GarageGames released the Torque Game Engine in 2001. The engine was used to create the hit Tribes game series, and was released at an initial price point of $100 per seat. This marked the first time a professional game engine used in AAA retail 3D games could be licensed at price points affordable to small, independent game developers. Later, the company expanded its product lines with additional tools, and more advanced engines, while introducing tiered licensing at price points ranging from $100 to $1500 per seat. In 2006, the company announced its developer community had surpassed 100,000 users. In 2005, the company also introduced Enterprise licenses for large companies and educational institutions available for annual fees ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, gaining more than 200 educational institution licensees. The company further expanded into launching several of its own games, including Marble Blast Ultra, a hit on Xbox Live Arcade.
In 2007, the company was acquired by Barry Diller and Interactive Corporation (NASD: IAC) and renamed InstantAction.
GarageGames was founded in Eugene, OR by four industry veterans: Jeff Tunnell, Tim Gift, Rick Overman, and Mark Frohnmayer. The founders literally worked in their garage on severance checks and released Torque Game Engine in August 2001. The name GarageGames is intentionally similar to the term "garage band", and is meant to evoke a similar concept in game development. The stated goal of GarageGames is to offer licensing of game engines and publishing to virtually anyone, in contrast to leaving would-be game makers at the mercy of large publishers driven by sales in the retail channel. To that end, in 2007, GarageGames also announced the development of a new game platform called InstantAction at InstantAction.com.
On July 15, 2009, it was announced that Louis Castle, notable for his Command & Conquer series, would become the new CEO of GarageGames after its former CEO stepped down. The company headquarters were subsequently moved to Las Vegas with some employees relocating to Portland, OR. Shortly after the move, the "GarageGames" brand was retired entirely.
On November 11, 2010 it was announced that IAC was shutting down InstantAction, and the intellectual property for the Torque game engine would be sold off. On January 20, 2011, it was announced that the Torque engine and GarageGames brand had been bought, and the company was re-launched, as GarageGames once again, with new CEO Eric Preisz. They have moved to a new office in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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