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November 2008
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GameFly Rentals Are No Netflix

In order to have better (read: cheaper) access to games to write about, I signed up for a GameFly (website)  subscription.  Let me tell you, it’s no Netflix.

I used GameFly back in 2004, when I rented games like Mafia for the original Xbox.  Back then, the turnaround time was poor but they always had the games I want.  I tried the service again when I bought an Xbox 360 in 2006.  That time, I found turnaround time was even worse (on the order of a week, compared with 2 days like Netflix’s video rental).  But they could never get me a game I wanted.

I’ve decided to try GameFly again because I figured it was worth a shot.  I dusted off my old account, rearranged my game queue, and paid for a month of the service.  I put 10 games in my queue, as it recommended, even though I had trouble finding that many games I wanted to play.

The first game, Infinite Undiscovery, arrived in two days.  It was the fifth game in my queue.  I also received a warning: if I don’t put at least ten games in my queue, they won’t guarantee me one when I ship this back.  That’s not the kind of service I expect for what they’re charging for a rent-by-mail service.  Some of the games in my queue ahead of that aren’t even very new.

I’m going to try the service at least long enough to play a couple of games.  That is, at least, so long as they have a game to send me from my queue each time.

I’ll keep you updated.



Comment from Pinkkis
Time November 12, 2008 at 4:51 am

Shame the service isn’t that good. Though I could say also, QQ more, I wish I had anything close to that here in Europe. :D

Comment from WiiVee
Time November 12, 2008 at 4:18 pm

What is it these days to sign up? Like $6.95 or something? I noticed that the other day actually. I’ve had Gamefly from the beginning… the early years… and I gotta say, I’ve only seen the service evolve. I’ve been extremely pleased with it actually.
I’m not sure about the warning you mention getting… that’s a new one, but I usually only ever keep about 5 or 6 games in my queue at a time and never have a problem if that’s helpful to know. I hear you on not necessarily being able to scrape up 10 games you want to play at any given time so I rarely have that many in there. Actually, pretty much never. Anyway, I’ve had the last 5 new release games in my queue ship on the day of release which makes me a very happy guy. Their whole system has greatly improved across the board from the earlier days. With 4 distro centers now and new release games in quantity ready to ship I couldn’t be happier.

Comment from Paul Zero
Time November 12, 2008 at 4:49 pm

$6.95 would be nice, but the cost is $15.95 per month, plus tax. I’m glad to hear you’ve had a better experience, because it gives me hope.

My intention is to try out the service and see how fast they manage to get me games, and whether they can manage to get me new releases. This post was based on my initial experience this time around. If they exceed my expectations and do better, I will gladly write a more pleasant post.

If they don’t, I’ll find another way to play new games. I’ve been thinking about looking into GameStop’s trade-in program to see if it’s realistic for me to buy a game on release day, play it through, and trade it in for the next one…

Comment from WiiVee
Time November 12, 2008 at 6:16 pm

I hear what you’re saying. I’d give em a couple months and see what you think. Having used them before in the early days I think you’ll notice a pretty significant change for the better. Just manage your queue and keep it clean and you should do fine.

The $6.95 thing is a sign up promo actually. Right now it’s $6.95 for the first month and then goes to $15.95 there after or whatever your plan is. I’m sure they’re doing that with an eye on the economy and the holidays coming up and all. Seems logical.

You know Gamefly is taking game trades now right?

Comment from Paul Zero
Time February 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm

Well, I’ve been using GameFly for a couple of months now and rented a few games. They consistently send me games 6 or 7 in my queue, never anything higher than that, even if everything has “high availability”.

Their ability to recommend games I’ll like is also non-existent.

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