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.

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