GameTap has expanded its subscription-based service by offering free old-school arcade and console titles via an ad-supported system.
The new system will initially offer 30 games, including titles Metal Slug, Joust, Rampage and Bust-A-Move, with available titles changing via a rotating roster. Some contemporary titles, such as Tomb Raider Legend, will also be available. The company will still offer the bulk of its games through its standard subscription service, but the ad-based system marks a significant change in the way online gaming is presented to customers.
"We're opening the tap to the millions of web site visitors to experience free-to-play games and great new original content at Gametap.com," said GameTap Senior Vice President Stuart Snyder. "By expanding our offerings, we are giving gaming enthusiasts more ways to play."
The GameTap service stands out due to its healthy selection of games, as well as the fact that some games have even been improved on the service; for instance, Metal Slug includes a multiplayer component unavailable on the standard console and handheld versions. While ad-supported gaming in this context is a novel concept, GameTap is hoping that the selection of freely-available games will draw a sufficient volume of customers to make the strategy profitable.
Currently, the service is only available in the United States and Canada, but GameTape officials say they expect it to be expanded worldwide by the end of the year.