over a 1000 games. Sure most of them are very old and a lot of them are bad, but there are a good 250 good games like the Original NES Castlevania series, the Phantasy Star series (Genesis) Fallout, Sonic series, Metal Slug series, every NeoGeo arcade game, Tomb Raider series, Might and Magic series, Sam and Max series, Beyond Good and Evil, Psyconauts, Jericho, Shining Force, Gunstar Heroes, a ton of Capcom stuff from Mega Man to the 1942 series, etc, etc, Just a ton of great stuff. Anyone who has not tried it or hasnt been on there for a while should check it out. Its the best gaming bargain out there. =)

PixyMisao
PixyMisao

Sell it to Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo. That way we can play many of these games on our consoles.

weapon93
weapon93

Gametap has old games, but not many. 9 out of 10 are complete crap. Plus most of them don't support online multiplayer (Farcry) and the games you download are encripted so you can't run any cool mods on them. I'm glad to see it die, maybe it will be overhauld or another company will come out with games we actually LIKED playing back in the day. Descent, Warcraft 1, Command and Conquer, Carmagedon, Star Wars: Dark Forces, Goblins, Monkey Island, Duke Nukem, Operation: Inner Space are all games I'd gladly pay a monthly fee to play if it meant the files were safe and would run smooth. But those games will probably never be on the list because of license issues.

ArionLightseek
ArionLightseek

GameTap was alright for a while, I cancelled it when they dropped Myst Online: Uru Live. That was a good MMO if they would have sunk some more money into it.

Taegre
Taegre

I got it little more than a week ago for Fallout, but found myself getting addicted to Torment and Freespace 2 along the way. While the system definitely needs a lot of work (opening a game menu should not max out a dual-processor computer for more than twenty seconds, and way too many of the recent games have bizarre compatibility issues and are unpatchable), it has a good place in the hearts of gamers who want to explore games they might have missed and aren't willing to pollute their PCs with emulators and ROMs. One thing it has over Steam, it never asks me to rebuy all my games because of some glitch.

acsam12304
acsam12304

to me GameTap was not as big as Steam is. but in the same time you pay a small amount a months and you can play a lot of games for free. while Steam you have to pay full rice for EACH game. but like the people posted be4, i also too wonder how they last this long?

Stiler
Stiler

[QUOTE]suprsolider Gametap was a stupid idea. Christ I could already play most of the games on there with emulators, or just use torrents to get. So really this is no big loss.[/QUOTE] Yea, you can find many of their older games on the net, then you find emulators, then you have to hope it works on your OS/computer setup, etc. Gametap had older and newer games, console and pc games both. All the older games worked fine, no emulators required for them to work, all just fine on XP, etc with no tweaking of your video/sound setttings or anything. Well worth 10 bucks a month if you ask me.

suprsolider
suprsolider

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

kangaroo
kangaroo

I'm only surprised Gametap lasted this long.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

The editorial (writing/article) teams seemed pretty fifth-wheel-y feeling to me, so I'm not surprised it's getting cut, but the Video team was doing a pretty good job imho. Granted not well enough, I'd say, given that it's being cut too and that I found myself not really looking at the Videos all that much, but I agree that they probably were a waste of money overall. Not because they didn't have any "bang", but because they didn't have enough of it to give the company its money's worth. Oh well, focusing more on its game selection is a good thing imho. Gametap's got a surprisingly strong lineup and is usually well worth the $10 a month I pay for it, but it really could use a few more A and B-List titles to choose from, rather than the C and D-list stuff that desperate publishers dump on Gametap. I'd rather have an older game that's good rather than the newer ones which stink.

Spincut
Spincut

thank god, now we can finally stop seeng those terrible gametap commercials (which is funny because sometimes the game being advertised isn't half bad). And a further thanks that the new Sam and Max (which originally debuted on game tap) got to jump ship a while back and didnt have to even still be associated with it at this point.

DeathHeart95
DeathHeart95

The only good free game is Psychonauts anyway. Well, that and Super Street Fighter II...

Skullcandy
Skullcandy

Most of the games on Gametap either suck, or are too easy to download because they are decades old. Why pay a monthly fee for games you can buy online for less than a dollar?

LindBergh2007
LindBergh2007

Gametap is going to SEGA. you'll see. it will become to Sega's next console what is to Wii with VC and Xbox arcade is to 360.

ChickenHounk911
ChickenHounk911

There are too many, easy to get and copy, old school ROMS to be found on the internet for anyone to want to PAY FOR. Lets be real. Who ever is the highest bidder is bound to lose money.

ZhugeMarc
ZhugeMarc

I've used it, but I found it kind of meh. None of the free games were that good.

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

Maybe they will bring in The PHANTOM console with the LAPBOARD. :lol:

borgmaster
borgmaster

that sucks, I actually use it. I guess I should beat Fallout with all possible haste then....

sphinx-shadow
sphinx-shadow

Me to MacBrother i love the sam and max games

kos1085
kos1085

I have never used Gametap

MacBrother
MacBrother

I hope this doesn't affect Sam And Max.