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Type Limited liability company
Industry Computer software
Interactive entertainment
Founded Eugene, Oregon, U.S. (2000)
Founders Jeff Tunnell
Tim Gift
Rick Overman
Mark Frohnmayer
Headquarters Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people Eric Preisz (CEO)
Products Torque 3D
Torque 2D
iTorque 2D
Torque X

GarageGames is a video game developer and publisher. It also develops several game engines targeted for indie development. Founded in Eugene, Oregon, it is now located in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, where it was moved after being acquired by IAC in 2007. GarageGames was renamed InstantAction after its acquisition.[1] It was renamed back to GarageGames in January 20, 2011 after its purchase by Graham Software Development.


GarageGames was founded in Eugene, Oregon in 2000 by four industry veterans: Jeff Tunnell, Tim Gift, Rick Overman, and Mark Frohnmayer. The founders literally worked in their garage on severance checks. 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.

GarageGames released the Torque game engine in 2001. It was used to create the hit Tribes game series and was released at an initial price point of US$100 per seat. The low price point made it accessible to small, independent game developers. Later the company expanded its product lines with additional tools, and more advanced engines and introduced tiered licensing at price points ranging from $100 to $1500 per seat. In 2005, the company 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. In 2006, its developer community surpassed 100,000 users.

Over its history, the company launched several of its own games, including Marble Blast Ultra for Microsoft Windows and Xbox Live Arcade.

In 2006, GarageGames acquired BraveTree Technologies, developers of Think Tanks and real-time networked multiplayer physics technology.

In 2007, the GarageGames was acquired by Barry Diller and InterActive Corporation (NASD: IACI) and renamed InstantAction.[2]

On July 15, 2009, Louis Castle, notable for his Command & Conquer series, would become the CEO of GarageGames.[3] The company headquarters were subsequently moved to Las Vegas with some employees relocating to Portland, Oregon. Shortly after the move, the "GarageGames" brand was retired.

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.[4] On January 20, 2011, the Torque engine and GarageGames brand was purchased and the company was re-launched, as GarageGames once again, with new CEO Eric Preisz. They moved to a new office in Las Vegas, Nevada.[5]

Game development technology[edit]


GarageGames originally offered the Torque Game Engine for sale in 2000. Eschewing industry standards for game engine licensing, they offered the technology under a per-seat "Indie" license for a much cheaper price than available alternatives.[6] The Indie licensing model (available to individuals and companies with less than $250,000 in annual revenues) and the price endure today. GarageGames also offers "Commercial" licensing options to companies with more than $250,000 in annual revenues.

Products[edit] also sells more than 100 third party game development products.


Torque is primarily a video game development technology. Various versions of the engine have been used to develop more than 200 published games.[7] It has been licensed by Electronic Arts, NC Soft, Sony, Disney, Vivendi Universal, Hasbro, and many other game teams and publishers and it's officially supported middleware for Microsoft and Nintendo.

Torque is also a solution for non-game applications like serious games and virtual worlds. It's been licensed by NASA, L3, Lockheed Martin and it has been used successfully for dozens of virtual worlds applications like Onverse[8] and by IBM for internal and external training simulations.[9] Torque is currently used for education in more than 200 schools and universities worldwide.[10]

Game development[edit]

Title System Release date Genre Ref(s)
Chain Reaction Windows Puzzle [citation needed]
Fallen Empire: Legions Windows 2008 Action [citation needed]
Legions: Overdrive Windows December 20, 2010 Action [citation needed]
Marble Blast Gold Linux September 1, 2002 Platform, puzzle [citation needed]
Macintosh [citation needed]
Windows [citation needed]
Xbox Live Arcade [citation needed]
Marble Blast Ultra Xbox 360 January 25, 2006 Platform, puzzle [citation needed]
Rack'em Up Roadtrip Windows Sport [citation needed]
Rokkitball Windows April 2008 Action, sport [citation needed]
Think Tanks Windows 2005 Action [citation needed]
Xbox Live Arcade [11]
Z.A.P. Windows March 2008 Action [citation needed]

Game publishing[edit]

Early in the company's history, GarageGames offered publishing terms to independent developers for distribution through its website game store that appealed to many small and independent game studios. To date, GarageGames has published more than 50 titles in their game store. GarageGames has also self-published a number of titles on console platforms.[edit]

With its 2007 acquisition of GarageGames, IAC announced the development of a new online gaming platform called InstantAction. The platform offered console quality games in a streaming play experience inside a web browser. launched with a closed beta in January 2008. On February 2008, the beta became invitation based. On March 6, 2008, went into full open beta. The site featured a total of eight games, four of which were from independent developers (Galcon, Lore: Aftermath, Ace of Aces, and ZAP!) with the other four being first-party games (Fallen Empire: Legions, Rokkitball, Marble Blast Online, and ThinkTanks).

In March 2010, it was announced that InstantAction would also become a digital distributor and had developed a way to bring any game to the browser, and embed them on any website.[12] On April 29, 2010, InstantAction released The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, while the rest of the site, specifically the games they hosted, remained offline.[13]

On November 11, 2010, InstantAction announced that they would be shutting down, along with all of their games. However ( would continue to operate while InstantAction explored opportunities with potential buyers for Torque. The Torque business unit was eventually bought by Graham Software Development in January 2011, which restored the GarageGames name and brand.


  1. ^ "GarageGames blog - Welcome back, GarageGames!". 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  2. ^ "IAC's Grand Acquisitor". Fast Company. 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  3. ^ 1 Comments. "Lou Castle to Head Up InstantAction as New CEO". Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  4. ^ "November Update | Eric Preisz | Blogs | Community |". Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  5. ^ "Welcome Back GarageGames!". 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  6. ^ "Torque Game Engine - Engine Details". 
  7. ^ "Products : Torque : Powered". . GarageGames. 2006-09-21. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  8. ^ "The World is your Playground with Onverse". 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  9. ^ "Blog Archive » The IBM Innovate Quick internal metaverse project". eightbar. 2007-05-08. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  10. ^ "Solutions : Education". . GarageGames. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  11. ^ "GarageGames Acquires BraveTree". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  12. ^ "GDC 10: Gaikai and InstantAction Team Up to Fix 'Broken' Game Industry". Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  13. ^ by JC Fletcher on Apr 29th 2010 10:50PM (2010-04-29). "InstantAction streaming service launches: play Monkey Island in this post". Retrieved 2012-06-30. 

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