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Posted by Alex (2179 posts) -
When reached for comment, Extreme GameFly Subscriber Kid said: "WHAT NETFLIX WHO CARES I'M GONNA PLAY THESE GAAAAAAMES!!!! WOOOO PARTY!!! *GUITAR SOLO NOISES*"

Yesterday's news that Netflix...erm, Qwikster (never going to get used to that) would be diving into the realm of mail order video game rentals was, frankly, a bit of a shocker. After previously going to great lengths to make video game rentals sound like the least useful business proposition this side of selling ice machines to Eskimos, the sudden shift in policy caught everyone off-guard.

Given Netflix/Qwikster's rather elaborate and well-oiled distribution system, some (myself included) have prophecized that this could be a rather significant blow to GameFly, currently the leading dealer of rentable video games in existence today. GameFly's massive library of games, not to mention relatively paltry competition from the likes of Blockbuster and Redbox, have ultimately left the company atop the heap for a number of years now, despite significant issues among some customers when it comes to availability of titles and delays in shipping.

Reaching out for comment on the Netflix situation, Joystiq received an official response from GameFly today, albeit one that doesn't exactly sound like the words of a company looking to get into any manner of pissing contest over this whole thing. Rather than addressing the Netflix situation straight on, the statement rather simply dances around it by instead choosing to focus on the things that GameFly has done to improve its service over the years, and remind everyone that hey, they've still got a bunch of games.

"GameFly has expanded steadily over the past nine years by focusing exclusively on video gamers. We are the only retailer offering games physically and digitally for both rental and purchase," GameFly responded in a statement when asked about Qwikster. "Gamers can try before they buy, choosing from new releases and classic titles that span the last decade. GameFly has more than 8000 games for 10 console and handheld systems to choose from, and over 1500 Windows/Mac games are available for download."

"GameFly is the leading video game rental service, and we have continued to grow even as Blockbuster and Redbox increased their investment in console games."

That statement is a lot funnier if you imagine the communications director who came up with it histrionically dictating it to a freaked out intern while periodically pausing to hyperventilate into a paper bag and wash down handfuls of Ativan with a comically over-sized bottle of Zima. And maybe they're wearing a clown wig for some reason. Just try it, it's hilarious.

While nobody knows just yet exactly how committed Qwikflix/Netster is in terms of its upcoming video game initiative--issues like additional rental fees and the extent of their library have yet to be addressed--subscribers to GameFly's service can at least presumably rest easy now knowing that GameFly is totally not worried about any of this, and will not be reacting in a desperate, unpredictable manner to try and retain subscribers in the face of growing costs and competition by, say, splitting out their business into two distinct businesses that each do half of the thing the original business already did. Not that any company would be so frivolous in its business planning to act with such rash and bizarre behavior. That would just be suicidal.

In other, probably unrelated news, Netflix's stock dropped 7% today. Super weird, right?

Staff
#1 Posted by Alex (2179 posts) -
When reached for comment, Extreme GameFly Subscriber Kid said: "WHAT NETFLIX WHO CARES I'M GONNA PLAY THESE GAAAAAAMES!!!! WOOOO PARTY!!! *GUITAR SOLO NOISES*"

Yesterday's news that Netflix...erm, Qwikster (never going to get used to that) would be diving into the realm of mail order video game rentals was, frankly, a bit of a shocker. After previously going to great lengths to make video game rentals sound like the least useful business proposition this side of selling ice machines to Eskimos, the sudden shift in policy caught everyone off-guard.

Given Netflix/Qwikster's rather elaborate and well-oiled distribution system, some (myself included) have prophecized that this could be a rather significant blow to GameFly, currently the leading dealer of rentable video games in existence today. GameFly's massive library of games, not to mention relatively paltry competition from the likes of Blockbuster and Redbox, have ultimately left the company atop the heap for a number of years now, despite significant issues among some customers when it comes to availability of titles and delays in shipping.

Reaching out for comment on the Netflix situation, Joystiq received an official response from GameFly today, albeit one that doesn't exactly sound like the words of a company looking to get into any manner of pissing contest over this whole thing. Rather than addressing the Netflix situation straight on, the statement rather simply dances around it by instead choosing to focus on the things that GameFly has done to improve its service over the years, and remind everyone that hey, they've still got a bunch of games.

"GameFly has expanded steadily over the past nine years by focusing exclusively on video gamers. We are the only retailer offering games physically and digitally for both rental and purchase," GameFly responded in a statement when asked about Qwikster. "Gamers can try before they buy, choosing from new releases and classic titles that span the last decade. GameFly has more than 8000 games for 10 console and handheld systems to choose from, and over 1500 Windows/Mac games are available for download."

"GameFly is the leading video game rental service, and we have continued to grow even as Blockbuster and Redbox increased their investment in console games."

That statement is a lot funnier if you imagine the communications director who came up with it histrionically dictating it to a freaked out intern while periodically pausing to hyperventilate into a paper bag and wash down handfuls of Ativan with a comically over-sized bottle of Zima. And maybe they're wearing a clown wig for some reason. Just try it, it's hilarious.

While nobody knows just yet exactly how committed Qwikflix/Netster is in terms of its upcoming video game initiative--issues like additional rental fees and the extent of their library have yet to be addressed--subscribers to GameFly's service can at least presumably rest easy now knowing that GameFly is totally not worried about any of this, and will not be reacting in a desperate, unpredictable manner to try and retain subscribers in the face of growing costs and competition by, say, splitting out their business into two distinct businesses that each do half of the thing the original business already did. Not that any company would be so frivolous in its business planning to act with such rash and bizarre behavior. That would just be suicidal.

In other, probably unrelated news, Netflix's stock dropped 7% today. Super weird, right?

Staff
#2 Edited by NakAttack (1289 posts) -

awesome stuff

Edit: Hopefully the competition between the two will lower prices for renting games

#3 Posted by Sinful (211 posts) -

hmm i seee

#4 Posted by ch3burashka (5084 posts) -

FYI, you fucked up on the image caption. He's supposed to be Extreme Gamefly Subscriber Kid. Good article, despite the actual news regarding Netflix being shitty. We had a grand time together, Netflix, you and I...

#5 Edited by Cyrisaurus (455 posts) -

I've had GameFly for 4 years now. I can essentially buy new games for $40 or less (even if I'm the first person to receive that copy of a game, I still get the used price) with the bonuses I've gotten after being a member for a year.

It sucks that I can't just drop the service for one month every now and then and then get back on board without losing my rewards.

#6 Posted by chickdigger802 (502 posts) -

"Dig Deeper into Disaster: Day of Crisis"

lmfao. Alex turning a dull press release into something interesting to read.

#7 Posted by TonicBH (271 posts) -
#8 Posted by ICryCauseImEmo (522 posts) -

@NakAttack said:

awesome stuff

Edit: Hopefully the competition between the two will lower prices for renting games

kinda agree although game fly's 15 dollar rental isn't TOO bad it's the shipping that makes me still hesitant. On the other side with "qwikster" their shipping was one of the reasons I stuck with netflix however, they are still forcing you to get the DVD movies and the games are an added option. I Just want the damn games not the stupid DVDs thats kinda why I stopped paying for Netflix in the first place?

#9 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

I just dont see why netflix is being so stupid. Its like they were becoming an extremely big bubble, and instead of trying to stop it from popping they are actively trying to stab it with pins.

#10 Posted by Vincenzo (140 posts) -

Gamefly is terrible. Every time I sign up, it takes days upon days to get the games I want. Sometimes there are 2 or 3 games I want. They say. Add like 10 games to your "Q". Sometimes, I do not wish to be pushed into such a ludicrous act if all I want to play consists of two actual games.

I hope Netflix comes in and eats their lunch, at least some of it, or at least the part that I wanna enjoy, meaning...games I actually want to play and not wait 3-5 days or more to play them.

#11 Posted by RandomAtom (89 posts) -

This news, while I don't particularly care, has piqued my interest thanks to this hilarious article.

#12 Posted by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -

Gamefly should ignore it, and continue to improve upon their service. The financial world is writing Netflix off due to its own blunders, much like how the gaming world is writing Sony off due to its own blunders.

#13 Posted by GenghisJohn (256 posts) -

I have no idea what the price will be or how the service will be, but I am so dumping Gamefly for Kwi- I can't even type it.

I'm leaving Gamefly for the other place

#14 Edited by Alex_Carrillo (281 posts) -

I've had consistently shitty experiences with Gamefly. Sure, you shouldn't expect to get new games immediately a day or two after its release, but it fucking takes an entire months for once new games to become available.

I learned from others to send back games 2 or 3 days before a new game's release to ensure I get to play it within the month. It's ridiculous. And I live in Los Angeles! There's a distribution center here.

I had about 8 games, granted they were all new releases, but not a single one was sent. I spent a week without getting a single game.

I'm sick of playing these games. Hopefully this lights a fire in their ass.

#15 Posted by Swoxx (3001 posts) -

Why should they feel compelled to say shit to anyone except shareholders?

#16 Posted by SaucyGit (13 posts) -

I use redbox (though limited in choice) for games when GF is too slow. 3 to 5 days which seems to be the standard where I live (WI). If Netflix can do games in a day then GF is over. I seem to recall 6 months ago GF was claiming netflix was getting preferable treatment though the postal service and GF envelopes were being ignored for fast delivery too. I haven't seen an improvement since.

#17 Posted by Vincenzo (140 posts) -

@Alex_Carrillo: That's the same type of shit that happened to me on several occasions.

#18 Posted by Undeadpool (4944 posts) -

@Jmangino said:

@NakAttack said:

awesome stuff

Edit: Hopefully the competition between the two will lower prices for renting games

kinda agree although game fly's 15 dollar rental isn't TOO bad it's the shipping that makes me still hesitant. On the other side with "qwikster" their shipping was one of the reasons I stuck with netflix however, they are still forcing you to get the DVD movies and the games are an added option. I Just want the damn games not the stupid DVDs thats kinda why I stopped paying for Netflix in the first place?

Prices are here to stay, I'm just going to come and declare. They're mostly used to cover shipping costs (Netflix spends $600,000,000/year in shipping alone) and since the USPS continues to flag, the price of shipping is only going to increase. What I'm hoping is that this spurs Gamefly into ACTUALLY CARRYING GAMES. It's absolutely insane that their inventory goes from "Available Now" to "Low/Very Low" on every single new title within the first day. Not after, but ON.

#19 Posted by sirdesmond (1241 posts) -

If Qwikster can offer Netlix DVD level availability/shipping speeds and is around $10-12 a month total, I think just about every gamer would be for that (I know I would).

I'm not sure how it is now but I used Gamefly a while back and it was terrible. It'll be nice to see them finally get some real competition.

#20 Posted by MeatSim (10861 posts) -

There taking the wait and see approach.

#21 Posted by Lotan (217 posts) -

Yeash, a 7% drop is huge money.

#22 Posted by Dawglet (312 posts) -

@Cyrisaurus said:

I've had GameFly for 4 years now. I can essentially buy new games for $40 with the bonuses I've gotten after being a member for a year.

It sucks that I can't just drop the service for one month every now and then and then get back on board without losing my rewards.

Does their rental system favor long term members too? I recently started my subscription again and I haven't been able to get shit when it comes to new releases.

Back when I had an account with level 3 rewards I was able to easily get new releases, just as long as I didn't have a game out and had it in my queue when it released.

#23 Posted by EveretteScott (1491 posts) -

@Cyrisaurus said:

I've had GameFly for 4 years now. I can essentially buy new games for $40 or less (even if I'm the first person to receive that copy of a game, I still get the used price) with the bonuses I've gotten after being a member for a year.

Same exact reason I've stayed with Gamefly.

#24 Posted by Hector (3365 posts) -

I love reading Alex's articles. I can hear his voice while reading it.

#25 Posted by wickedsc3 (1046 posts) -

Gamefly takes to long to get here and I could never get new releases. If qwikster address both of these issues they will have my business.

#26 Edited by Salu (2 posts) -

@Vincenzo said:

Gamefly is terrible. Every time I sign up, it takes days upon days to get the games I want. Sometimes there are 2 or 3 games I want. They say. Add like 10 games to your "Q". Sometimes, I do not wish to be pushed into such a ludicrous act if all I want to play consists of two actual games.

I hope Netflix comes in and eats their lunch, at least some of it, or at least the part that I wanna enjoy, meaning...games I actually want to play and not wait 3-5 days or more to play them.

Hear, hear.

#27 Posted by LordCmdrStryker (346 posts) -

I actually had Gamefly for about 4 months. Twice during those four months it took them almost 4 weeks to send me the ANY game on my list even though there were more than a dozen on there, none of them were new, and they all had good availability. I don't know if someone had their head stuck up their ass or what, but I refuse to pay for a service where I don't get anything for almost a month.

Netflix, on the other hand, has always rocked, so I'll definitely keep my subscription to Qwikster.

#28 Posted by ICryCauseImEmo (522 posts) -

@Undeadpool: Yeah i'v been looking into getting Gamefly for a long time still can't commit yet. I had it for a few months when I was like 16 a good 8 years ago. I'm sure their service has certainly improved since than. But I have still heard issues with brand new releases which kind of sucks. I've fine with playing older games I'v missed however to get a new title is kind of what I want in the service.

#29 Posted by Klaimore (948 posts) -

I other words fuck you guys we are not going anywhere.

#30 Posted by Nadafinga (958 posts) -

Alex doesn't so much report the news as just flat out make fun of it.

I approve.

#31 Posted by RE_Player1 (7560 posts) -

What did you expect them to say? We're glad we have serious competition now?

#32 Posted by Zidd (1846 posts) -

I canceled my gamefly account ages ago due to pathetic turnaround time.

#33 Posted by Diablos1125 (179 posts) -

@NakAttack said:

awesome stuff

Edit: Hopefully the competition between the two will lower prices for renting games

We can only hope

#34 Posted by angryemu (79 posts) -

I've had nothing but good experiences with Gamefly, personally. Games are turned around in a couple days and I usually get new releases. I've gotten Dead Island on release date and I'm expecting Gears 3 in my mailbox when I get home. I understand that my experience is NOT typical, though.

#35 Posted by Cyrisaurus (455 posts) -

@Dawglet: Their rewards stop after one year. After that you just continue getting $5 every 3 months.

#36 Posted by HairyToeKnuckles (123 posts) -

Gamefly sucks the sweat off of a dead dog's balls. I had always said if Netflix (with their excellent turn-around times and service) were to start a game rental service, I would be all over that. And so...

#37 Posted by SteamPunkJin (1286 posts) -

I love how everyone is shitting the bed over Netflix and their Streaming thing. Please wake the fuck up, the internet is not free magic - it costs people on all ends to keep the shit up and running, stop being whinny and entitled. Our country (USA) has pretty piss poor net penetration, I'd like to see that addressed before we get up in arms over having to pay our own way.

#38 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2688 posts) -

I had GameFly for a year and a half and it was a horrible pile of shit. Maybe this will increase competition and quality.

#39 Posted by Melos (239 posts) -

Yeah, GameFly ignoring Netflix/Qwikster's move to rent games might not be bright, but at least they aren't the absolute daft assholes who are constructing a large Family Video building where I live. I imagine they will provide nothing but VHS tapes, judging from the circa 1987 signage they're using for their brand new store. But hey, at least they aren't using that abandoned Blockbuster building down the street, since the location was probably the only problem that place had, right?

#40 Posted by mrangryface (775 posts) -

Stupid name, Netflix- stupid name.

#41 Posted by beritbunny (25 posts) -

Good sir, I believe you meant to use "prophesied" rather than "prophecized" in the second paragraph.

Your imagery of the GF think tank is, of course, hysterical, and furthermore I agree with your opinion on how ridiculous Netflix's whole "divide-and-destroy" strat is.

#42 Posted by guypussy (29 posts) -

GF's statement reads like an "About Us" page.

#43 Posted by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -

They got 99 problems and Qwikster ain't 1. 
 
/swag thread

#44 Posted by SmithCommaJohn (141 posts) -

On the plus side, they seem to have slightly improved the Photoshop job in the placeholder image on the Qwikster has improved slightly.

#45 Posted by NinjaCommando (102 posts) -

Just like how I ignore GameFly.

#46 Posted by BlatantNinja23 (930 posts) -

@Undeadpool: gotta have the game in your Q before its out :)

#47 Posted by Alex_Carrillo (281 posts) -

@Nadafinga said:

Alex doesn't so much report the news as just flat out make fun of it.

I approve.

Ditto.

#48 Posted by Alex (2179 posts) -

@Pessimisten: I think you're super special too. Thanks, guy.

Staff
#49 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

@Pessimisten: Dude, get a life.

#50 Posted by stillalive (19 posts) -

Even though this doesn't really effect me (I've never used either service and have no plans to start) this article was a great read. Nice one, Alex!

(The "filed under" was a nice touch. :P)