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.

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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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