Turner Broadcasting System has announced GameTap Indies, a new marketing and distribution program designed to introduce independent games to subscribers of its GameTap 'all you can eat' PC gaming service.
GameTap officials explain that the Indies program will take effect immediately, and serve as an added distribution channel for independent game developers. By enlisting in the program, GameTap assumes non-exclusive responsibility for the digital distribution of each selected game. In addition to being promoted alongside GameTap titles, GameTap Indies will be showcased in a special Independent Games content area within the service.
In addition, GameTap has further thrown its support behind independent game development by sponsoring its new "GameTap Indie Award", to be presented at the 2007 Independent Games Festival Awards. GameTap is a Platinum Sponsor of the 9th annual festival, held in conjunction with the 2007 Game Developers Conference to celebrate the innovation and creativity of independent game developers, and part of the CMP Game Group (as is Gamasutra.com).
The three hand-picked recipients of the GameTap Indie Award will have the opportunity to have their titles showcased on the GameTap Service. Ricardo Sanchez, GameTap's vice president of content, has selected these three games as outstanding examples of achievement in independent game development.
One award recipient will receive a $10,000 advance after signing a five year distribution deal to be a part of the new GameTap Indies label, while the two additional recipients will each receive a $5,000 advance after signing the same five year distribution deal to be part of the label. The chosen developers will be announced on stage at the Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 7, and this award is in addition to the almost $50,000 of existing prizes to be given out to IGF winners.
"With GameTap Indies, we are giving developers and publishers the chance to put their game in front of an audience that otherwise might not see it," said Sanchez. "There is a lot of innovation happening in gaming today that can only thrive on the hard drives and computer screens of gamers because of the boundless broadband frontier. With GameTap's expansive reach and unique model, we will be able to offer forward thinking game designers a platform for success."