December 20th, 2011
Realizing that games will soon follow movies and music to an all digital world, catridge and disc rental company Gamefly this week released a new download client and "unlimited play" service for PC games. While I'm encouraged by anyone contributing to the PC gaming ecosystem, I'm dissapointed in the new service for the following reasons:
- The "unlimited" library of games is terribly limited. Assassin's Creed and World of Goo look nice, but not a lot of other titles jump out at me. As such, why would any PC gamer pay $8/month to Gamefly to access said titles with an account? Even the game client, formerly known as Direct2Drive, is limited (no where near the number of games as Steam.)
- Gamefly primarily appeals to console gamers. When coupled with the above, this "unlimited PC play" service, available to all Gamefly members at no additional cost, feels more like scraps than a true, stand alone service, especially since almost all of the Gamefly members are heavy console users. Upwards of half of all PC gamers also own and play consoles, so I could see this working for some. But again, why use the service if it's even more lacking in games than even OnLive (which has its own issues with game shortages).
I'm willing to give Gamefly a grace period to ramp up the service, but I can't help but think this thing is half baked. Obviously game publishers are notoriously stingy in moving away from physical media, so that's a contributing factor. And I could see the service as a pro in introducing console gamers to the PC experience.
But for PC gaming, companies like Gamefly are gonna have to do a whole lot better to entice gamers away from the wonderful Steam.
That's just me, though. What do you think of Gamefly unlimited PC games? And would you be interested in an unlimited, Netflix style PC game service? If so, what would it take to interest you?
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