Mail order game rental house GameFly is going into the PC game-rental business, with plans to launch Unlimited PC Play, which allow subscribers to download and play PC games as well as regular console discs.
We spoke to Sean Spector, one of GameFly's founders and its VP of Business Development, and got a little more detail on how the service will work and what games we'll be able to play.
G4: Will subscribers be able to download brand new, AAA PC games?
Sean Spector: Yes, on the retail side we will always offer AAA PC titles for sale at launch, or you can pre-order the games. With the “Unlimited PC Play,” there will be a wide selection of games, ranging from AAAs to casual and indie games.
G4: Is the idea to compete with Steam?
SS: With Direct2Drive, we are the #2 digital retailer in selling digital PC games. We want the client to be a one-stop shop for gamers, so we offer up-to-the-minute gaming news, a place to socialize with other gamers (and learn about new games), the ability manage their physical GameFly GameQ, and a way to organize their entire gaming library across all platforms.
G4: And these are full downloads? Not streaming like OnLive?
SS: Correct. We offer full Windows/Mac game downloads so gamers can play whatever they want, whenever and wherever they want. They wouldn’t be tied to an always-on connection.
G4: Is there a stand-alone client? Or is it web based?
SS: Our client is a custom built proprietary client, just like our popular mobile apps.
G4: And you don't have to be online to play?
SS: We don’t believe in forcing consumers to be online to enjoy their games. If you have the digital client downloaded onto multiple PCs, you just have to sign into your account on any one of the PCs to play whatever game you’ve purchased and downloaded.
G4: How about fans of older, harder to find PC titles?
SS: We have over 1,500 titles from our acquisition of Direct2Drive. They will all be represented in our client. We’ll also have additional games in the “Unlimited PC Play” portion.
G4: How will you keep people from stealing games?
SS: You will need to have an account with GameFly and a credit card to purchase games.
G4: Are you considering doing something similar for downloadable console games?
SS: We are not at this time.
G4: Does it include a digital version of the manual, if the game has one?
SS: In some cases yes. That really depends on the publisher.
G4: Are you going to raise the price of your minimum subscription of $16 a month? You’ll be giving people unlimited games for a very, very cheap price. Is there a catch?
SS: The Unlimited PC Play service will be at no additional cost to our members. We are always looking at ways to deliver value to customers/members. Mobile is another great example of this as well.
So there you have it, a bit more color on how GameFly's Unlimited Downloads will work. The service launches this holiday season, and Gamefly expects hundreds of PC games to be available to download and play at launch. But will you be onboard to download and play them? Anyone else out there psyched?