Blockbuster Considers Games-By-Mail, Netflix Bashes Idea

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Pimppeter2:

Suicideking:

Starke:

Suicideking:
GamezNFlix used to do that exact thing. Until they went out of business.

High loss rates, or no one cared?

If wikipedia is to be believed, their financial loss was higher than their revenue.

Then again they have not even a quarter of the name brand recognition that Blockbuster has.

Its like if you somehow got away with opening a fast food parlor that was exactly like Mcdonalds but cheaper. More people would still be going to Mcdonalds because of the renowned Golden Arches.

Yes, not too many people knew of gameznflix. I knew about it simply because one month subscriptions used to be sold at Circuit City, where I had worked for a couple years.

Europe's got LoveFilm and that works superbly I mean seriously if you like console games and films get a LoveFilm account. They'd be idiots not to follow a similar business plan.

I can just imagine how much Blockbuster would want to crucify Me if I don't return it for an extra day though..They need to drop their late delivery fines to prosper with so many fine Film by Mail delivery systems who do not fine.

Funnily enough Blockbusters just closed down near Me /worthless useless opinion

Suicideking:

Starke:

Suicideking:
GamezNFlix used to do that exact thing. Until they went out of business.

High loss rates, or no one cared?

If wikipedia is to be believed, their financial loss was higher than their revenue.

Either a high loss rate or lack of sales will result in negative income. Loss Rates are a term for packages which are lost in transit, either because of damage, shipper error, or theft (usually theft).

Hilariously, if you go by the info on their wiki page, they were right in the middle of one of the worst areas for shipping theft in the country.

This is an awesome idea, and I'm honestly surprised no other company has considered this. Hopefully they do something like this in Australia.

Couldn't you rent games at Blockbuster?

As I live in Canada, a market Netflix doesn't bother servicing, I don't care a whit about the competition. Blockbuster exists here and if they actually served their customers in the GWN with a mail service for movies and games they'd have NO COMPETITON!. ZIP.ca is still a nogo on games...

I think this will give them a boost, but a small one. The biggest problem is that if I take, say 3 weeks, to beat a video game, will I be going without my weekly movie for that time?

If BB makes it so you have one game and one movie out at a time, I think they could get a leg-up as people could consolidate their Netflix and GameFly into a possibly lower payment. Otherwise, I don't think it will do them any good.

Wandrecanada:
As I live in Canada, a market Netflix doesn't bother servicing, I don't care a whit about the competition. Blockbuster exists here and if they actually served their customers in the GWN with a mail service for movies and games they'd have NO COMPETITON!. ZIP.ca is still a nogo on games...

If Netflix was smart they'd buy Zip.ca and get and almost assuredly have an account with virtually every XBL Gold subscriber. Naw instead they try to stream HD capable movies to the Wii so owners can watch them in SD... It's almost as bad as the Hulu disease.

If they also incorporated the Watch Instantly service type of thing, this would be enough to get me to consider moving from Netflix to Blockbuster. I'd say that Netflix is way wrong on this one, I'd love to get both from one service instead of having to have two subscriptions.

qbanknight:
And don't even bother with a PSX disk, the PS3 will just laugh in your face.

Wrong. I play all of my old PSX games on my PS3 all the time. FFVII, VIII, Crash Bandicoot, Jet Moto etc. Its just the PS2 games that have troubles, and thats because the environment for those to run in required both a emulation program, and a seperate processing chip. The processing chip was cut from the console in order to drop price.

Suicideking:
GamezNFlix used to do that exact thing. Until they went out of business.

Ah, I miss GamezNFlix. They had everything.

They had books on tape

I've been a Netflix subscriber for about 3 years now, but if Blockbuster does this right, I might be switching over. It's just too convenient to be able to get both movies and games from the same source with no extra fee, rather than subscribing to two separate services.

The VP has a point, but he fails to notice that Madden isn't the only popular game. People are still buying Halo 3 and Modern Warfare despite their releases being over 2 years ago. People would still love to play old games that are diffcult to find and would gladly order from Blockbuster if they had them.

I haven't used Gamefly in years but I recall their turnaround time being pretty slow. I can see the appeal of the combined subscription as I don't think they even offer that in their stores. It's not going to make me switch from Netflix to Blockbuster, though, unless their movie rentals can top Netflix; specifically where new-releases are concerned. We waited months for "Couples Retreat" to hit our mailbox, it was forever in "very long wait" limbo. Same for some other new-releases, which my wife has been trying to circumvent using those Redbox rental kiosks. Only pain with those is having to go to and from them (and waiting behind the yokels who browse forever...know what you want, rent it, get out of the way!) ala the classic video-rental stores. Granted, renting games would probably make my kids happy...the more I type here the more I'm intrigued with BB's proposal. Might have to keep an eye on it, chat with the missus.

might just get a total access membership because it's a gamefly and a netflick in a combo

and now I feel that netflicks will try to merge with gamefly to compete

Hes correct in it being a different model. The amount of time a person needs to watch a movie is predictable. Then with movie watched, they have no reason to keep it. Then with older titles, you only need a couple copies in circulation and they're all but guaranteed to never come to rest.

Video games are vastly different. You can't predict how long someone will want to keep a game, games age exponentially faster than movies, and the next console generation always threatens a near instantaneous invalidation of most of your stock.

So while one to two copies of a movie in circulation can keep hundreds of customers happy, for a game, copies near equal to the demand would need to be maintained to keep any number of customers happy, then once popularity sharply falls, they're left with hundreds to thousands worth of excess inventory.

There's already a service that does this. It's called Gamefly.

Oh sure, I WISH they'd re-introduce, say, NES and Genesis games into their service, but I know they're not gonna.

Poor Blockbuster. I haven't rented a game since I was a kid. Nowadays I see no reason to rent games. I buy them, play them, and eventually sell them in exchange for another game. I feel sorry for Blockbuster because who goes to video store when you can rent movies at the grocery store or local fast food place. I don't think they can do much else besides close up all their retail outlets and jump into the online business with both feet. I can only imagine someone going to the video store out of loyalty and not out of common sense.

Uhhh...Gamefly?

http://www.gamefly.com/

That's what I use. Rent most FPS games. Because they're short.

They'll be beat on TWO fronts. Netflix and Gamefly. Kicking dey ass.

So Blockbuster is becoming Netflix + Gamefly. I can dig it.

go Blockbuster
I really like the store close to where I am, it's very convenient and the people are nice

Blockbuster needs to expand their video game services to include PC games. I'd definately drop Netflix if Blockbuster could send me DVD rentals along with PC games. It'd be the one stop shop for PC entertainment!

Blockbuster: That sounds like a good idea.
Netflix: Hey! That's OUR multimillion dollar genius idea! F*ck off!

You can just smell the hypocrisy . . .

Well, it would mos likely work. Here in britain we have lovefilm, which I use, and that charge extra for the ability to rent games as well s DVDs. I think it's. Good idea for blockbuster, maybe it will make them competitive

Seeing as how I exclusively rent games, this would be a worthwhile feature. My favorite place to rent them has been Blockbuster because up until a few months ago, there were no real late fees for them. You could rent them out for weeks and pay essentially nothing more than a miniscule restocking fee. It made the initially high rental cost so worth it, and they were my store of choice. They've since done away with that business model, which is smart on their part considering the best games were almost impossible to find in after their release date, and I've been forced to go elsewhere.

If they were to start this up I'm absolutely certain it would be a success. There are tons of people subscribing to both Netflix and another by mail service for their games, like GameFly. If someone was able to get both movies and games for the same cost of just one or the other, without a doubt people would flock to it. The real question is can they implement it smoothly? What will the turnaround be like? How will the supply vs. demand be?

If they can get on par with GameFly and Netflix, their will be an immediate shift in power. Also, the the whole argument from Netflix is total and complete B.S. for many reasons. They can easily sell used games on their site, just like they sell used movies. That way when games stop doing well they can turn a nice profit just like Gamestop does on the used games.

qbanknight:
Given that older titles cannot be played on newer consoles (unless you have a PC or download via XBLA, PSN, or WiiWare) Netflix has a good point. DVDs can be played anywhere, even on Blu-Rays, but older video games (even from the last generation) might have backwards compatibility issues with newer consoles. I know the PS3 is the worst of the three, which is a shame since the PS2 had most of the best games of the last console generation. And don't even bother with a PSX disk, the PS3 will just laugh in your face. Downloading older games is a fine option for now, but it would be nice for downloads to have a rent option instead of a purchase option

This was my first thought when I read the article.

Also, I've been using Blockbuster-by-mail for a long time now and if you don't want to play the gaming equivalent of The Blind Side but instead something similar to an obscure HK flick, be prepared for a big fat disappointing "Unavailable" in your queue. Maybe not a problem for many, but still.

We already use a Total Access account to watch tv series season by mail, and exchange in-store for new release movies... We get to catch up on past shows we wish we hadn't missed, and then watch a new Blu-Ray every once in a while.

Adding the chance to preview a game before purchasing it sounds great to me. My PS3 library is very small, both due to monetary constraints, but also because anything I DO own has to have more replayability than simply multiplayer fragfests. (Like finally playing AvP, but not feeling obligated to go online rather than delegate the $40+ disk to coaster duty.). And, if they have an affordable-enough purchase system in place, it'll be just that much cooler to come across a rare gem and keep it.

Well... Blockbuster around here is synonymous with ridiculous pricing and terrible game catalogues. If they actually can let me rent games for pretty much any console without suddenly finding older stuff dropping off the list, then cool. But I doubt it.

Dendio:
Blockbuster needs to expand their video game services to include PC games. I'd definately drop Netflix if Blockbuster could send me DVD rentals along with PC games. It'd be the one stop shop for PC entertainment!

That would be Gametap. http://www.gametap.com/

However beware if you use a 64 bit operating system you won't be able to play the PC games on it. At least thats what happened to me last time I tried to use it. They may have fixed it I don't know.

it actually has a valid point. There are some SHITTy gams out there that will just sit in their warehouses. I'd much prefer a download service or streaming service to game oldies but that mail rent a game thing would be cool for recent titles.

-Ahem- I am actually a Manager at A Blockbuster and this Program they are speaking of is a huge success I can't tell you how many people are so excited that we can do this for them.

if it was fifteen dollars a month and i could have out two movies and one game at a time and it was the "rent to own" set-up then I would be interested.

Well of course the Netflix guy says that, who would want to encourage their competition?

I think it sounds great. I'm a PC gamer, but if I can't rent games, that would encourage me to buy a console too. I would even forgive Blockbuster for buying out Major Video.

What does he mean "Madden 95?" as if they'd be renting out PC games, or cartrages & discs for last generation consoles?

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