Netflix totally changed the way we consume entertainment, forcing the film and television industry to completely rethink the content they make and how they distribute it. Now Gamefly wants to do the same thing for video games.
The two companies have a lot in common. Gamefly is a game rental service that ships videogames to your door on-demand, much like Netflix used to do in the dark ages of DVDs. Now the company wants to use streaming technology to follow Netflix into the lucrative future of live-streamed content.
To make the dream of streamable game rentals a reality, Gamefly has acquired streaming startup Playcast whose technology will power the new service. Rather than let fans choose from any game on the menu a la Netflix, players will have the option to choose from several 7-game bundles priced at $6.99 per month or a premium bundle containing 16 games for $9.99. When the service launches today there will be six bundles to choose from each built around a theme. Introductory bundles include a bundle of Lego games and another pack that’s adventure themed.
This isn’t the first time someone has tried to bring the Netflix model to gaming. Several start-ups have attempted it before only to find that their streaming technology wasn’t up to par. That’s one concern that some critics say Gamefly will have to face, but the company seems confident in the capabilities of Playcast to deliver seamless streaming play.
Gamefly’s biggest competition may come from Sony, which recently introduced its own streaming service, Playstation Now, which lets fans rent games on the PS3. The service doesn’t have any of the streaming problems experienced by earlier generations of streaming services, but it has yet gain much traction with fans leaving the window wide open for platform agnostic Gamefly.
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