It all began with Qwikster, an attempt to separate Netflix's core business into two separate entities: a disc-by-mail rental service (to be titled Qwikster) and an online streaming service (keeping the Netflix brand name). The controversial plan by Netflix was met with harsh response from the internet community, but it did give rise to a potential new business that interested us: video game rentals.
After Netflix went back on its plan and scrapped the Quikster idea, would they still carry on with plans to include a video game rental service? That question has been answered today and that answer is a big fat NO.
When Qwikster was announced, many gamers were thrilled to hear that Netflix would embark on a video game rental service; in fact, it was probably the only appealing feature of the entire announcement. The consensus from comments on Game Rant were very positive toward this movement and felt GameFly was not adequate enough due to slower delivery times. GameFly was not scared however, and now they good reason for their confidence.
What really hurt Netflix's segway into gaming was the fact that Qwikster was going to be a separate entity from Netflix and subscribers would have to have two different accounts, passwords, billing processes, etc. Not even a month had passed and after a barrage of negative word of mouth from subscribers, Qwikster was abandonded, but the door was left wide open as to whether the video game rental service was still a possibility — many gamers kept their fingers crossed.
It's now official that Netflix has no plans to continue forward with a video game rental service. The announcement was made yesterday during an annual earnings call headed by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
Currently, Netflix is looking to push more loyalty toward their streaming services with subscribers for streaming outnumbering those with DVD-by-mail subscriptions by more than 2 to 1. Netflix lost 2.76 million DVD subscribers last quarter as well and the company expects to lose more — most likely due to the 60% price hike and losing big accounts like Starz.
This decision is kind of puzzling as the grandaddy service of home video rentals has a large number of subscribers. To add a video game service with their large infrastructure of distribution houses would only increase their popularity in theory.
Would you have joined Netflix if they had chosen to go forward with the move into video game rentals?
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Source: Industry Gamers