Blockbuster To Add Video Games to TotalAccess Service, Netflix Yawns

HackingNetflix has sent word that Blockbuster will be testing video game rentals through their Netflix-variant “TotalAccess”.

Here’s the logic from the Blockbuster release.

“We already rent more video games than any other company, store-based or online, in the nation, so we know our core customer loves games as well as movies,” said Bob Barr, Vice President and General Manager of blockbuster.com. “With this pilot program, we’re laying the groundwork for offering BLOCKBUSTER Total Access customers easy online access to the movies and games they want, through an integrated subscription offering. Plus, according to their plan, they’ll continue to be able to exchange their by-mail rentals both for free in-store movies as well as half-price in-store game rentals. A combination video game and movie online offering — with in-store exchange privileges — is a tremendous value and convenience offering not available through anyone other than Blockbuster.”

HackingNetflix also notes that Netflix has not even considered video games, even advertising the similarly-organized Gamefly on their envelopes.

What do you think, Consumerists? Is this skillful move trying to outflank Netflix and overpower Gamefly, or just another misstep of a living fossil? Leave your thoughts below.

Blockbuster Testing Game Rentals With Total Access Subscription
[Hacking Netflix]
(Photo:northernplateguy)

Comments

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  1. Elcheecho says:

    can’t be worse than NOT offering it.

    • Rhayader says:

      @Elcheecho: Agreed. No down side as far as I can tell.

      • SJActress says:

        @Rhayader:

        I think the downside is the cost of game disc replacement. You rent a DVD out a few dozen times, rendering it unwatchable (because people seem to LOVE touching them with chicken grease all over their fingers and then wiping the disc on their jeans), and the replacement is between $7-$20 wholesale.

        Rent out a game, the cost goes up considerably. Then they’ll try to charge the last person who rented the game for the replacement, leading to a bunch of (justified) pissing and moaning, leading to bad PR, leading to Blockbuster realizing that they suck, yet again.

        • cuchanu says:

          @SJActress: DVD’s that are legal to rent cost considerably more than DVD’s sold directly to the consumer. In general they only charge you a price similar to the consumer price (if you lose or break it), but only because so many people complained about having to pay $70-$100 for a DVD they could buy at Target for $18. I lost a movie and got charged something ridiculous(and of course I didn’t pay and thus I’m not welcome in Blockbuster). Then I saw a press-release saying they aren’t going to do that anymore.

        • U-235 says:

          @SJActress: Yes, but the Netflix lisence of movies are for the super cheap copies with the grey label. I kind of wonder if they don’t just have the ability to reprint the suckers whenever they are lost or damaged.

    • coren says:

      @Elcheecho: I think you must have not dealt with Blockbuster before

  2. Rob Weddle says:

    The appeal of the trade-in-a-movie-at-the-store idea is lost on games if there’s an additional price tag affixed. Either work it into the subscription price (by way of opt-in or a different subscription tier) or don’t offer it at all.

    • Rhayader says:

      @Rob Weddle: Oh there’s an additional charge. Big fail there.

      Like you said, a separate subscription tier would be much better.

    • vliam says:

      @Rob Weddle: Couldn’t agree more.

      Looks like typical Blockbuster operations. Take a good idea that should have been brought to market long ago and botch it completely.

      The only good thing about this plan is that it may be the catalyst to getting Netflix to offer games.

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Good move on Blockbuster’s part, but it won’t do a thing to help their business. You can receive movies and games by mail, but you can only swap movies in store for free. You can’t do the same with games, you’ll only get a discount. So you’re going to either have a plan, receive games by mail, give Blockbuster more money when you go into the store to swap them (having to pay out of pocket because you only get a discount) or you can be patient and send the game back and get the next one you want.

    This is all assuming that the wait time isn’t tremendous.

    • tnpre says:

      @pecan pi:

      If you weren’t one of the first blockbuster.com customers who still get coupons for 2 games (or movies)/mo. for free on top of their normal account. Slight pain in the ass to print out and bring to the store, but great value.

      • NinjaMarion says:

        @tnpre: Yeah, we have that currently, with one free e-coupon per month. It’s very nice to have since they charge like $9 for a game nowadays (hence why you only get like half off if you return a mail movie for a game in-store). You don’t actually have to print off the e-coupon, either. Just write down the number on it and they’ll just punch it in without you having to waste ink and printer paper on it every month.

      • GeekyRobotGirl says:

        @tnpre: I agree, I am one of the few who loves the Blockbuster Total Access program. I was one of the original subscribers, so I get the 2 coupons a month which I use to rent 2 free games in store. I also get unlimited in-store exchanges, and the wait time usually isn’t bad, especially since when you exchange the items in the store, they register the return and ship the new DVD right away. Since there’s a Blockbuster four blocks from my apartment, it ends up being really convenient for me to stop in to trade in my discs. I realize it’s not the same for a lot of people, but it ends up being a great value for me.
        So I, for one, am very excited about being able to rent games through Total Access. If it works out fairly well, that option will keep me as a customer for a long time. I think it is a good move, and I hope it helps them gain some ground on the competitors.

  4. lilspooky says:

    Blockbuster just needs to file chapter 11 and get it over with.

  5. morgasco says:

    Well.. lets see adding more entertainment based services during a time where people are trying to cut back, but hell, anyone that wants to put some competition out there over Gamefly’s service is fine with me.

    • qwickone says:

      @morgasco: actually, playing video games is a cheap way to entertain. I don’t know what a game rental costs, but if you have kids, it’s WAY cheaper to have a few of their friends over to play video games than go out to see a movie. The economy is forcing more people to entertain AT HOME, so it’s not a bad idea. It could have been better (no charge to exchange for another game in-store, for example), but it’s not bad.

      • morgasco says:

        @qwickone: Well, to be honest, they make a lot of money off the poor parents/lazy young adults (like myself) that don’t return their video games on time and get charged for the game itself. But with blockbuster I’ve found you can pretty much keep the game for a month only paying the rental fee (which I get 2 free a month being grandfathered in for video games on the online rentals) and paying the $3 bucks or so “restocking” fee.

  6. Omar Elizondo says:

    It would be worth it. Perhaps a game counts at two movie rentals or something similar. In the sense of renting games via mail it’s a loss. Games are not as cheap as DVD’s and the whole “I never received it” feature simply makes customers keep and/sell their games by claiming they didn’t receive it.

    I would take it cause Gamefly is slow as hell. If you start an account, it takes a week before you even get the game. So, after you start playing it, you only have 3 weeks left before you have to renew your account. That’s not too good.

  7. Jeremy82465 says:

    As much as I can see it as a desperate move to simply compete with netflix, I think it is a good one. As far as I can tell the biggest complaint with Gamefly is their slow turn around due to fewer processing plants than necessary, and I think this would be less of a problem with blockbuster. If I didnt already have netflix I would probably give it a try.

    • MrEvil says:

      @Jeremy82465: Problem is with Blockbuster’s swap in the store program you can only use that service if there’s a Blockbuster corporate store in your area. The stores in my area are all franchises and don’t do in-store swap-outs. Same thing would happen with games. That’s why at first Blockbuster did the free in-store rental coupons, the franchisees had an easy way to get reimbursed.

      Only way Blockbuster could fix this is if they bought back all their franchises and went to corporate operated stores.

  8. Darrone says:

    It’s not a terrible idea, but hardcore gamers, the ideal market for this kind of thing, simply don’t rent their games. And the way gaming is going (with massive increases in live and MMO’s) there is no reason for serious gamers to consider this kind of service.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      @Darrone: Very true. My boyfriend buys his and beats them in a couple days. At least I have a PS3 now so I can just borrow his games.

    • jehurey says:

      @Darrone: If they’re “hardcore gamers” then they’ll beat the game in its entirety and will want to move onto the next game.

      That means a lot of game purchases, and alot of them won’t be able to afford it.

      I’ve already beaten games like Saints Row 2, Prince of Persia, Dead Space, Mirror’s Edge, and Call of Duty World at War within Blockbuster’s 5-day rental limit.

      Imagine how much money I would’ve had to spend to buy those games that came out during November/December last year: $60 each, $300 total.

      I’m not that hardcore to spend $300 during a two month period.

      • downwithmonstercable says:

        @jehurey: Renting doesn’t make sense if you play online, which a lot of hardcore gamers do. Even non hardcore like myself. I play Halo 3 online once a week for an hour or so. The more people start getting into online play, the less relevant renting becomes. Hardcore gamers don’t just beat the game and move to the next, they hang on and play it to death.

        • Corporate_guy says:

          @downwithmonstercable: Some people use renting as a cheap way to try it before buying it.

          • downwithmonstercable says:

            @Corporate_guy: That’s true. But jehurey was referring to hardcore gamers, which I’d bet don’t rent before they buy – they already know exactly what they’re going to buy.

            • SilentBeeker says:

              @downwithmonstercable:
              As a hardcore gamer, I personally think Gamefly is an amazing service. I can’t speak for all hardcore gamers, but (as Bitter says) I always know exactly what games I’m going to buy ahead of time. Thus I rent a ton of lesser known and/or older X360 and DS games that I otherwise would never have touched.

    • BrawlerBarbie says:

      @Darrone: Speak for yourself. I don’t know any hardcore gamers willing to shill out cash for a brand new game they only know through reviews. I know plenty who will rent or pirate one before they buy it, though.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @Darrone: I rent games frequently to try them out before deciding if I want to buy. I’m not hardcore. Beating a game is a big thing for me! But I like to game, and I like to rent so I can see the variety out there.

      The people I usually see renting games are 12-year-old boys or moms or mid-30s gamers like me. Folks who aren’t going to drop a lot of dollars on games, but really enjoy it (or their kids enjoy it).

      • Darrone says:

        @Eyebrows McGee: Again, the point I was mainly pushing here is that hardcore gamers purchase for the long haul. They don’t buy and beat games in the modern business model, they play them online for a few months, and then move on, defeating the purpose of mail-rental system.

        And this system, especially, makes no sense if you plan on buying the game anyway. huge waste.

    • aka Bitter says:

      @Darrone: There are a couple of types of hardcore gamers. One type is fixated on just a few(online) games and another group that are playing nearly every game coming out. This second group is the MOST likely to rent games through a service like this or Gamefly. Don’t believe me? Just listen to any number of gaming podcasts where Gamefly is name dropped pretty regularly.

    • ilves says:

      @Darrone:

      I play a lot of games, but there are definitely some I’d want to keep permanently for online play and some that I can play once and be done. I’d probably rent games like RPG’s and more single-player focused games, but buy the more online type games. I have a PS3, and I’d definitely rent dead space, uncharted, valkyria chronicles, but buy stuff like little big planet, killzone, etc

    • karmaghost says:

      @Darrone: Maybe we all have different ideas on what it means to be a “hardcore” gamer, but I consider myself to be what most people would call hardcore (does that make me un-hardcore?) and if I purchased every game I wanted to play, I’d be broke.

      I purchase games that have appealing online play (COD4, etc.) or lots of replay value (GTA, Fallout 3), but games that I know I have to play but don’t necessarily want to own for a variety of reasons I will rent from Gamefly. This way, I can play all the new games and keep them for as long as I want.

      I’m not sure if you can call yourself a hardcore gamer if you don’t try a decent chunk of the major titles being released each year, but maybe that’s just my interpretation. If I had to buy everything I wanted to play each year, I’d be broke and probably disappointed with most of the titles (even the ones that got good ratings from critics).

  9. semanticantics says:

    I would be much less trusting of Blockbuster and the USPS to handle a $60 game disc vs. a $5 – $20 DVD and any customer service problems that should arise from it.

    • Rob Weddle says:

      @semanticantics: I don’t follow the logic. If they send the games in the same kind envelopes as the movies, then there’s no difference in the risk of loss. If they put the games in a different kind of envelope, though, then yeah, the chances that those movies get “lost” goes way up.

      • semanticantics says:

        @Rob Weddle: My concern is Blockbuster customer service and user agreement (which I am not familiar with, and doesn’t exist yet for games) vs. NetFlix’ses’s great customer service and basically no-fault agreement. It’s more about Blockbuster than NetFlix. And part of why I think NetFlix is great is because the RoI is super high on their cheap DVD’s vs. what is likely possible vs. games.

        • ilves says:

          @semanticantics:

          I use blockbuster and have, a few times, received either the wrong disk or no disk at all, all you do is go on the website and report it missing/incorrect and they ship a new disk immediately,really convenient

      • emis says:

        @Rob Weddle:

        Semanticantics point is that a game costs anywhere from 3-12X what a DVD will cost. From the USPS risk point of view I agree that it’s the same risk… but from the customer-theft “I didn’t get it” point of view it is more risky.

  10. amuro98 says:

    I know some people swear by Blockbuster’s service, but the time I used their trial subscription, I wasn’t impressed. It was a 4 week trial subscription, and I went through 6 discs. 2 of those were replacements for movies that were so scratched up they wouldn’t play at all. Another 2 movies were scratched badly, but they played, so long as we skipped the scene where the scratch was. Unfortunately this meant missing the end of one movie entirely. Oh, and then they claimed they didn’t get one of the movies I mailed back to them. Fortunately they found it.

    So I kept Netflix. In the years I’ve been with them, I’ve only had problems with 1 disc, which Netflix immediately mailed a new one to me even before they got the one I had back.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @amuro98: That’s probably because most people with netflix just rip the dvd and instantly mail it back. Much less chance for scratching.

    • Vastarien202 says:

      @amuro98: I had the same awful experience with Blockbuster, and will never renew my sub.
      Their selection is terrible, the films you want are never sent in any kind of order from your list, most of them are unplayable (one was literally snapped in half!) and they have no older or obscure titles. Don’t even get me started on the dung-heap they call a “Horror Section”.
      Netflix all the way!

  11. Superawesomerad says:

    I think this is a great, logical idea, since the brick and morter Blockbusters rent both movies and videos, but I doubt it will do much to lesson Netflix’s stranglehold on the internet-based rental market.

    Incidentally, why hasn’t Netflix considered adding a video game section? I’m sure they could acquire Gamefly if they wanted to. Is the cost-benefit ratio really that low?

    • GTI2.0 says:

      @Superawesomerad: Netflix makes their money mostly off of renting “older” titles, not the newer ones. Noone wants to rent a 2 year old video game – they want the latest and greatest. The same isn’t mostly true for 90% of movie rentals.

      • zimmi88 says:

        @GTI2.0: I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. Yes, it’s true that the newest and shiniest games will always likely get more interest, but I still believe that there’s a market for “classic” video games that have received a lot of buzz or critical acclaim. People may want to go back and play these games for a variety of purposes (they missed it when it first released, they heard about it from a friend, want to play it again for nostalgia).

        Anyway, I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Netflix add a video game section to its service. It seems like it wouldn’t be much different from their present movie delivery service… it’s all just CDs, after all. Though, I would want to see how much such an add-on service would cost, first.

        (Side note… I’ve heard of Gamefly before… seems interesting, but quite expensive. Anyone know if their service is as good as Netflix?)

        • shmianco says:

          @zimmi88: Gamefly’s service is nowhere near the quality of Netflix. you’ll go days, nay weeks without getting your next disc. and $17.99 for 1 game out at a time makes me wallet cry.

          but seriously, i generally feel that Gamefly has a lot of progress to make before its a service i would recommend to friends and even strangers.

        • Superawesomerad says:

          @zimmi88: Agreed, there’s definitely a market. You can find the newest and shiniest games anywhere, but if you’re looking for anything that wasn’t a smash hit and more than a couple years old, your only option is to attempt to find a used copy from EBay/Amazon marketplace/GameStop. Considering what Netflix has done for smaller independent films, I would be really interested to see what it could do if it brought its resources to bear on a service like GameFly, whose selection, while far better than your average Blockbuster/Gamestop, is still a bit limited.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Superawesomerad: And games are more expensive to produce since they require more memory, more work, with a smaller audience overall. Yes, there are millions of gamers in the U.S., but also many more moviegoers who rent movies.

    • logicalnoise says:

      @Superawesomerad: Netflix has a working relationship with gamefly for a reason. I have no doubt that if gamefly starts producing a large amount of profit and customer satisfaction NF would be very eager to merge/buyout gamefly. In today’s economy NF is just happy to be relatively healthy. making abold play in the game rental market is just BB grasping for straws. I stopped renting games from them when they raised the price to 8.99 per rental. I’d rather roll the dice on a couple games than pay that much to play test them.

  12. 1stMarDiv says:

    Ummm…still won’t give them a dime of my money.

  13. calquist says:

    viva la redbox!

  14. Bladefist says:

    I’ll give them another try. The only reason I left is because of their weekly policy and pricing changes. Maybe things have settled down there.

  15. carefreeamit says:

    I’d rather buy games and sell them once I am done playing them. I just can not get myself to enjoy a game when I know that I have to return it in few days. IMHO Renting movies and renting games are totally different things.

  16. jehurey says:

    I am still one of the original members of the TotalAccess program since early 2006, and even though the price may have risen from about $15 to $20, I still get my TWO Video Game coupons every month.

    It is the reason why I continue the service, three movies at a time, which I can turn into three in-store rentals (and I do not have a 5-rental monthly limit like some other users), and the two video game coupons to top it off.

    The way I see it, it cost $8 to rent a video game at Blockbuster. That means $16 is already justified with my current $21.xx monthly charge (before renting any DVD or BluRay that I want).

    I think they should forget about MAILING video games, simply make the return envelops into a free game rental in-store.

    Either 2 or 3 movie rentals by mail = one video game rental in-store

    It may be because I live in the Dallas area, where Blockbuster HQ is located, but the service has always been great to me.

    • Rob Weddle says:

      @jehurey:

      I think they should forget about MAILING video games, simply make the return envelops into a free game rental in-store.

      A solid idea there. Also reduces overhead from postage.

      Someone give this man a job!

    • ilves says:

      @jehurey:

      Eh, no. The local blockbuster has HORRIBLE selection for games. I went there once to check out what they had, and nothing even remotely appealing was on the shelves. If i did this it’d be mail in with a full catalogue selection or nothing

  17. EBounding says:

    Sounds really complicated and will probably quicken Blockbuter’s demise. The whole “Total Access” thing is already complicated.

    Practically everyone rents movies but game rentals are a niche. I don’t think this going to hurt Netflix at all as long as they stay on top of internet streaming.

  18. samurailynn says:

    This definitely wouldn’t make me a customer of Blockbuster again. I quit using them long before they started their Netflix-esque mailing service, but I know friends who had the mailing service for a while. They said the service was horrible, but they kept it while it was considerably cheaper than Netflix. As the price crept up, they finally decided to drop it and go with Netflix.

    As far as games go, I usually like them because even though I pay $60 for the game, I will usually play it for 12-24+ months. Since I like to keep the game around and keep going back to it, there’s no benefit in a rental service for games to me.

  19. jmndos says:

    Well, since many people are being laid off, and assuming…they have severance packages, they will be on their asses for a very long time, so they will play video games or something….

    The only reason someone would rent games in my opinion is to rip them. I know a lot of people rip the movies too…

  20. DMXParsons says:

    This makes me a tiny bit regretful that I just switched from BB:TA to Netflix. Adding games is something of a no-brainer; I’m surprised it took them this long.

    However, it’s not enough to get me to switch back. Blockbuster needs an answer to Netflix Instant Queue straight to my TV. It’s so good I cancelled my cable.

  21. Rob Weddle says:

    How about this for a leg-up: Since Netflix is now streamable via XBOX 360, how long before you’re able to “rent” DLC for the XBOX 360 straight from Netflix?

  22. Saboth says:

    I think it’s a good idea if they can pull it off. Gamefly sucks, has bad reviews for long turnaround times and stating games are available that aren’t.

    It is the ONLY thing that can give BB a leg up over Netflix.

  23. Michael Lerch says:

    I am all for Netflix adding games. Ironically, just today I ended a 30 day trial of Gamefly. I canceled the account because their shipping was just too slow, the worst being a full 9 days from the morning a game was put in my mailbox to the afternoon I got another game (the best was 4 days, which is close to our usual Netflix turnaround, which is 3).

    I was a person who had no problem paying an extra dollar to get Blu-Ray from Netflix. I would also have no problem paying an extra dollar or two to get games from Netflix. With that said, I’d be interested to see how they’d integrate them. What I would prefer is that if I’m on the 3-at-a-time plan, just let any number of those be games just as any number can now be blu-ray. It might also be nice to change the interface so that I can specify that I want to have two movies and one game. It’s still very important to me that other family members have their own queue and I can manage how many each person can have out.

    In other words, I think games would be GREAT for Netflix to do (or at minimum, partner with GameFly and let them use your distribution network/shipping centers), but there’s a chance they’d screw it up either in price or interface/integration

    • samurailynn says:

      @Michael Lerch: I don’t have a problem paying a little extra for Blu-Ray either. However, I don’t really like the fact that I’m on the absolute lowest account (two total rentals per month for $4.99 + $1.00 for blu-ray) and I still pay the full extra dollar. It would be nice if it was even a little bit tiered, since there’s no way I can rent as many blu-ray movies as someone with the 8-at-a-time unlimited account. Oh well though, $6 for two blu-ray rentals a month is still a lot less than I’d pay to rent two regular movies anywhere else.

    • Ian Dorman says:

      @Michael Lerch: I wish Netflix would just buy out Gamefly and merge the ops on both ends – more distribution centers for both services would be excellent.

      I like the direction Netflix is going with the 360 streaming service, but would like to get actual games as well, as I burn through new titles way too fast to justify buying all of them.

  24. Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

    Netflix is the GOLD STANDARD, bar none. Look at the numbers: Netflix consistently makes a quarterly profit, while Blockbuster is nearing bankruptcy.

    Good move by Blockbuster here; might as well offer something that Netflix doesn’t. Although, I recommend Blockbuster close all their physical stores and concentrate only on mailing/distribution, a la Netflix.

    (But, make sure to offer those employees who work at brick-and-mortar stores a job!)

  25. jehurey says:

    How much does a GameFly account cost?

    $20? $18.99?

    And a Netflix account?

    $7.99? $9.99?

    I’m surprised that Blockbuster simply doesn’t offer this as a $25-$30 monthly subscription to walk into any blockbuster store and rent up to 3 movies at a time and one video game at a time.

    They have all these stores (at least where I live), and I bet you that almost 50% of all the people that visit the store are TotalAccess members who are dropping off their envelopes and picking up movies without paying anything.

    They’re paying to keep stores open, and paying employees, and a large chuck of their walk-ins are people who don’t pay them a dime in-store.

  26. stephenjames716 says:

    die blockbuster…DIE!

  27. Kaellorian says:

    Blockbuster once claimed that I didn’t return a video that I placed in the return slot. Subsequently, I was charged with the purchase price. Having no receipt with with to verify my return, I took my lumps and paid.

    I am a Netflix only person now. I’ll most likely never go back, unless the deal is just too hard to resist.

  28. deadandy says:

    It is completely obvious to anyone else that GameFly is using the Netflix API to run their subscription system and is probably paying Netflix hefty licensing fees? Therefore, I’m not surprised that no counter-move is in the works.

  29. mac-phisto says:

    this is the first bright move i’ve seen blockbuster make in a long time. the industry can obviously use a little competition – most of what i hear about gamefly is…not good. if blockbuster can just match their incompetence, they have an opportunity to turn things around here.

  30. JGKojak says:

    Ya know… I kind of like the idea of walking into Blockbuster, taking 2-3 movies/games I like (you know- instant gratification) and bringing them back whenever.

    BUT… they charge too much and I don’t trust ‘em not to have the 15 year olds working the counter to accurately enter the data that I actually, you know, turned something in and don’t owe them money.

  31. metaled says:

    Blockbuster is also running a racist campaign against the US, in their Mexico Stores. Although we don’t really care up here, they are distributing the “GRINGO” Voodoo Dolls.. You are supposed to stick pins in the “Gringos” to help them Mexico win against the US in a soccer game. Down there, “Gringo” is a derogatory word some compare to the “N” word here. (radioshack dropped out as a sponsor once they found out the details) Way to go Blockbuster!

    You can see them at:
    [www.breitbart.com]

    • samurailynn says:

      @metaled: Part of the reason the “N” word is so derogatory and offensive here has to do with the years of slavery that happened. I don’t know of a time when Mexico enslaved gringos. It’s still a derogatory term, but I don’t see it being on the same level.

      No love for blockbuster here, I just couldn’t care less about the term gringo.

  32. Patrick Gillen says:

    I used to have Blockbuster Total Access because I could get one free video game a month. Then they took it back… so you won’t see me switching back. I love Netflix! It is a much better company!

  33. diasdiem says:

    I would definitely go for this. I got my membership back when you could still trade in as many movies as you wanted a month, and still get a free movie or game rental coupon. I’d like to get games through the mail. Don’t know if it would really help Blockbuster out though. I’d get a game in the mail, keep it until I beat it, and trade it in for a free movie and get the next game through the mail so I don’t spend more than my subscription fee. The only way this would work out is to charge an extra fee for the service (which I’m sure they will) or else instead of a separate movie and game allowance for your account, you combine them so you can have x number of games or movies at a time, so that while you’re spending a couple weeks playing Final Fantasy 12 it’s tying up one of your allowed movies and they’re spending less on you for your subscription fee. This is especially true if the make a video game count as more than one movie. You could spend the better part of a month using your entire allotment on one video game, and there’s a lot less overhead as opposed to when you’d watch two movies a week, turn them in at the store for two free rentals, and continue that for an entire month.

  34. MystiMel says:

    I switched from Blockbuster to Netflix a year or so ago when they informed me they were bumping up my monthly rate $10 and changing the in-store trade in policies. I could get just as many movies for much less at Netflix or more movies for the same price I paid before if I needed them, so I switched. I haven’t regretted it once since.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Blockbuster 3 DVD’s at a time = $35.99
    Netflix 6 DVD’s at a time = $36.99

    Nuff said

  36. valor77 says:

    Blockbuster is a superior value to Netflix because of the in-store exchanges, and because Netflix throttles back delivery speed when you rent too many movies a month. In store exchanges prevent this, and allow a BB customer to get basically any movie, any time. Now video games too? It simply adds to the value of a Blockbuster subscription and validates my choice of BB over Netflix.

  37. Twinrevanoe says:

    Games are 8 bucks a pop in Blockbuster, while movies are 4 bucks a pop.

    I can see why they’re doing a discount on the games you turn in at the store, seeing how they’re a bit more expensive to rent. Hell, I would try this out if it means not wasting 8 bucks each time I want to rent a game and to get the discount.

    Plus, with the free 2 games/ 2 movies printable coupon atop your plan is good too. :D

  38. halo969 says:

    If I didn’t already get all my rentals for free (thank you Discovercard cash back), I’d be willing to try this service. We have a few different gaming systems in the house yet don’t play often enough to justify buying all the games that look interesting.

  39. parad0x360 says:

    Im going to have to look into this. I love Netflix and I love the instant view on my 360 but depending on how this Blockbuster thing works I might have to consider joining because I spend a boatload on games and at the same time I’ve been a member of Gamefly and they are terrible.

  40. Ashley Bryant says:

    Also Blockbuster is going to continue to loose customers until they open up their TA to all of the movie options Netflix has, i watch a lot of foreign films which i cant get at Blockbuster, you can pretty much find anything at netflix!!!!

  41. james says:

    I think the BB service is actually better than Netflix. The thing is that BB has generated so much ill will that people still prefer to use Netflix. I have BB because it is exactly the same price as Netflix to the penny, but I can turn the movies in at the local store and get rentals immediately. Since I never go near a mail box, this is very convenient. I may start using the game rentals now that they are cheaper.

  42. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been with Blockbuster online since 2006. I have many, many friends who are with Netflix. Blockbuster just works out better for me. My wife and I are not only movie buffs, but huge TV series viewers (on DVD). I have the Total Access subscription with one free movie or game coupon a month. I can take my 3 movie envelopes to the store for 3 more movies instantly.

    I take advantage of this often. We pretty much have an online and “offline” queue. Usually because of this system I have six DVD or Blu-Ray discs at my home. And since my daughter was born almost two years ago, I haven’t had as much money to splurge on games as I did in years past, so the coupon to use for a game rental every month (which by the way, I can keep for two weeks — thank you Blue Rewards!) is invaluable.

    All in all I’m very happy with Blockbuster’s service. Of course, it does help that I have 5, yes I said 5 Blockbusters within 15 minutes of my house. If I lived out in BFE, I would probably go with Netflix.

  43. chuckv says:

    I’ll take Netflix’s ability to watch stuff on my computer/xbox over blockbuster’s ability to rent games

  44. dktcluff says:

    It’s about time! I like BBs Total Access. Works great for us. Glad to see they’ll include games.

  45. radiochief says:

    It’s both. It is a good thing and a mis-step.

    Good for present customers, as long as BB lasts.

    A mis-step because this will not keep BB in business one minute longer.

  46. Ayo says:

    I always thought they should have done this in the first place…

  47. Steve Walker says:

    Here is why blockbuster rules and gamefly is for douchetards:

    1. You can rent your game from blockbuster, instore, for $8.50.
    2. You can keep said game upto 20 days, and then they charge the balance of the game to your credit card.
    3. Upon returning said game (at ANY time, 1 year later in some of my cases) and pay a $1.50 restocking fee, and they credit the game cost back to you credit card.

    Thats any game you want ($60 in most cases) for as long as you want, for a total commitment of $10. Great for crappy games you can only play once, or bad ass games you just don’t feel like owning, but will keep for months.

    GAMEFLY (refered to herein as :DoucheTards)

    1. Douchetards only have 4 mailing hubs nationwide for sending and receving video games. (NetFlix has over 30)
    2. Go ahead and spend your $10 a month on Douchetard service, because it will take you 2-3 weeks to get a game from them.
    3. And even if you REALLY like the game and want to keep it for a whole year…your still paying 10 bucks a month.
    You’ve now paid $120 for 1 game. Solid work.

    I just think it’s easier to combine the fact i can go instore or by mail to receive or return my game. And it’s a much better deal for us super lazy video gamers in the long run.

    DOUCHTARDS…sorry….I just felt like it need it one more time.

    • Twinrevanoe says:

      @Steve Walker: You have a point there, minus the Douchetard thing. I always got giddy when I had just enough money to rent a game at Blockbuster. Even more giddy when I was nearing a free rental. :D

      “Hey, I think we’re nearing a free rental. *look at old receipt, GASP*YES, WE ARE! lets snatch up a movie! :D!”

  48. Mike Snoonian says:

    My own take on it’s here: [tinyurl.com]

    Figure it is a matter of time before Netflix offers it, especially if Blockbuster makes inroads to their subscriber base.

  49. grapedog says:

    that would be my concern…right now with Netflix, if I report a disk as never arriving, no big deal they send another one out. How does Gamefly combat this problem now? I can’t imagine Blockbuster sticking on to this notion very long if every other customer is not receiving their disks in the mail on occasion, through malicious intent or just plain them never getting delivered.