GameTap Adds Subscription, Free Offerings

Turner Broadcasting’s GameTap game and broadband entertainment network has announced new offerings, including a way for subscribers to get their hands on new games the same day they hit retail shelves.

Through an exclusive arrangement with game publishers Eidos, GameTap will let its subscribers get their hands on the latest Tomb Raider installment, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary, the same day the digital lands at U.S. retailers. GameTap will also offer digital downloads of the game to customers the same day the game goes on sale in stores.

"This is the first new deal with a major game publisher that will enable GameTap to feature the hottest games of today and tomorrow for subscription play in the same windows as traditional retail outlets," said Stuart Snyder, GameTap’s senior vice president and general manager.

Subscribers will also have access to GameTap’s new digital retail storefront, which will offer "hundreds" of new and catalog PC games for purchase and download.

GameTap has also announced a new, free, ad-supported program aimed to appeal to "mainstream" gamers looking for a simple online destination which lets them play games for free. The new offering is slated to launch May 31 and will feature over 30 free games, with new titles added every week. "While our paid membership model has attracted serious gamers, another class of player is coming to in droves," said Snyder. "Mainstream gamers want to play dynamic games they can access at work, home or anywhere, and aren’t satisfied with the current portal offerings like card games and checkers. They want action-adventure, racing, sports, and fighting titles alongside the arcade classics." Launch titles for the free, ad-supported offering will include Metal Slug from SNK Playmore, Taito’s Bust-A-Move and Space Invaders,Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend from Eidos, as well as Midway titles Joust,Robotron: 2084, and Rampage.

GameTap also notes it has expanded the catalog of games available via its subscription service to more than 500 games, as well as more than 600 content pieces available via GameTap TV. GameTap claims that during 2006, subscribers played more than 20 million games from the GameTap collection.

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