LOVEFiLM, the disc-based rental company and on-demand streaming service owned by Amazon, has removed the option for new subscribers to rent video games.
The change was spotted by Polygon (via GameBrit) and later confirmed by in a statement from LOVEFiLM: “LOVEFiLM confirms games rental will no longer be available to new customers signing up to its service in the UK, with effect w/c 24th June.”
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LOVEFiLM offers users both a mail-order setup for receiving films, TV shows and video games in the post, as well as an on-demand streaming service called LOVEFiLM Instant, which competes with Netflix in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Some packages combine both of these services, however, ensuring that subscribers always have access to the latest releases.
On-demand streaming is seen as the future of the industry, given that users can access potentially any content instantaneously. Video games have yet to make the jump, however. Although digital copies are commonplace in the video game industry, numerous concerns over widespread piracy has stopped the emergence of a digital rental model.
Video games are often more expensive than DVDs and Blu-rays, so the postal service offered by LOVEFiLM was a tantalizing option for so-called ‘hardcore’ gamers that like to blast through all of the latest releases in quick succession.
The statement sent by LOVEFiLM confirms that the abolition of video game rentals is already in effect, albeit for new subscribers only. A quick check on the company’s website corroborates the change, given that all references to video games are now removed from the package descriptions.
Existing users that are still paying for video games can, presumably, still rent them as before. When users log-in they can still browse the game section and pick out titles such as The Last of Us, Deadpool and Remember Me. These are all new releases, so it seems that LOVEFiLM isn’t abandoning the concept entirely just yet.
The firm recently made it compulsory for users to switch their login details over to the Amazon credentials, bringing the two brands closer than ever before. It follows a new content deal with CBS Studios International, as well as the addition of The Walking Dead, Vikings and Disney flicks for LOVEFiLM Instant.