GameFly launching a digital PC game rental service
GameFly is looking to take their business into the digital space. The company is launching a new program which will allow subscribers to rent PC titles which will be delivered to them digitally instead of via mail.
GameFly is best known as being the Netflix equivalent for video games. Users sign up for a plan to rent games and those games are delivered to their mailboxes in bright orange envelopes. Keep the game as long as you desire and then send it back for another game from your queue.
This new digital offering from the company will allow users to rent PC games digitally in addition to their physical game discs for no additional charge. Access to any of the PC games in the catalog will be cut off as soon as the user terminates their subscription. ”You have access to the content as long as you are a subscriber but when you are no longer a member, the content then disappears,” GameFly co-founder Sean Spector told USA Today.
The announcement of this service comes just months after GameFly purchased Direct2Drive from IGN. It makes sense that they would leverage that infrastructure to deliver more content to their users. What’s most surprising is the fact that they are not charging additional fees for access to PC games digitally.
The service will be available first in closed beta, beginning September 8. The full version is expected to be offered to all subscribers by the holidays. It looks like about 100 games will be offered initially with more titles being added on some sort of rolling basis. Mac users appear to be out of luck here because for the short term the service is PC only.
GameFly addressed questions about their subscriber model going down the Netflix path to Joystiq, stating they had no plans to release a digital only subscription plan option any time soon. That doesn’t mean never but it also means they aren’t in a rush to go down the digital only rabbit hole. A solely digital option is likely only a matter of time, but whether or not GameFly replicates the model that Netflix has chosen remains to be seen. For now, subscribers get their digital games streamed for free.
Let us know if you manage to get into the closed beta in the comments. I was a GameFly subscriber for a long time and would consider resubscribing if the digital rental option worked well and was supported by strong publishers.
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