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GameFly To Jump Into Digital Game Rentals 39

An anonymous reader writes "GameFly apparently wants to follow in the footsteps of Netflix, announcing plans to launch a new online client that allows users to download and install their rentals over the internet. The service won't require a separate subscription, but will be bundled alongside a standard GameFly by-mail subscription. GameFly acquired digital game retailer Direct2Drive earlier this year, so it's likely they are harnessing this technology to offer the new service."
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GameFly To Jump Into Digital Game Rentals

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  • But seriously, the reason I've not tried out Direct2Drive is I already have Steam on my machine, and I didn't see the need of both services. If GameFly offers a streaming only plan ala Netflix, I might get interested. Perhaps Valve could conjure a similar system?
    • I was more interested in Gamefly previously. They dicked around and it's only been recently that they got a warehouse to cover the northwest. At this point it's not really worthwhile to me as I'm ditching Netflix and can get the games from Blockbuster.

    • by jseale ( 691367 )
      You don't understand. This looks like Direct2Drive getting out of the PC game download biz to make room for Steam and Origin, both of who really excel in that stuff anyway IMHO. Direct2Drive looks to have lost that battle and now they want to try something else and this is it.
  • The idea of digital rentals makes absolutely no sense. With physical media renting makes sense, for example, it is impossible for a single VHS tape to be in 2 VHS players at the same time. On the other hand, there is not a single copy of a digital game to "rent", but there is in fact an infinite number of copies that can be created with no loss to the original.
    • Thanks for explaining the difference between digital and physical media to us. Anything else you're an expert on? I'd love to hear more.
    • We're still in a stage of experimentation with intellectual property. Is there any functional difference in the rental of a game that is on a disc versus one that is solely digital? By this line of logic, then the sale of digital goods also makes no sense.
      • Yes. A game on a disc saves space on your hard disk (unless it installs completely to the HD from the disc) and uses a lot less bandwidth when downloading. Sometimes a download, for certain people with slow connections, is unfeasible. It's hard to believe for some of us, but easier for others of us (re: connection speed issues).

      • Don't mind me, just a poor student coming through... I will still be pirating whatever cracked games I can just because its less hassle (anyone been reading the Diablo 3 news btw? forced permanent tether?) and also happens to be cheaper.

        Don't you think that this stage of gaming "experimentation" has been going on long enough to draw rational conclusions about the market by now? Do you think that this industry, that twirls around billions of dollars, has not yet paid some very smart people to predict the ma
      • Rentals could have expiration date set to them (online checked), such a practice could easily be deployed via Steam for example, maybe they are doing it already....
        • such a practice could easily be deployed via Steam for example, maybe they are doing it already....

          I don't think steam currently does rentals but they do free weekends and guest passes which are much the same thing technically so they could probablly bring in rental service pretty quickly if they wanted to.

    • I don't see a problem there. The copies will be DRMed to the hilt.

      I'm not sure how this is any different than when libraries lend out ebooks. Sure those aren't real books, but they do get to lend them out anyways.

    • I'm confused, VHS copying was impossible/unheard of in the days of VHS? Nobody ever found a way to chain to VCRs to copy a movie during their rental time? I mean admitted there was quality reduction between copies with VHS vs digital where it is 100% carried across between copies, but still more then enough for successful copies.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        still more then

        "then" is NOT the same word as "than" !

      • by tepples ( 727027 )
        A few years into the life of VHS, prerecorded had pulses inserted into vertical blanking to fool a VCR's gain control circuitry. This was in fact Rovi's first product: Macrovision analog copy protection.
      • I think what dude is trying to get at is this: Just like how we saw that company the other week get shut down that was "renting" movies by letting you connect to a DVD player through the Internet the law treats digital and physical as two VASTLY different things. Rent a disc? that is covered under first sale. Rent a digital copy? You just walked into a minefield where the laws are firmly on the copyright cartel's side.

        After all how would Gamefly PROVE they have a 1:1 ratio of renters to physical copies? Als

        • by Aladrin ( 926209 )

          Why do you assume that the content providers aren't in on this? They don't need to worry about lawsuits if they have worked out deals with the game publishers... And they probably have. D2D is probably providing all the contacts they need to make this deal happen.

          And it's not like others haven't done it. GameTap provides the same service, for about the same price. (Game selection is pretty weak, though, IMHO.)

    • What they will probably end up doing is getting a bulk licensing agreement and only allow X number of rentals at any given time where X is the number licenses they have. They'll also have excessive DRM.

  • copy of gametap

  • I always thought Steam should have a rental service. There's a bunch of games my friends and I would play at a LAN party, but never after. Certain games are fun when you can yell at your friend across the room, but without that they kinda lose their luster. You could make a list of 5 games you'd play at the LAN throughout the night, and not have to worry about excluding that one guy that didn't drop $50 on a game he'll never play again.
    • There're free weekends and demos, but that doesn't really cut it. However Steam is held to the publishers' terms, so there's not a lot of room to do anything innovative with the method of distribution.
  • Demos (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Windwraith ( 932426 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @10:16PM (#37039826)

    What happened to demos, shareware, and all that fancy stuff that made PC games popular?

    • by slyrat ( 1143997 )

      What happened to demos, shareware, and all that fancy stuff that made PC games popular?

      There are still quite a lot of demos on steam and the websites of the developers for games. It is only with some of the big budget games that you don't get demos for a game. In those cases they sometimes do the free weekends or something similar.

  • Filter error: You can type more than that for your comment.

  • Apart from download caps this has other things against it such as that it doesn't provide instant gratification. If I'm going to rent a game and play it only for a couple of days I'd rather spend 30 mins going to the rental shop than waiting several hours for it to download.
    Steam is different, you do have to download the games but at least you can play them forever.
    • I can see no end of complaints coming from consumers if your rental period started in sync with the start of the download. Most likely (read: HOPEFULLY) they will have a button labeled 'unlock' or 'activate' or even a login screen in game that activates the game for play and kicks off the timer simultaneously. Any other implementation just strikes me as dumb.
  • That'll be good for the ISP's already complaining about netflix.

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