Turner Broadcasting System Inc. has announced an initial list of licensees for its GameTap 'broadband entertainment network', a PC-based digital subscription service that will launch this fall, and allows subscribers to play hundreds of classic arcade and console games for a monthly fee.
The specific list of initially announced licensees include Activision, Atari, Eidos Interactive, G-Mode, Intellivision Lives, Midway, Namco, Sega, Taito, Team 17, Ubisoft and Vivendi Universal Games. The company also revealed that GameTap will launch with 300 games, from Pong, Pac-Man
and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
, to Sonic
and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
, and that new titles and programming will be added each week.
In demonstrating the product to Gamasutra staff at E3, the creators of the software showed that it currently emulated hardware platforms including arcade games of multiple types, Atari 2600, Intellivision, Sega Genesis, Saturn, and Dreamcast titles (the latter with an impressive proprietary emulator), as well as running PC games, and further hardware platform support is said to be on the way.
Turner's project also has implications for the 'long tail' and even game preservation as it relates to computer and console games. Dennis Quinn, executive vice president of business development for Turner, noted that, for the gaming industry, GameTap fills the need for a viable post-retail sales channel. "While a film can go from theater to premium channel, from DVD to Turner Classic Movies, games -- even great ones -- have had a much shorter lifespan," he said. "Publishers are embracing GameTap because we are giving the kind of longevity to gaming titles now enjoyed by movies, songs and books."