Turner Puts GameTap On The Block


Turner Broadcasting is looking to sell GameTap, an online videogame service that offers both free and subscription-based games.

Time Warner, Turner’s parent company, showed an “$18 million non-cash impairment of GameTap” in its second quarter results arising from the decision to sell the company, but details about potential buyers, or even the status of the sale process, were not given. The decision to sell follows the layoff of the entire GameTap editorial team in May, which Vice President of Content Rick Sanchez was done as part of a “restructuring [of] the site to focus exclusively on gameplay.”

GameTap was launched by Turner in 2005, growing from an initial catalog of 300 games to its current selection of more than 1000. While some games are available freely, most require a subscription to the service; but rather than buying games outright, GameTap users pay a monthly fee for access to all the games on the site, which will become inoperative if and when the user unsubscribes from the service. GameTap offers both “classic” PC and console games as well as new releases such as the episodic Sam & Max games from Telltale and American McGee’s latest eponymous effort, American McGee’s Grimm.

While generally a well-received service, GameTap provoked anger in some of its users in February when it eliminated the troubled Myst Online: Uru Live from its selection of games for what Sanchez described as “business reasons.” Soon after, the service cancelled a deal with Derek Smart to publish his latest space combat simulator, Galactic Command: Echo Squad.

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