Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blockbuster trying to bust Gamefly

A while ago Blockbuster started to go after Netflix with their own through the mail rental service. Now it looks like they have Gamefly in their sites. Blockbuster announced that it would be allowing video games rentals as part of your mail subscription at no extra cost and not at a bad cost either. Three disc out at a time would run you $19.99. This could be any combo of movies or games.

If you are already a Blockbuster customer this is great. If not it would make you think about becoming a customer. There are problems with the service though. My biggest problem is that games are available for rent months after they come out. For example Madden 11 which was released August 10th will not be available on Blockbuster until November 23.

While for some people this might not be a problem, most Gamefly customers want games when they are released. It was so much of a concern that I e-mailed them to comment on it. Here's what I wrote.

Hey,


I love the fact that you are now renting video games through the mail as well but I've noticed that you have games available to rent months after they have come out.  If you really want to compete with Gamefly this isn't going to work.  People who use gamefly want games when they come out.  Hopefully you guys will fix this and will have good success with this program.



With in a couple of hours Fernando e-mailed this back to me.
I appreciate your feedback regarding the new feature that we have for games.

Our new video games have been scheduled a release at a latter day in order for our online buyers to receive sufficient inventories from the studios; thus increasing the availability of the game titles all for your viewing pleasure in the near future. In any case, we take feedback and suggestions seriously and welcome them as a valuable tool needed to improve the quality of our service. I've submitted your feedback to the appropriate department for review.


To ensure consistency in shipping, we recommend keeping 10 or more available movies in your Queue. You can also set your preferences for shipments based on speed vs. Queue order. Go to My Account; Manage Account Settings; and choose Speed vs. Queue ship preferences. We'll ship your next movies within 1 to 2 business days once your queue meets our recommendations.


Should you have further concerns, please let me know.

While I hope they do well it's hard for me to see many Gamefly customers swapping since games will not be available until months after they are released.  You do have the option of taking disc to the store and swapping them out.  This way you could get games faster.  However on their website it says that you can swap movies out and games for a "discounted rate".  Also you get five swaps a month and they seem to have a due date if you get them from a store.

With all of this it seems like Blockbuster isn't wanting to fully commit to making this work.  Until they are I don't see this plan working.


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