GameTap Turns One, Adds Original Label

When Turner Broadcasting System rolled out its GameTap online entertainment site, most people wondered what a cable television network knew about offering broadband games and entertainment. GameTap has been online for a year now, and now its launching a “GameTap Original” label to support independent game developers and publishers.

“Gaming is a creative industry by nature, and GameTap is committed to supporting innovation on the PC platform,” said Ricardo Sanchez, GameTap’s VP of content. “Video games are also becoming increasingly more expensive to develop, which is a hindrance to the pure creativity of the industry. GameTap Original will break down some of that barrier.”

GameTap original aims to let new video game creators tap into GameTap’s audience by offering a publishing and distribution model which isn’t completely predicated on sales. Since GameTap users pay a monthly subscription, there’s no risk for them to try new games.

GameTap is currently working with several developers to bring new ideas out into the light of day. Today, GameTap exclusively launched Sam & Max: Episode 1, and cites the forthcoming Myst Online: Uru Live as an example of the franchises GameTap hopes to resuscitate with its new label. Other projects include episodic games based on well-known movie and television franchises. “Licenses are the perfect vehicles for episodic game development because players already have a relationship established and can immediately start enjoying the experience,” said Sanchez. “We’re working now with a number of license holders and developers on new episodic series that are really going to excite gamers of all types, from hardcore to the casual.”

GameTap typically offers subscribers access to more than 700 games at any one time, along with over 600 original TV shows and videos catering to gamers. Subscriptions are $9.95 a month, but for a limited time the service is offering a one-year subscription for $59.40—less than the price of a high-end console game.

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