Blockbuster hasn’t exactly had a lot of success in their
battle with Netflix in the movies-by-mail field, so now the company’s aiming to
Starting immediately, customers of Blockbuster By Mail are
able to rent video games for all the major console systems. The company says it
has over 3,000 titles available.
Netflix does not currently rent games.
There’s no additional charge for the service and users can
have as many titles as their plan allows (game rentals do count to the total,
though – so if a user is on a plan that only allows 3 disc rentals, they can’t
have three games and three films).
Blockbuster’s not the first to try games-by-mail. GameFly
has a long-established business built around this very model. But this could be
a niche that Blockbuster will do well with. GameFly customers have complained
regularly about the availability of hot titles and long ship times. Blockbuster’s
infrastructure and size – along with the ability to rent films and games – could
give it an advantage over GameFly. But that company is hardly coming unarmed to this fight.
GameFly is in the midst of ramping up for an IPO later this year. The company, which is hoping to raise $50 million, currently has 334,000 subscribers and a library of 7,000 titles, more than twice as many as Blockbuster will initially offer.