While most online PC gamers pay a monthly fee for access to just one game, Time Warner is hoping that they will pay up to play more. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner subsidiary, hopes to grab subscribers by offering nearly 1,000 games for unlimited play through its new GameTap Broadband Entertainment Network.
The service, announced today, will offer games and video content from a variety of sources for the same price as most MMO subscriptions. The service should launch this fall, and will run through a client program developed internally at Turner. Reps for the company equated the service to a "cable box for games on your PC."
Currently, 17 publishers are signed on to provide games, though TBS spokespersons expect that number to rise to 21 by the time the service launches this fall. No exact launch date or price point have yet been announced.
GameTap will be a PC-only gaming service, but that does not mean that the available games will be exclusively PC titles. Of the publishers already on board, many are offering up titles from past consoles. "It's like a MAME emulator, but legal," said a rep. Sega will provide all of its Sonic the Hedgehog games, as well as other titles from the Genesis and Saturn consoles. More modern titles will include the first iterations of the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, while Pac-Man will lead the more retro part of the service's catalog.
In addition to games, GameTap will also feature original content, including animated segments from the creators of the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim showcase.
While seemingly new, the GameTap service is not the first of its kind. Sega offered a modem/cable service for the Genesis for a while, where users could play games via subscription. Ironically, Time Warner-owned AOL started out as Control Video, a company whose product was an online service called Gameline for the Atari 2600 in the early 1980s.
For more information on GameTap, visit its official Web site.