GameTap also features video programming related to video games, music, technology, and other animated shorts. A lite player is gone because it was merged with the deluxe player. As of version 3.5, the video inside the Gametap Player has been phased out and moved completely to the web.
Like many subscription music services, subscribers have access to the entire library; there is no per-game fee. Games cannot be purchased, and are automatically deactivated when the user unsubscribes from the service. A single registered account provides the option for up to eight screen names, and access to games based on ESRB ratings can be limited on a per-screen name basis. However, although the GameTap software and games can be installed on any number of computers, only two screen names under a single registration can be logged in at a time. Therefore, a subscriber can make up to seven extra "sub-accounts" that friends or family can use on any computer with Gametap installed. Users must have a broadband connection, and cannot play GameTap games while disconnected from the Internet.
Most multiplayer games can be played by two users on the same computer. A limited number of games have been enhanced with an online leaderboard and challenge lobby, adding internet multiplayer to games that previously could only be played face to face. Every Monday Gametap holds a leaderboard tournament with a different game each week.
In the past, to cancel one's account, a customer had to call a GameTap representative or request cancellation through their live chat support service. Some customers (as of April 2006) had reported being pressured to stay subscribed. The ability to cancel one's account online was added to the service in October 2007, although customers are still able to call customer service or use the online chat if they choose.
On May 1, 2007, GameTap announced that the service would change its business model somewhat. There will now be 3 different service levels: Visitor, Green, and Gold. The Visitor and Green levels will be free while the Gold level will require a subscription fee (pricing is the same as before). A Visitor is a non-registered member of GameTap, and has access to 30 to 40 select games through the GameTap website These games will have banner ads when played. A Green-level member must register with GameTap (though no credit card information is required) and is given access to a few more games, and also has the option of playing them through the "Lite" GameTap player, a simplified "Deluxe" player (the old GameTap player). There will be a short ad video streamed before each game is played with a Green account. The highest tier (gold level) requires a monthly subscription($9.95) or an annual subscription ($59.95). Gold level members will still have ad-free access to all GameTap content in more or less the same way they did before the announcement.
On June 19, 2007, GameTap announced a new partnership with Macrovision to make games for purchase and download through GameTap's new digital storefront where some games can be bought and played offline. Tomb Raider: Anniversary (published by Eidos) was made available on GameTap June 5 — the same day it hit retail shelves.
On November 29, 2007, GameTap announced that on December 11 of the same year, over 70 games would be removed from their catalog, many of them Electronic Arts or Interplay titles. If the Infocard of the game in question was pulled up, it offered this reason:
"Occasionally, GameTap will rotate titles out of our catalog based on the status of publisher agreements and feedback from our members."
One prevalent theory posted on the GameTap message boards is that the two-year agreement with these companies has expired, and Turner Broadcasting System is currently re-negotiating with them.
On May 9, 2006, a deal was announced to release Sam & Max Season One and Myst Online: Uru Live. Sam & Max: Culture Shock was released in October 2006 and Uru Live was officially released February 2007. GameTap announced in May 2007 that Uru Live would evolve into an episodic game, featuring monthly content releases. On 4 February 2008, it was announced that Uru Live would be discontinued due to business reasons. However, Uru Live is re-launching outside of Gametap (Due to gametap returning the rights to it to the creators of the game) as Myst Online: Restoration Experiment (MORE), run by it's creators, Cyan Worlds Inc.
On February 7, 2007, GameTap announced their third original game, Galactic Command: Echo Squad, from independent developer 3000AD. The four part episodic game is a space combat title formerly planned for launch in Summer of 2007; however, it suffered from constant delays. In early 2008, Gametap announced that it cancelled it's deal with 3000AD. "It was a good game, it was very solid, but as we were going through, it ended up not being the right title for our audience," says Ricardo Sanchez. "It was a tough call. I think it’s one of the strongest games [Derek] ever made. We put a lot of effort into it... I honestly think it's one of Derek’s strongest games.
On May 15, 2007, PC Gamer magazine premiered the first look at GameTap's newest original game, American McGee's Grimm Tales, a 24 part episodic series by game designer American McGee. The first episode's been released on July 31st, 2008. American McGee's Grimm Tales is the fourth episodic game from GameTap, making the online service the largest publisher of episodic games. GameTap vice president of content Ricardo Sanchez has written and presented on the development of episodic games and been featured in articles by the Hollywood Reporter and Gamasutra on the subject.
In addition, GameTap Indies is a program where independent game developers can distribute content though the GameTap service.
Previous content on the service included: