It’s Over: Blockbuster Closes Doors For Good

Published 10 months ago by

Blockbuster Closing

Rental giants like Blockbuster were a staple to everyone who grew up before the new millennium. Before digital content delivery systems like Steam, Origin and Netflix came to the scene, rental stores were the spots where families and gamers would go to find and rent games and movies on home video for weekend get-togethers and as a much more affordable way to try out games.

Once it became both cheaper and easier to get content delivered digitally however, rental stores had no real advantage over their competition and began to report huge profit loses. A similar situation ocurred a few years ago, when the newspaper and magazine industry started losing subscriptions after most people realized online websites (like Game Rant!) could provide content much faster and without cost (we’re sorry, New York Times.)

As of this week, the former giant of the rental industry will be closing its franchise doors for good in the United Kingdom, prompting the end of a long and struggling  era. The European Blockbuster stores have been having a horrid financial year, with the entire organization being put into administration this January. To stem the hemorrhaging of money, the administrators closed 324 outlets in January, 72 in November, and 62 more in the last week. With only 91 stores remaining, it was finally announced this week that the last of the surviving outlets were to be closed, resulting in 808 employees losing their jobs. Mass layoffs are always a tragic event, and we wish those employees the best of luck in finding new employment.

Blockbuster Competition

Blockbuster tried the online market, but failed to make a name for itself among the competition.

In an interview with BBC News, Simon Thomas and Nick O’Reilly – members of the administration in charge of trying to save the company- said their decision to shut down the stores wasn’t an easy on to make, but having failed to find a buyer for the franchise, they were left with no real alternatives:

“It is with regret that we have to make today’s announcement, we appreciate this is a difficult time for all concerned and would like to thank staff for their professionalism and support over the past month. Unfortunately, we were unable to secure a buyer for the group as a going concern and as a result had to take the regrettable action to close the remaining stores.”

Blockbuster attempted to bring games to their online rental service in early 2000 but were too late to the game to win back the exponentially growing Netflix crowd. The company’s inability to look ahead and/or adapt quickly was their downfall.

The brick-and-mortar shopping experience is entering a new generation of competition, with a global market of providers like Amazon and eBay threatening places like traditional book stores and movie entertainment providers. Stores like GameStop survive on an emphasis of trade-in profits and exclusive promotions, whilst places like Best Buy sell of other products, namely electronics. Only time will tell if digital delivery will prove to be their Grim Reaper, but it ultimately results in an easier and more affordable experience for the consumer.

What do you think, Ranters? Are you sad to see Blockbuster go, or has that store been off your mind for quite some time?


Follow John Jacques on Twitter @Makelevi.

Source: EuroGamer

TAGS: Blockbuster


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  1. im actually bummed out that blockbuster is gone, I liked the experience of going to blockbuster (or any other movie/game rental store) and browsing to find a movie or game, and even renting a game im not completely sure about yet, our society now is at a point of “I must have it right now this very instant without having to get off my fat a**” and its pretty sad that the whole gimme gimme now now now culture has trumped patience and the action of actually getting up and going somewhere because that apparently is too inconveniencing to actually participate in physical movement to get what you want, I would gladly like to see things like redbox and Netflix go away to be able to have places like this come back

    • Agreed

  2. God-forbid we actually leave the house and walk on our two legs every now and then… Even to do something lazy like watch a movie now people demand to be lazy in order to be lazy…

    • The whole point is that you don’t have to waste the time you do spend off your ass by going to Blockbuster.

      • And the whole point now is that you never spend any time off your ass…

        • Considering your avatar is of a future robot, your point, which I totally agree with, seems funny considering the future may include many robots doing everything for us.

      • Read my comment again….Fat people ruin everything.

  3. there’s still other movie places! theres one still right near where i live :P its not a chain, but still

    • I have a few like that around here, but BlockBuster and HollyWood Video just remind me of a different time. Stores like those, the local small scale ones, are all that remains of that era now and it sucks in all honesty. I like redbox because I prefer physical copies, but I like renting from a store clerk, going to a place and browsing like I use to as a kid.

  4. Meh, I stopped going to Blockbuster in 96/7 when they stopped supporting the Mega Drive (this was before I got a PS1) and realised that I’d seen most of the films they had that were any good and I was old enough to watch (being 11).

    Should I also point out that Netfilx came to this country 10 years after Blockbuster added online game rental.

    • okay so you stopped when the newer gens of games came around .See now thats just stupid I guess you enjoyed having your mother spend 40-50 dollars just for one single title while that money could’ve been use on something else.

  5. Kinda sad to see them go, Blockbuster was somewhat nostalgic to me. But all things must come to an end at one point. And I guess it’s their time… But I still have several overdue movies and games from them haha

  6. Rest in peace, Blockbuster.

  7. I am so happy blockbuster is gone. They would always run out of what you wanted to rent. They would charge you exorbitantly high prices and would make you fill out paperwork the length of a mortgage agreement just to sign up. They would also charge late fees and make you stress having to return the movie on time. Blockbuster was a s***** company that took advantage of their customers and it cost them big. Even when they tried to copy the redbox format they would still charge 4 dollars for movie rentals while redbox charges a dollar. They eventually got beat out by better competition. Plain and simple

    • @Mike

      So, instead of being happy that an entire business is gone, workers out of jobs, and people who actually liked Blockbuster not have the option anymore, you can simply NOT GO TO BLOCKBUSTER if you didn’t like it…

  8. Good bye sir :[

  9. While I did enjoy renting at blockbuster I’m glad to see them killed off. Not only am I a fan of online renting I also hold a grudge against blockbuster. They killed the mom and pop movie rentals. Once upon a time you could rent movies at 1.99 new release or the .99 special. Mom and pop even had the 5 movies for $5 weekends. Blockbuster bought everyone out and jacked up the price. Then there was that whole we have no late fees (but they can charge you for the movie even after you try to return it), then we have late fees again.
    I will miss the lets go out and rent a movie nights, but the extreme smack to the wallet by blockbuster I won’t.

  10. I miss going to blockbuster and browse, But they where way over priced 5.50 for a f***ng dvd i was done with them in 1999 when about that time they changed there return times to 12:00 and i was screwed for 20.00 late fees…. i glad there gone

  11. Netflix in the US actually approached blockbuster about working together early on but blockbuster basically laughed it off. I’m afraid they didn’t adapt and had it coming!

  12. Very sad to see them go. I had a monthly subscription for 25 a month for unlimited rentals(don’t know if it was like this at every location). It was nice to browse around and look at older movies to catch up on. Now I have to go to Redbox or Netflix, which both are terrible. Redbox gets new movies a month after they have been released on DVD and Netflix always is backordered on every new release plus the waiting time to receive your movie. Now the only way I can see a movie after being released on DVD is to buy it or wait a entire month or more. Unless I were to purchase them through Comcast for 5.99 for a 24 hour rental – which is crazy. The American people got the shaft and most are fine with it, Its unfortunate. Now you pay more to see what you want weeks to months later.

    Also with redbox, if i forget to return my movie I’m charged another day. Unlike Blockbuster where I could keep it as long as I would like and every family member can watch it at their own leisure. I will miss you Blockbuster, Thank you for being a part of the family for the last 10 years.

    • @Nick

      For me, the main reason I don’t really like Redbox is they pretty much ONLY have “new” movies. If you wanted to rent something older, like Ghost Busters, or Groundhog Day, or like an old James Bond movie or something, tough luck. I know most kids now think that movies have to be “new” to be good and a lot of them would refuse to watch a movie simply because it’s “old” and that’s why Redbox became so successful, but not all of us are so narrow-minded…

      It is so damn annoying actually, so many times when Blockbuster was still around and we’re all trying to decide what to watch, if I bring an older movie, there’s always that one person that would literally look at the back of the box just to see what year it was made, and then LAUGH IT OFF because it’s old and say to put it back. Like, are you kidding me? There are great movies made in the past that are 10 times better than some of the garbage that comes out recently… I don’t understand people now-a-days… Like a good movie somehow becomes bad because it’s older…

      • So true, Groundhog Day happens to be my favorite movie. There still is so many old movies I need to catch up on but unfortunately that won’t happen unless I purchase them myself. Was hopping to rent Scrooged and Griswolds Christmas Vacation this holiday… but I guess I’ll just make the purchase.

  13. when the next generation of consoles come out (playstation 5), that will be the end of game stop. it’s almost a certainty that the ps5 will solely rely on buying games online and game stop will be kaput. sign of the times, man. sign of the times

  14. Good riddance you late fee mongers. I have absolutely no pity for Blockbuster closing their doors.

  15. Blockbuster prison raped their customers, plain and simple. Like AOL, and so many other companies. Their thinking was, “how can I squeeze every possible cent out of my customer and every possible turn”.

    Meanwhile, companies that actually respect their customers like Facebook, Google, Southwest Airlines, Amazon, Netflix, Costco, etc – are all rich beyond their wildest dreams because they did the exact opposite.

    Blockbuster’s death is very good news for the universe. Evil is defeated.

    • Wait wait wait wait wait, did we just say Facebook and Google respects their customers?? I guess farming everyone for personal information to make marketing more efficient is respecting us now?? They respect us as far as they need to in order to get the most money they could. They just do it in a different way…

  16. When I think of all the small “Mom and Pop” stores that got crushed by Blockbuster, this feels like poetic justice. I cant even remember the last time I rented a DVD. In the long run, it’s just cheaper to buy.

    • That’s true, but the point of renting was not really to save money, but because you needed the movie right then. Buying a movie from a store like Best Buy will cost you an arm and a leg for no reason, you can find great deals on movies online, but then you’ll have to wait for them…

    • Cheaper too buy? Are you Nucking Futs?

  17. I just hope things like redbox will carry a better selection of older movies. I know space is very limited in them though… How about they burn DVD’s on the spot? lol

  18. i was fired from a block buster for not showing up at a mandatory 7 am meeting on my day off so this is great news

  19. here’s a cool story for nostalgia. when i was in college many moons ago, there was a blockbuster (of course) and pretty much every weekend my roommate and i would go to BB and rent movies because we really didn’t have much else to do in my small town. well, it’s luckily my hometown so i knew the people working there. it was pretty much a weekly and multiple times a week i would go and see by buddies down there. so, as you could guess, by about four months of doing this, we had pretty much watched all of the movies we had missed in theaters. so after snooping around for about ten minutes i asked my buddy working there if there was a movie i had missed, one that is awesome and underrated. he quickly, almost instinctively, grabs boondock saints. i have never regretted asking a store worked for information since that day. i will always have fond memories of BB. it will be missed.

  20. I had some great times going to Blockbusters just the worse times you can have with Blockbusters is the dumbass huma- I mean people thats over there.

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