GameFly Digital Client

Unlimited PC Play for Subscribers

I read in the gaming news today that GameFly is launching a digital client to offer games to players directly on their PC or Mac.  There’s an interesting addition to this Steam/D2D-like client.  In addition to just selling games, Gamefly will offer “Unlimited PC Play” with their subscription.  It will be, for example, as if Steam (or other platforms) offers a subscription fee and allows subscribers to access anything available as long as they maintain a subscription while still allowing subscribers and non-subscribers to buy games to own — that’s where Gamefly’s ownership of Direct2Drive comes into the picture.  I think the price will be something like $30 a month since that’s what I’m reading everywhere — anyone have a definitive number?

It’s intriguing enough to actually give some real thought.  Assuming they really do offer all the PC games that something like Steam would offer, that’s not a bad idea at all.  I’m only hung up on the price and the stipulation.  Do I really buy enough PC games to justify $30 per month?  In a dry spell, I can go three, four, maybe five months without buying a single PC game.  That’s $90-150 of money gone.  On the other hand, I can sometimes want three games in a single month and suddenly this deal becomes killer.  Additionally, how many times have I bought a PC game and played it for a month then never touched it again?  Suddenly the long-term benefits of the idea come into focus.

This might be one of those ideas that everyone implements.  It’s not a stretch to see Origin or Steam adding an optional monthly subscription to access content.  Publishers like Activision and EA are both starting their own digital distribution and/or community programs.  I think it’s only a matter of time until we see this idea branch out from just the rental business into a common practice.  I can also see this driving the price of games up even faster, should it become the norm.   That’s when I’ll start to worry, though, since I don’t like it when publishers begin to take control.  Anyway, that’s an aside.

Good idea.  A bit pricey and totally dependent on the individual’s spending and gaming habits, though.  Probably not for me since I like to own my games and I don’t see there ever being a time when enough games come out to justify the price.  I would need it to be down around the $15 range before I could place it in the “set it and forget it” category and I know it’ll be way more than that.  And without the subscription offer, I see no reason to go with Gamefly over Steam; it falls into that “I don’t want to install yet another digital distributor” category.

Youtube video visible after the jump.  I’m really curious to know what you guys think about this one. (more…)