Turner Broadcasting System will transfer its game download service GameTap to Paris-based Metaboli, which provides similar games distribution platforms and websites in Europe.
Under the agreement's terms, parent media company Turner will continue managing GameTap operations and provide technical and migration support through a transition period scheduled to conclude in early 2009. Afterwards, Metaboli will assume direct management of the business and brand.
GameTap will continue its digital distribution service and will remain in Atlanta, while Turner will become an equity investor in the combined entity. Metaboli intends to create a "global online gaming service" under the GameTap brand in the U.S. and under its own brand in Europe.
Launched in 2005, GameTap offers over 1,300 console, computer, and arcade titles as a subscription and ad-based PC gaming service. The company closed its editorial division
in June, announcing that it was "restructuring the site to focus exclusively on gameplay."
Following the section's termination, Turner disclosed in August that it planned to sell the service
, revealing in its second quarter financial results an $18 million writeoff credited to the decision.
Metaboli provides a games-on-demand, subscription-based service, as well as a download-to-own platform. Through its Digital Tycoon business-to-business platform, the company powers the websites of over 50 white label partners, including MSN, Virgin, and Atari.
"Our priority for all of our networks and businesses is growth," says Turner's Animation, Young Adult & Kids Media president and COO Stuart Snyder, who has overseen Gametap. "Partnering with Metaboli significantly enhances GameTap's growth prospects by leveraging our respective strengths... There's upside here for everyone, but especially for gaming enthusiasts around the world."
Metaboli CEO Pierre Gaudet adds, "The addition of GameTap provides us a foothold in the U.S. market; valuable content and an established brand that integrate well with our existing operations; and a partner with whom we are honored to be in business."