How I came to love Gamefly and renting video games

Anyone following Gamer Horizon and specifically me, knows that I’m a gamer on a budget. I buy used games when I can, I sell my new games on eBay to get top dollar for my next purchase and recently I’ve restarted my Gamefly account to rent games. The recent games I managed to score within release week are Metro: Last Light, Dead Island: Riptide, Bioshock: Infinite and The Last of Us. Out of all of these the only one I bought was The Last of Us.

Granted it’s nearly $18 a month, but considering all of those games cost $60, I’m still ahead. It cost me $3 per subway trip to the local GameStop and back where I used to buy a used game and return it within 7 days for a full refund. But it also takes an hour of travel time and, between working and commuting, I’m out of the house 60 hours a week at least (and I’m lazy), so the $18 is more than worth it for convenience.

I’ve rented plenty of games in the past and looking at the horizon (sorry, it’s the name of the site, I can’t help the puns) I can only see a few games I plan on owning. And with the next generation approaching fast, my backlog will grow at an alarming rate, which is another reason why I rent. There are plenty of games I’ve missed and I use the time between new releases to try and peck away at games I was interested in but wasn’t about to buy new.

Games like Dead Space 2, for example.

While I played and enjoyed the first Dead Space, I wasn’t clamoring to play Dead Space 2 – something about the first game just didn’t grab me. By renting it, I was able to save myself all but time because, if I’m being honest, Dead Space 2 is pretty dull. So dull that I didn’t even bother finishing it and sent it back, which is very unlike me. Maybe it’s the luxury of renting knowing I don’t own it and maybe I’ll go back to it, but with new games starting to release next week, I’ll be busy reviewing and adding more games to my backlog.

Renting affords me the opportunity to play games I normally would pass on at the time of release like the upcoming The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. Personally, I think the game looks amazing, but my money is going towards Splinter Cell: Blacklist because I’ve never missed a Splinter Cell release and I’m not about to start now.

In this day and age $60 can go a long way, especially when you have an apartment, a girlfriend, 3 chihuahuas, smart phones, internet, groceries, student loans, and so on, I can only afford to buy the games I can justify buying and honestly, most games just don’t allow for that. Most single player games have stories and gameplay that warrant only a single playthrough and, outside of RPGs and the Assassin’s Creed series, $60 for an 8 hour game just doesn’t add up for me.

Sure, I guess a case could be made for me giving up gaming since money is better spent elsewhere, but to anyone making that case, I say “F*** you.” I love video games, and I’m going to use any means at my disposal to do so.

Then there are those that will say, “What about the developers? They don’t make that much from rented games,” to which I say, “See my earlier reply and double it.” I’ve already addressed that issue, but I’ll expand upon it by adding that developers should make games I can’t get rid of or need to own. I’m still stinging from Max Payne 2, which I bought and beat in one day. It was a really good game that didn’t offer nearly enough return on my investment. Sorry devs, but as long as you keep releasing less than 8 hour games on full-priced disc I’m either renting or buying used.

0 thoughts on “How I came to love Gamefly and renting video games

  1. Yup, $60 IMO is just too much for games. I was cool with $50 for games, I think that’s a sweet spot that most consumers are willing to pay. But in the upside, the games tend to go down in price faster than last gen, except for Nintendo’s party games (lame). Looking at SFxT and SCV, not even a year the games became $20.
    As for Gamefly, it does sound a good deal since there is no due date (unless I’m mistaken). I used to rent games in the 16 Bits era because SNES cost like $60 or more (Lufia II and Chrono Trigger for $80,…now I’m sad). I hardly have any SNES games (in contrast now, I have a big backlog, thanks clearance games). Imagine if there was clearance sales in the SNES era, ahhh those were the times. I might try gamefly one of this day, but right now I got too many games.


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