Earlier this week LoveFilm sadly announced that they would not be letting new or existing customers sign up to any game rental packages on the site. However, it wasn't particularly clear what would be happening if a customer already had a games rental package.
As many of our readers -and indeed our staff- enjoy LoveFilm's game rental services, we reached out for answers and received this reply:
We can confirm that, with effect from 1 July 2013, games rental will no
longer be available to new customers signing up to our service in the
UK. Existing customers with a games package will be able to continue
renting games until further notice. We will, of course, let you know of any changes to this.
So, for starters, the original date of August 8th has been moved up to now. The good news though seems to be existing game subscribers will be able to continue to rent games for now. I also asked if they would continue to get new games in stock or if we would only be able to rent the existing catalogue, but didn't get a response to that question.
A quick look through upcoming releases is a bit hit and miss. For example, so far I can reserve the likes of Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Battlefield 4, but nothing comes up for Watch Dogs, FIFA 14 or Saints Row IV. No results for next-gen yet either.
Interestingly, the same day LoveFilm first released the statement, our Deals Editor Carl, had a rep knocking on his door trying to get him to sign up. When Carl mentioned he had no need now games were getting canned, the rep said "It's not cancelled, it's on hiatus." He could have been telling porkies to nab a sale, or just uninformed, or maybe he let something slip he shouldn't have.
We're still a bit confused as to why LoveFilm are moving away from games though. They already have the most comprehensive film offering out there compared to Blockbuster and Netflix. If Microsoft had continued on their path to block pre-owned games we could see how games would have become a tough proposition for rental companies, but that's no longer the situation.
Do LoveFilm and Amazon know something we don't? Like Sony and Microsoft setting up their own online rental service. With Sony's Gaikai capabilities for online streaming, it's entirely possible. We already have 60-minute free trials with PS Plus, although that involves downloading the whole game and is limited to select titles.
For now though, we hope LoveFilm reconsider or we may have to start looking elsewhere. Over to you readers, what are you planning? Sticking with LoveFilm or are you going to take a look at Blockbuster's service as they still seem to be doing games online? If you're already with Blockbuster, how are they for you?