Copyright 2007 Eidos plc Press Release

[ May 1st 2007 ]

Turner Broadcasting-owned GameTap has announced three significant developments for its PC digital distribution service: a deal with publisher Eidos to make games available on GameTap the day they hit stores, an online retail store offering games via digital download, and a free selection of GameTap titles on

Beginning with the release of the Eidos-published, Crystal Dynamics-developed Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary (PS2, PSP, PC) later this year, GameTap subscribers will be able to download select games the same day they make their US retail debut. Said games will also appear on GameTap's new online retail store, which will allow users to purchase and download games instead of paying a monthly subscription fee.

"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 GameTap senior VP and general manager Stuart Snyder.

Both the online store and the concept of simultaneous online/retail release are reminiscent of Valve's efforts with digital distribution platform Steam, which has allowed users to download games such as Valve's Half-Life 2 and Arkane Studio's Dark Messiah of Might and Magic on the day of their retail release.

In addition, GameTap will start offering free-to-play games through its web site on May 31, supported by banner and video advertisements. While the free games will not encompass the whole breadth of titles available to GameTap subscribers, the launch games for the site will include a mix of classic and more recent releases, ranging from Taito's Bust-A-Move and Space Invaders, SNK Playmore's Metal Slug, and Midway's Joust, Robotron: 2084, and Rampage to Crystal Dynamic's Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend.

As with the regular GameTap service, it is expected these games will not permanently install to a user's machine, instead requiring an active internet connection to play.

"We're opening the tap to the millions of website visitors to experience free-to-play games and great new original content at," noted Synder. "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."

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