GameFly partners with Amazon on new streaming service

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

gamefly netflix onlive games streaming service

GameFly, the company which lets customers rent video games through the mail, is taking its business digital. The service is partnering with Amazon to allow Fire TV set-top box owners to rent and play titles via streaming.

The new service will be powered by technology from Playcast Media, a streaming company recently acquired by GameFly.

The company is entering a market that is largely unproven and where its pioneer, OnLive, has already failed. Unlike other offerings, GameFly is structuring its streaming business a bit differently. Users will be able to rent bundles of games for a set fee on a monthly basis.

At launch, GameFly will offer six bundles, each of which contains seven games (expect for the premium bundle). Pricing starts at $6.99 per month for the basic bundles and tops out at $9.99 for the premium bundle that offer access to 16 titles. The complete lineup of launch titles and bundles is listed below:

  • Action Pack (seven titles) - $6.99/month includes F.E.A.R. 3, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, Red Faction: Armageddon, Red Faction: Guerilla, Mafia II, Sleeping Dogs and Hitman
  • Adventure Pack (seven titles) - $6.99/month includes Dark Void, Overlord II, Darksiders, Darksiders II, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Origins
  • Gamer Pack (16 titles) - $9.99/month includes F.E.A.R. 3, Red Faction: Armageddon, Red Faction: Guerilla, Sleeping Dogs, Hitman, Darksiders, Darksiders II, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Origins, Shank, Shank 2, Dark Void, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, Mafia II, Overlord II
  • Speed Pack (seven titles) - $6.99/month includes Ace Combat, Dirt 3, GRID, GRID 2, MotoGP13, Ridge Racer Unbounded, WRC 4
  • Fun Pack (seven titles) - $6.99/month includes Flock!, PAC-MAN Championship Edition, PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - Rise of the Owlverlord, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
  • LEGO Pack (seven titles) - $6.99/month includes LEGO Batman, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, LEGO Lord of the Rings, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, LEGO Marvel: Super Heroes, LEGO The Hobbit

GameFly recommends at least a 10Mbps wired Internet connection and offers a 10 minute free evaluation period of each game. The company promises to launch more titles in the near future.

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TS Evangelist
This could actually do well for three reasons:

* Its using the bundled subscription model that I've been telling companies to adopt for about 10 years now.

* Its got Amazon behind it. OnLive's biggest problem was that nobody knew they existed.

* It dovetails perfectly with the rest of Amazon's huge content business.

The biggest reasons it might NOT succeed:

* Gamer wariness of game rental. Online installs take longer than using a disc, although in the age of launch day multi-gig updates that advantage may start to fade quickly. There's also the concern with games being pulled from online service libraries for whatever reason - its happened before on a few occasions.

* Bundling, which I think works fantastically for online print media and music, may not prove to be quite as popular with gamers. The success of offerings like the Humble Bundle and certain Steam "package deals" would seem to indicate the opposite, however.

* Online game streaming could end up being a victim of its own success if ISPs keep lowering data caps and failing to improve latency. This is esp. true for games that rely heavily on multiplayer cloud servers. If you're streaming a game from a server that is *itself* relaying data to a server on another network your lag will increase significantly. The ideal solution would be for game streaming outfits to host their own MP, provisioned-on-demand servers. I think OnLive might have been trying this for at least a couple of titles.