GameTap to sell games, offer ad-supported play

Online subscription gaming service to offer Tomb Raider: Anniversary on game's release date, will include Metal Slug, Tomb Raider: Legend, and more in a new free-to-play section.

Online game subscription service GameTap apparently thinks that two of its most basic tenets, namely that it offers old games and charges people to play them, are also two criticisms in need of addressing. The company today announced that it will begin offering brand-new games--either as part of its subscription service or as a one-time downloadable purchase--and it will also begin offering free-to-play games supported by advertising revenue.

The first new game to arrive for sale and download on GameTap will be Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary. The remake of the original Tomb Raider will be made available on the service the same day the packaged PC game hits stores in the US, currently set for June 5. GameTap says its new digital storefront will offer hundreds of new and retro games for sale.

This is not the first time GameTap has dabbled in the world of new releases. GameTap subscribers are able to download the latest episodes of Telltale Games' Sam & Max series weeks before they are available to own, and the company recently revived Myst Online: Uru Live as an exclusive for subscribers.

Beginning May 31, GameTap will also begin offering ad-supported free-to-play games in an attempt to capture "mainstream gamers." However, instead of the board games and puzzle games offered at existing ad-supported casual gaming portals, GameTap's initial slate of more than 30 titles will include SNK's Metal Slug, Taito's Space Invaders and Bust-A-Move, and Midway's Joust, Rampage, and Robotron: 2084. The choices won't all originate in the arcades, as Eidos' most recent Lara Croft game, Tomb Raider: Legend, will also be free to play.

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Discussion

54 comments
theKSMM
theKSMM

GameTap is a great service in my opinion. I can't say enough good things about it. They have literally hundreds of great titles that span the past 30+ years of videogames. There are action games, puzzle games, childrens games, and more. In addition, they have original content--news, videos, trailers, comic shorts, cartoons--that add to the overall value. The ten dollar monthly charge (less if you subscribe for longer periods) is about the cost of two retro games on a console. And for that cost, you and up to six buddies can be playing a multitude of titles on any PC that you can log on to. If there are more than a few games on GameTap that pique your interest, it's more than worth the fee.

zsc4
zsc4

Interesting...but I might just pass on this one.

ReggieNametaker
ReggieNametaker

Please, for the love of god make Gametap avaliable outside of the US and Canada!

couggod
couggod

What is with our obsession to play stuff and treat it like it never was worthy of our attention afterwards. One of the big complaints about gaming is the sense of amnesia we have about games once they get "old". I enjoy the occasional classic and thats why I pay for gametap.

dragg0n
dragg0n

I'm liking this, going to have to visit GameTap soon.

racerx737
racerx737

Gametap may be a good deal but I'd much rather save what little money I have for new games on my 360.

BloodMist
BloodMist

:O Free games?Free Tomb Raider Legend??Holy Frijoles!! As for Gametap's paid service, i had it for a few months, and it's definitely worth it.I was playing so many different games i didn't know what to do, lol.The only reason i stopped using the service is because after i bought Oblivion i realized i wasn't gonna be playing anything else for quite some time.

malkav11
malkav11

The only potential downside I can see would be if all the exciting titles wound up only being offered for a separate one time fee and the main service ground to a halt. But that would be unwise on their part and I'm reasonably confident that they're aware of it. Otherwise, well, 10 bucks a month is pretty reasonable and although I haven't been 100% convinced that the content is worth it, a greater number of new games making it onto the service would almost certainly make that a solid 100% without qualm. And there's certainly no reason to complain about a small subset of games being free to play with advertisement. Being able to play those games for free is great for the person with little money or who's not yet convinced of the main service's value. And being able to play them without ads means subscribers still get something for their money.

monkeymonfp
monkeymonfp

kl finally some of the classics are free

AdemaSlipknot
AdemaSlipknot

I liked GameTap, but my graphics card isn't compatible. It was before the Vista update, though...

Myke_Kreed
Myke_Kreed

I found GameTap to be worth the money. It's not just about the games you can get, but also the service. Besides, Copyright laws are in place for a reason and I don't mind rewarding those people who give me hours of entertainment with what really amounts to mere pocket change.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

@kljohns2 Yeah, you know, that whole "illegal" thing does bother some people.

kljohns2
kljohns2

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

nazraq
nazraq

its worth checking out now.

lewser5
lewser5

I guess I will finally give GT a try now. I was pretty skeptical on how well it works when it first got started. Now I can try it and see for myself.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

@Kcube "No more GT for me then,I have had it since launch and this is nothing short then a slap in the face to gamers." How is it a slap in the face? As a subscriber you still get waaaaay loads more than the free players; I doubt they're going to have the really big games (size wise) available for free, either. Its growth for them, and the more they grow, the more clout they have in getting more games...

BIGboss600
BIGboss600

i dont do pc gaming ill need a new cpu 500 a new gpu 500 well there u go thats a ps3 a wii and a xbox360

gbarules2999
gbarules2999

Look at Anarchy Online, it's free and has ads. That game is still fun, even with the out-of-context ads everywhere. If I can play full games (which will be swapped out) and watch the GameTap programming for free, with olny banners (like the one on the site you are on) I can do all this for free...well, I say to the critics, STFU. This is a great idea, and May 31st is on my calender. I look forward to see what other games we'll be able to play as time progresses.

shrink45
shrink45

Uh, you can play Joust, Rampage and Robotron on Midway's website without ads...

Timbydude
Timbydude

GameTap had major problems January and earlier. If you tried it before this February, you really need to check it out again. I swore to myself I'd never even think of buying it, but lo and behold, I did.

Blackstaff
Blackstaff

Their emulators are a little screwy

icytower
icytower

I tried it out a while ago, it's alright but I had problem playing some games for who knows what reasons.

blueflamedino
blueflamedino

will they still require a credit card to register?

Jac5232
Jac5232

Looks like I'll be able to give Gametap a test-drive afterall. :)

mismajor99
mismajor99

Gametap is a great service, it's good to know there is going to be another online distributor out there. To hell with the brick and mortars I say.

Kcube
Kcube

No more GT for me then,I have had it since launch and this is nothing short then a slap in the face to gamers.

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

I've never liked Gametap...The system never appealed. Even if they are offering Tomb Raider Anniversary.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

@RaiKageRyu "Nothing is free." You're right. The "free" part is paid for by advertisers who want to expose gamers to their products and services, which brings in money for Gametap. They hope that you'll eventually become a full subscriber for $10/month (or less if you commit). Either way, Gametap gets paid.

DuaneDog
DuaneDog

I was lucky and got GameTap back when they were doing $59 for a full year. From what I understand it will renew at that rate as well. Gametap does not the latest games but it has some good stuff in it's library. Great nostalgia games from the arcade as well as many older PC & DOS games that were A games in their day. There is so much it's like you never run out of stuff to play. As long as they keep adding games like they have been I'll sign up for another year. Only like 5$ a month so it's a no brainer for me.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

Cool, sounds good to me. I've always been both skeptical and intregued by GameTap at the same time. I guess I'll have to actually check it out.

StephenHu
StephenHu

Oh nvm, i guess it will just be a banner or two,

QualityJeverage
QualityJeverage

So let me get this straight, in addition to several great old games, I also get to play the latest Tomb Raider at no charge? See, this is why game advertising can be a good thing.

StephenHu
StephenHu

Does that mean it will include adware?

Timbydude
Timbydude

By the way, in case anyone's wondering, GameTap is an amazing (though rather little-known) service. And for those of you confused, this article has a full chart of subscriber levels and priveleges. http://www.joystiq.com/2007/05/01/tomb-raider-anniversary-day-and-date-on-gametap-and-more/ Also, GameTap has been saying that this is just the tip of the iceberg; much bigger news is coming later this month. And for those of you still worried about "ad-supported" games, just consider that this site is ad-supported, and that chart shows you exactly what type of ads you should expect. And no, there is no Adware :P

basilfaulty
basilfaulty

Timbydude knows what he's talking about. GameTap is a fantastic (and reputable) service. Their free section will NOT have AdWare.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

Plenty of free content is supported by advertising. This website is a good example of that. Plenty of free games run on the premise. Its no more risky than any other online enabled game. Anyhow - hope you guys like Gametap. If you have 360 pads, get the PC drivers and they work like a charm. There are PS2 to USB adapters as well (I got one from Radio Shack), so either way you're gold :D

Mush_Mouth
Mush_Mouth

Timbydude's right - you people are totally off your nut if you think they're putting adware on your system. I've had ad-supported games for years and I have yet to get a virus...and yes, I scan regularly.

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

metal slug on pc:O i need to get on this

Timbydude
Timbydude

haha wow some people here have no clue what they're talking about. Ad-supported play means that while you're playing, there'll be a banner ad or two. That's it. They don't stream adware to your system while you're playing lol.

Ranger_x8b
Ranger_x8b

Not too shabby. I guess they realized that people weren't hanging around long for their pay-service. I canceled my subscription last month because the games no longer interested me. But I'll go back if I can play some of my favorite games for free.

dn3datomiced
dn3datomiced

They'll turn out just fine. People need to lighten up. :)

kljohns2
kljohns2

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! ummm how about no! its not worth the adware, its not really free and i like keeping my pc virus free.

KorJax
KorJax

Oh yeah. Free games. Key word: "AD-SUPPORTED" These are not free games people, these are Ad-ware games (whcih have been around for a while actually). AKA its games that you can play for free, but in order to do so you have to install an ad-ware program (the same stuff your spyware blocker BLOCKS), and agree to have adds pop up on your computer. Of course, you can uninstall the service and disagree to play the game. But the point is that by playing these games for free you basically "sell" your PC's soul to pop up ads and having no security in virus protection. Trust me, ive had it happen before. "Free games!" is what they say, but then you have to sacrafice your own PC to adware.

Ministry4390
Ministry4390

Wow, ad supported games. That should suck nicely.

bossjimbob
bossjimbob

Definitely going to give this a shot.