Shackpets | Available on iOS and Google Play Store

GameFly to launch digital client for PC games

GameFly plans to make a dramatic entry this coming holiday into the digital market for PC games.

49

GameFly, the subscription-based video game rental service, plans to make a dramatic entry this coming holiday into the digital market for PC games. The company announced plans to debut an online digital store for PC games within a digital client that includes a number of other features, such as "Unlimited PC Play." GameFly subscribers will have access to "a large and ever-growing collection of titles" for the Windows/Mac that can be downloaded and played as many times as they want.

Users of the client will able to catalog their video games and create personal customized game libraries to share. In addition, GameFly subscribers will be able to manage their queues for game rentals. The client also includes a store where anyone, including non-subscribers, can pre-order upcoming new release games and purchase used games.

The new desktop client will offer up-to-date news and information streams with the latest in the video game world. The Shacknews.com feed will be part of the mix, as well as a deep collection of HD trailers, videos, and screenshots. Users will have a customizable online identity and be able to engage other users as part of the client's social features.

A closed beta for the client will begin on September 8, with codes being handed out to GameFly members at an event in Los Angeles. The public launch for the client is planned to take place in the holiday season for the United States and United Kingdom.

[Disclosure: Shacknews.com is part of GameFly Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of GameFly, Inc.]

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 9, 2011 5:30 AM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, GameFly to launch digital client for PC games.

    GameFly plans to make a dramatic entry this coming holiday into the digital market for PC games.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 5:33 AM

      I was wondering why a company that does game disks Netflix style didn't have it's own 'streaming' service.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 5:34 AM

      Curious about this one. Will they have PC rentals too? If so, is it streaming like Gaika or Onlive?

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 11:28 AM

        I've been surprised that gamefly picked up direct2drive and not onlive. Onlive would have tied in well with their rental service similar to netflix.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 5:34 AM

      Collective facepalm coming in 3...2...1...

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 9:46 AM

        OH NO WHOLLY SHIT FAIL TRAIN VALVE IS SUCCESSFUL HOW CAN ANYBODY ELSE THINK THEY CAN BE ALSO

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 5:35 AM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 5:37 AM

      I predict a battlefield of exciting comments that are all well thought out and based on intelligent thought and clever arguments.

      I understand where GameFly is going with this, but I don't see why I'd ever have a reason to install something like that on top of what I already have - Steam and a web browser.

      But I applaud your efforts of getting shacknews out there by including it in the program.

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 5:39 AM

        I assume that the key difference between Steam and GameFly is the rental of games.

        • reply
          August 9, 2011 5:46 AM

          To be fair, the only reference to rentals in the article was being able to manage them - I doubt they'll have a PC rental system, probably just a way to manage their existing rental system for console games - But now it's in your face and on your desktop in a neat little app. However, if they are doing something like OnLive, then power to them.

          • reply
            August 9, 2011 5:52 AM

            GameFly subscribers will have access to "a large and ever-growing collection of titles" for the Windows/Mac that can be downloaded and played as many times as they want. - To me that reads subscription based library like Netflix watch instantly.

            • reply
              August 9, 2011 6:05 AM

              Steam has a ever-growing collection of titles that can be downloaded and played as many times as they want too.

              If it really is how you read it, then it will be something different and a worth-while investment (From the consumer point of view, that is), but I'm still not sure if it's something that is going to attract a huge market unless they really nail the interface. It took Steam years to get a decent UI, I'm fairly convinced the only reason that survived through the bad years was because HL2 and Counter-strike required it to play.

              I wish them every luck, but the interface has to be nailed upon release

              • reply
                August 9, 2011 6:09 AM

                No one subscribes to Steam.

                • reply
                  August 9, 2011 6:13 AM

                  Sure they do, it's just free is all. You can't buy anything on Steam if you don't have a login, ergo it's a private club. I guess the proper term would be "members" but other than a monthly fee it's the same basic concept.

                • reply
                  August 9, 2011 6:13 AM

                  Well technically all Steam users are subscribers, and all games purchased on steam are subscriptions. They are just one time payment lifetime subs (hopefully).

                  • reply
                    August 9, 2011 6:18 AM

                    They don't call it the Steam Subscriber Agreement for nothing.

                • reply
                  August 9, 2011 6:16 AM

                  Good point, I missed that rather important word :) - I can't see publishers being happy with that model; I accept and understand them being happy with the OnLive streaming idea, because its never on your computer.

                  Do you think publishers will be happy with the model of renting games on the PC?

                  • reply
                    August 9, 2011 3:35 PM

                    Another service that rhymes with Gameflap has been doing it for years. They are typically not the newest or biggest releases, though, so it will be interesting to see what kind of agreement Gamefly has been able to work out with publishers for things like Rage or Batman: Arkham City.

                    PS: The other service is, imo, something of a blight on PC gaming with numerous troubles, like not telling you until after they had your years subscription that it didn't work on 64 bit systems (fixed now, I think, but I'm not going back). This is the kind of thing Gamefly has to avoid if they want to be successful.

                • reply
                  August 9, 2011 6:22 AM

                  Read the eula

            • reply
              August 9, 2011 11:23 AM

              If this is rental, this is genius and will get alot of my moneys!!!!

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 5:38 AM

      A dramatic entry suggests Xav in costume and make up.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 5:40 AM

      Good luck, guys. Make it good.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 5:48 AM

      Didn't GameFly buy D2D? Isn't this just their digital platform to rival Steam?

      This is getting obnoxious :/

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 5:50 AM

        D2D never had subscriptions nor a client.

        • reply
          August 9, 2011 5:56 AM

          That can easily change. D2D is obviously their backend. They are just building a front end for it. It's not different than what Steam does by how the article is written.

          I hope it's different though. These digital stores are becoming worse than all of these companies building their own App Stores.

          • reply
            August 9, 2011 6:08 AM

            Steam doesn't have sunlimted pc play subscriptions either. It looks more like Gametap than steam.

            • reply
              August 9, 2011 6:17 AM

              I think you might be reading into that a bit. Steam offers unlimited PC Play (once you buy the game). It would be cool if it's like Gametap though, I wish they were clear about that though.

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 6:12 AM

        Everyome's new PC game strategy is to launch a new digital platform to rival Steam, sometimes with lock-in exclusives. Battle.net, Origin, etc. I'm still expecting Activision to launch one for MW3.

        All I can say is this: give me a reason to abandon my stance of "Steam or nothing!"

        • reply
          August 9, 2011 6:19 AM

          I don't mind using downloadable services that fill in a niche like GOG.com does. They handle selling games so much better than Steam does.

        • reply
          August 9, 2011 6:45 AM

          [deleted]

          • reply
            August 9, 2011 7:17 AM

            But having 8 different logins due to exclusivity sucks too. And most services aren't as consumer-friendly as GoG or Steam.

            • reply
              August 9, 2011 7:37 AM

              I wouldn't call Steam consumer friendly. They have a huge selection and great sales but that is about it.

              • reply
                August 9, 2011 7:45 AM

                I would. Every action of theirs has been to the betterment of the community at large:
                * They were the first to take digital sales seriously, funded and built up the systems and resources necessary to create a digital platform.
                * Out of the box they launched with automated updates, file verification and game portability
                * They released their SDK to allow other developers (and indy developers) a good framework for development.
                * Continues to update all of their games, treating them as platforms instead of discrete products.
                * Brought an integrated friendslist to the PC
                * Released Steamworks (a multiplayer framework which includes game invites, matchmaking and server hosting) FOR FREE

                They have not done a single anti-consumer act.

                • reply
                  August 9, 2011 7:49 AM

                  They also:
                  * Offer the lowest fees to publishers/developers (somewhere between 20-30%, which is significantly lower than any other store [according to Derek Smart] and retail])
                  * Introduced the idea of sales and sale pricing to digital content (something places like iTunes and Zune still do not do)
                  * Hire mod makers and developer teams and give them Valve resources to polish their work
                  * Coordinate sales and events with Indy developers to help promote their games (Summer of Games, Potato Pack)

                  • reply
                    August 9, 2011 7:54 AM

                    Most importantly they don't fuck with and lie to developers, the way the XBLA team can promise the world to various devs and then end up kicking them down the line. It's hard to make out through all their PR marketing talk but the Hydrophobia guys seem to have had a far more straightforward experience with Steam than they did with Microsoft, Frictional was told not to even consider an XBLA release on account of costs and Microsoft's own attitude toward their game, and Team Meat were very frank about how they feel re: XBLA.

                • reply
                  August 9, 2011 8:07 AM

                  Most of those are business to business agreements and don't directly benefit the customer over other services.
                  anti-consumer acts:
                  * If you have a problem making a purchase, Valve blocks your access to all your purchases in the pass until your complete the purchase via the original transaction. Spend $5000 buying 200 games, have a problem buying a $3 indie game using a gift visa card you can't recharge? Tough shit, you've lost everything and you can't get it back. EVERY OTHER DIGITAL SERVICE if you have a problem with making a purchase, all it means is you can't buy that game. Imagine in real life if I go to Best Buy and cant complete a purchase, does this give Best Buy the right to break in my house and take back everything I bought from them?
                  * Valve's VAC will identify devices for the disabled (such as virtual keyboards) as cheats and block people's accounts. They have none about this problem for YEARS and done nothing about it.
                  *I use every digital service in the US and Valve's customer service is by far the slowest to respond. Normally it takes weeks if ever. One except. I had an issue with mass effect 2 and within the hour they shot back that its EA problem,
                  * You have to run the steam client in order to play any of your purchases. Even gametap doesn't do that anymore.
                  * Steam's offline mode doesn't really work and isn't to far from Ubisoft's DRM.
                  * Automatic game updates up until recently meant redownloading the entire game which blows for people who have bandwidth caps and you have to disable update for each game individually.

                • reply
                  August 9, 2011 8:15 AM

                  Except that their whole system is DRM.

                  • reply
                    August 9, 2011 10:34 AM

                    Done right.

                    • reply
                      August 9, 2011 10:43 AM

                      Right. DRM in itself is not inherently evil.

                      • reply
                        August 13, 2011 9:57 AM

                        It is as soon as it starts to punish the people who actually bought the thing. No matter how many bonus features they offer to help them with their loss.

                  • reply
                    August 9, 2011 10:56 AM

                    Steam is the DRM I would pay to have all games I own transition to instead of whatever else they're using.

                  • reply
                    August 9, 2011 1:04 PM

                    This is the fucking flimsiest argument I've heard against Steam. So you have to be logged in to play, big deal. The offline mode works when you've prepared for it. There are good reasons why you need to be logged in to play.

                • reply
                  August 9, 2011 11:52 AM

                  I don't like the idea of all my games going away with no recourse if something unexpected happens with my credit card, or if I should get falsely flagged for cheating or whatever. Not a common occurrence to be sure but it's a much suckier potential low than I expose myself to with individual purchases at retail. Hardly enough to stop me from buying on Steam, but that possibility is there

                  • reply
                    August 13, 2011 9:58 AM

                    Which is why I always keep that in mind before purchasing something on Steam. I ask myself: is it still worth it considering the fact that, for all I know, a month from now I could be unable to ever play this again? If the price still sounds right—why not.

                • reply
                  August 9, 2011 3:14 PM

                  which is why i love Valve. imo the only developer out there that truly puts the customer first, unlike the others that dont back up their words.

              • reply
                August 9, 2011 8:00 AM

                [deleted]

                • reply
                  August 9, 2011 8:04 AM

                  Why? When has Gabe or the Valve team ever given any indication that they are not doing this for the betterment of the community?

                  Every interview, and more importantly, action they have ever done has been to make things better for developers, publishers and gamers.

                  They give developers access to steamworks, for free. Developers also get Steamchat/voice integration for free just for getting on Steam.
                  They give publishers real-time feedback about income and sales, something (according to DSmart) no one else matches.
                  They give gamers an outstanding service that is free. They even released one of their best games for free.

                  • reply
                    August 9, 2011 8:05 AM

                    ...and you didn't even mention how good they are to smaller indie devs.

                  • reply
                    August 9, 2011 8:14 AM

                    [deleted]

                    • reply
                      August 9, 2011 9:01 AM

                      Their culture. That's why I'm pointing out to you. Everything Valve has ever discussed or done has been about making gaming better for their customers. When they were alone in the market they were doing sales and getting friends lists in and improving.

                      Their culture is to make things better, damn the costs.

                      • reply
                        August 9, 2011 10:25 AM

                        You seem to like Steam and Valve alot and that's fine. However, they're still a business and will continue to do things as a business. This makes me treat them like any other business.

                        There seems to be this absolute obsession with Steam/Valve. I do believe that they do some things more or less better than their competitiors, but I see plenty of room for improvements, and the best part is that they are improving their service. However, this absolute love affair that steam has to be the one and only digital service w/o giving another service a chance to be #2 or #3 is disappointing in many ways.

                        I'm with the person above. I really don't think we should have to log into 5+ different accounts to play our games (including multiple accounts on for different games that uses the same service -- I'm looking at you bnet), but a little competition is always nice. Besides, Gamefly is a third party service. Unless they make some kind of agreement withthe developers/publishers, there shouldn't be a problem, unlike the situation we have with origin now.

                        • reply
                          August 9, 2011 10:37 AM

                          I'm going purely on their actions, which speak to their intentions. Take a look at the evidence of Valve's actions and critically consider what they've done.

                          Alien Swarm, for example.

                        • reply
                          August 9, 2011 10:38 AM

                          agreement as in special agreements that hinders the customer.

                        • reply
                          August 9, 2011 10:45 AM

                          [deleted]

                      • reply
                        August 9, 2011 10:38 AM

                        [deleted]

              • reply
                August 9, 2011 11:48 AM

                [deleted]

            • reply
              August 9, 2011 7:57 AM

              [deleted]

              • reply
                August 9, 2011 8:00 AM

                The ideal solution would be to release it on every platform, and let the best one win on its merits.

                • reply
                  August 9, 2011 8:15 AM

                  [deleted]

                • reply
                  August 9, 2011 10:33 AM

                  I would prefer that all my digitally bought games be placed in a single pool. These digital services get accessed to this pool of games. That way I can access my games using my preferred service while maintaining the option of possibly buying games on another service.

                  But we don't live in this utopia world
                  /sad panda

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 5:49 AM

      This is honestly a good idea. I'm definitely down for it.

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 7:39 AM

        ^. I'd be more willing to try this out than something like OnLive.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 5:51 AM

      I guess this means Valve is really onto something with Steam. I mean between this, the EA/Origin thing, and the fact that GameStop - a company which has all but abandoned PC retail gaming - purchased Impulse, it must mean that Valve is making such a shit ton that we're now seeing everyone wanting to get in on the action.

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 7:07 AM

        impossible, pc gaming, dead, etc..... I just hope all this doesn't hurt PC gaming in the long run.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 6:19 AM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 6:39 AM

      is this a game streaming thing or is it like steam

      because if it's streaming, then No Sir I Do Not Like It

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 6:47 AM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 7:08 AM

      I'm confused, is this rentals and/or sales? If it includes rentals that is awesome. They should be able to do some DRM time-based unlocking scheme...

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 7:26 AM

      [deleted]

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 7:33 AM

        Rent game, break DRM, get game for rental price. Ta daaaaaaaa.

        Granted, if you're going to do that, you could just steal it straightaway, BUT WHATEVER.

        • reply
          August 9, 2011 7:52 AM

          I know publishers think some of the dumbest things but some of them seem to be ok with the free weekends. They should be ok with rentals if they were ok with that.

          • reply
            August 9, 2011 11:35 AM

            [deleted]

            • reply
              August 9, 2011 2:00 PM

              Those are mostly multiplayer only free weekends though, where having the MP is probably pointless because you wouldn't be able to play on official servers. I agree though.

        • reply
          August 9, 2011 9:21 PM

          Not really a good excuse. If I didn't want to pay for a game I don't have too already. I pay for games because I am not a thief.

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 7:54 AM

        That would be more for the streaming services.

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 10:37 AM

        Probably because most games can be beat in a few hours these days.

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 4:25 PM

        This is one reason I actually like OnLive.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 8:47 AM

      I am just surprised they are not planning to charge extra for it. I mean I would be more than willing to pay an extra $5 for this. Of course I should wait and see what games they have available. Still it is just another reason for me to love gamefly.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 9:59 AM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 10:07 AM

      Who is "Shack Staff" and when did they start writing for this site? Pretty fortunate that they got a job at shacknews with a first name like that.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 10:08 AM

      Although I stopped console gaming, I loved GameFly when I did and it was worth every penny. Now if I can actually rent PC games which is what I understand here and on the GF site, this is Golden and I would start my sub up immediately. There are very few games I find replay joy in so this would be a win/win for me.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 11:10 AM

      If Gamefly could somehow let me rent XBox 360 games via download/streaming - I would be all over it. For PC games, I just wait for a Steam sale and buy the game outright for less than the cost of a monthly fee.

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 11:29 AM

        Yea Microsoft is going to let Gamefly have access to their console system.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 12:38 PM

      Is this going to be available internationally or only NA again?

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 1:01 PM

      When are they going to buy more shipping centers?

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 1:33 PM

      Don't know why they wouldn't include all the information that's in the press release about this:

      "Gamers will have unprecedented flexibility in how they want to consume games, whether it is renting discs by mail from a library of over 8,000 titles, downloading any of the more than 1,500 Windows/Mac games for sale, pre-ordering new console and PC releases or buying used games – all managed via the desktop client."

      Notice it says "for sale" after the Windows/Mac games, not "for rent."

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 1:55 PM

        By which, I mean it doesn't look like there will be individual rentals available to everyone, they're likely saving that for the "Unlimited PC Play" thing for people that subscribe with a monthly fee (which I'm betting will be more than $10/mo).

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 2:12 PM

      Oh nice, I love launching my PC games via one of many clients.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 2:28 PM

      Sounds cool its too bad i won't be using the beta code am a console gamer

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 2:36 PM

      Another client.

      Though I guess with this being like Netflix it isn't so bad. Wont be availble in the UK either probably so meh.

      • reply
        August 9, 2011 2:53 PM

        The public launch for the client is planned to take place in the holiday season for the United States and United Kingdom.

        • reply
          August 9, 2011 2:54 PM

          I was too busy rioting to read the article.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 2:57 PM

      need a pidgin or trillian or digsby-like client to aggregate them all into one app

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 8:50 PM

      I'll be all over this if it means PC rentals. I'm not interested in buying games from you guys though, sorry.

    • reply
      August 9, 2011 8:53 PM

      Current members of the community site Shacknews.com will receive a permanent 50% discount on all future purchases of titles through the Gamefly digital client, currently codenamed "Downloader: Origin of Steamfly"

    • reply
      August 10, 2011 1:40 AM

      NOPE.avi

    • reply
      August 10, 2011 6:14 AM

      I'm really looking forward to this! Quite honestly, I could see myself moving to this over Steam. ::sigh:: I hope there's a way that we can launch games that were not purchased through their client, similar to Steam and D2D.

    • reply
      August 10, 2011 1:16 PM

      I'll give you guys a try but really dont see why we need this....

    • reply
      August 10, 2011 4:54 PM

      I would prefer not to split up my digital purchases into different ecosystems; I am, however, very excited about digital rentals through the new service. GF rentals could actually make a dent in piracy.

Hello, Meet Lola