It's Showtime for gaming

Cable network following in Turner's footsteps with new company that will provide a PC-based, on-demand, downloadable gaming service.

by

As gaming continues to grow and infiltrate the average household, nongaming companies are trying to cash in. In 2005, Turner Networks launched GameTap, an on-demand gaming service catering to both casual and retro gamers.

CBS-owned cable channel Showtime, which airs premium shows such as Weeds and The L Word, is also getting into the act, with the Q2 launch of a new company, reports the Associated Press. Called On Broadband, the gaming-service company will offer on-demand and downloadable games for broadband-connected PC users. Other content will include reviews and cheats, similar to GameTap.

"While it might not seem like a natural, when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense for Showtime," Showtime chairman and chief executive Matthew Blank told the AP. "We are used to dealing with a premium customer. We have the marketing and promotional expertise to be in those businesses."

The actual service will carry the brand of the local high-speed Internet providers, and On Broadband will take care of "all back-office tasks, including the sale and delivery of games." Revenue for On Broadband will be generated through subscription fees, fees for local cable companies, game sales, and advertising.

No specific game titles, genres, publishers, or partnered Internet service providers were mentioned.

Discussion

51 comments
_Sam_
_Sam_

I didn't think that Showtime was big enough to do something like this

DO646260
DO646260

Hrm, I was wondering when gametap was gunna get a competiter

ocdog45
ocdog45

i wouldn't be cought dead dealing with these things

G_W_X
G_W_X

Ask yourself people. Do we really need these things? There are how many gaming platfroms out there already. The three major ones obviously being Sony, Microsft and Nintendo. Then two of those major companies have handhelds. One of them actually has TWO running...one is to be phased out soon. Plus Each of the companies above I mentioned have TWO home consoles EACH...ok so all three companies are going to phase those out the old one eventually(PS2,Xbox-dead already? and Gamecube)....but of course there are THREE NEW ONES to contend with! Now lets talk about the PC. Wait, lets talk about some other defunct or failed platfroms...N-Gage...er Tapwave Zodiac er Tiger Telematics Gizmondo... The phantom ca home PC-like "console" that would offer the sam thing tunrner did with Game Tap or whatever its called...that NEVER came out! I personally think there are too many game platfroms out there....imagine the work developers have to do to make games for all these platfroms..its just silly. Why cant things just be consolidated. Sony will have their Playstation3....and PSP Microsoft will have their Xbox360...and...whatever the hell they are going to do for a mobile system... Nintendo will be there with their gaming revolution the Wii and their new answer to portable gaming the DS! Soon I think one of these systems should be phased out leaving only TWO major HOME systems for gaming prefernces. One system will probably be a powerhouse and be a multimdia box for the center of the living room thing, for those who want their console to be a media hub thing. The other focusing on innovation and gaming! Simple as that. For gamers who just want a boxt that plays great games...might have some jingles with it but primarily just a gaming box. Basically just like the DS and PSP are doing. And hopefully this is the way it goes in future. Too many cook spoil the broth people. If someone else were to make a home console it would just spoil things unless its somthing totally new and different...that would make 4 platfroms..now if people were to get silly and even someone else jumped in making it 5 consoles....it would get ridiculous. And you people out there think its NORMAL to own all three systems? you are insane! Too many platfroms to make games for. All doing basically the same thing. What a waste.

ldonyo
ldonyo

Maybe they should have asked Turner how GameTap was doing before deciding to jump into this.

axillia
axillia

This is going to fail horribly.

princeofgames90
princeofgames90

chevydriver1123: "Video gaming will eventually become a olympic sport" hahaha what a dream

99X
99X

Soon there will be a fee to just turn on your computer, and you'll need a subscription to surf the internet, play a game, read e-mail, all of which will have advertisements, targeted just for you! hooray!

TryMe01
TryMe01

once again, more added costs for playing your games online

deadone1000
deadone1000

I just dont understand how they expect people to pay for downloads when you can do it for free

JLCrogue
JLCrogue

Should be interesting to see what games will be part of this thing...

OPOLO
OPOLO

I guess this is good news

Mowshnan
Mowshnan

I actually like GameTap (Sam and Max - whoot!) and I spend more time playing GameTap than I do playing my PS3, which only gets powered on to check if there are any new demos to download :(

0dazubeN
0dazubeN

I love that show Dexter.... What were we talking about?

Cloud737
Cloud737

Meh, I don`t particularly like downloadable games that could otherwise be bought at a retail store. I would much rather prefer to get the game with a box, a manual, and get it exactly when I pay for it, than to pay a subscription for the service, then pay for the game, and hope that my internet connection doesn`t give up on me. Plus, I`ve seen a lot of games that had problems with their downloadable versions. For example, I think I saw Prince of Persia T2T have a problem because of StarForce. Also, games like Oblivion require a special version of a patch for the downloadable version, and that usually arrives latter (if at all). Also, piracy would be a greater problem here (but not by much), because the downloadable games wouldn`t have any protection on it (cause all the piracy protections would require you to insert a DVD)

DontEatCream
DontEatCream

Nothing like paying money to download a bunch of old, stale games released 3 years ago that nobody cares about...

MSE369
MSE369

it could turn out good if done right

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

hmm ive never really liked gametap. i dont like the idea of paying for that kind of stuff. but still i think that they will put up some good competition for gametap

F1sTDaCuffS
F1sTDaCuffS

video games will rule all other sports in the future. mind over matter 2055 its all over.

ImaCarrot
ImaCarrot

The great and all-knowing 'Video_Game_King' should actually read the article, they aren't making a video game, just a service that is similar to GameTap.

Video_Game_King
Video_Game_King

I just hope they can do a good job. Most of the time, non-gaming companies have NO idea what they're doing when the make a video game.

halofreak122
halofreak122

Impossibilium, I don't know what you're smoking, but Showtime has some of the greatest series around. Sleeper Cell, Weeds, Dexter, The L Word, Penn and Teller BS, Brotherhood, Family Business, Masters of Horror, and the late but great Huff, and Dead like Me. Granted, there have been some very dissapointing cancellations like Huff(Contract Disputes), but they are a solid company offering much better quality shows overall then crappy Network TV. I would rather have both Showtime and HBO for my shows anyday over the constant crap on standard TV. Why are Huff and Dead Like me not on any more? Two of the best and most praised and viewed shows in Showtime history? Because Les Moonves canceled them. Not a contract dispute, A change of format ordered by Moonves when he took over. Dexter is their single standout show. And which premium channel decided to run ads through it? Showtime. Sleeper Cell 2, was panned by critics as being a stale follow up. Penn and Teller. A thin idea stretched too far. Family Business. Another reality series. Added porn for ratings. Still dire. L Word. Copy of Queer as Folk, and not that interesting to begin with. Hence it never making any critics lists. Blockbuster movies? None. Moonves wants to make their own so they have the rights to sell them. And then we'll forget about Fat Actress, Barbershop and The Underground, which were all abysmal. Showtime isn't even in the same league as HBO. In fact FX has better content. They should be rectifying their programming not branching out into areas they have no clue in. I will agree that FX has better content. I think that Nip/Tuck is one of the best shows in a long time. Dexter is the best show that Showtime has and that really makes no sense when its supposed to be a channel that has a lot of its own shows. I'm not saying that Dexter is bad. Not at all. Alls im saying is that Showtime should have better concepts for shows.

solidusScott
solidusScott

I love lesbians! I watch the L Word on Showtime! BYYAAAAAAAA! lol, i miss Chappelle's Show

Impossibilium
Impossibilium

Impossibilium, I don't know what you're smoking, but Showtime has some of the greatest series around. Sleeper Cell, Weeds, Dexter, The L Word, Penn and Teller BS, Brotherhood, Family Business, Masters of Horror, and the late but great Huff, and Dead like Me. Granted, there have been some very dissapointing cancellations like Huff(Contract Disputes), but they are a solid company offering much better quality shows overall then crappy Network TV. I would rather have both Showtime and HBO for my shows anyday over the constant crap on standard TV. Why are Huff and Dead Like me not on any more? Two of the best and most praised and viewed shows in Showtime history? Because Les Moonves canceled them. Not a contract dispute, A change of format ordered by Moonves when he took over. Dexter is their single standout show. And which premium channel decided to run ads through it? Showtime. Sleeper Cell 2, was panned by critics as being a stale follow up. Penn and Teller. A thin idea stretched too far. Family Business. Another reality series. Added porn for ratings. Still dire. L Word. Copy of Queer as Folk, and not that interesting to begin with. Hence it never making any critics lists. Blockbuster movies? None. Moonves wants to make their own so they have the rights to sell them. And then we'll forget about Fat Actress, Barbershop and The Underground, which were all abysmal. Showtime isn't even in the same league as HBO. In fact FX has better content. They should be rectifying their programming not branching out into areas they have no clue in.

grasu
grasu

Oh well, so much for the retail PC market. It's all becoming a huge pile of STEAMING crap. Pun intended. And, for the record, I also like to physically own my games, no matter how convenient or better downloading might be. If I don't own anything like a box or a manual, then you'll have to really convince me as to why I shouldn't just pirate the damn game.

Re_ensurer
Re_ensurer

I think I'll stick with my Virtual Console for now.

STRICK26
STRICK26

I watch HBO, I dont even personally know anyone who has showtime. And I have a 360, getting a Wii and PS3. Really why do I need showtime to offer me downloadable games?? How bout instead of downloadable games, they have, more (nrop) on instead. Then maybe I would watch thier channel.

Elite_Jounin
Elite_Jounin

I agree with "patton101", the only thing i dont mind d/l is a demo.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

Ah, sweet progress! In other news, still no cure for cancer.

caesarbites
caesarbites

The new show on Showtime called "Dexter" is one of the most amazing shows I've ever seen. Do you like blood and gore?? Well, if you do, then watch Dexter, but even you may still get a little queasy.

mismajor99
mismajor99

Impossibilium, I don't know what you're smoking, but Showtime has some of the greatest series around. Sleeper Cell, Weeds, Dexter, The L Word, Penn and Teller BS, Brotherhood, Family Business, Masters of Horror, and the late but great Huff, and Dead like Me. Granted, there have been some very dissapointing cancellations like Huff(Contract Disputes), but they are a solid company offering much better quality shows overall then crappy Network TV. I would rather have both Showtime and HBO for my shows anyday over the constant crap on standard TV. I say, the more download services the better.

szindragon
szindragon

If I know Showtime, On Broadband will become really popular, then it'll be cancelled in 2 seasons cause it never reached Sopranos popularity!

audioaxes
audioaxes

I get showtime for free after moving to new cable company and extremely unimpressed. I never watch it and this definitely wont change my mind.

kamicolo
kamicolo

companies making money off of Gamer's "needs" that's capitalism

Impossibilium
Impossibilium

Jeez, more evidence of Showtime's decline. Showtime used to be a good package of blockbuster movies and series. Since Les Moonves took over, movies are dead, most Sho series have been cancelled and those that are left actually have ads in them!

patton101
patton101

I've never liked downloading games. I guess I'm old fashioned but I like to physically own them as well.

wild_world_girl
wild_world_girl

I'd much rather have access to this content directly from the publishers, so I could pick any game I wanted. The selection from these services range from lame to bizzarre.

Greydawg
Greydawg

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Greydawg
Greydawg

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]