The way I play games has changed pretty drastically recently, as I’ve subscribed to GameFly. I really can’t suggest it enough to hardcore console gamers (sadly, but as is expected these days, there’s no support for PC games on GameFly). There are a few reasons for my enthusiasm:
- Its cheaper. If you’re like me, you want to buy 1-2 games during the slow months of the year and 2-4 games during the busier months. That ends up as a big hunk of change, especially if buying the latest releases. GameFly ends up costing around $240/year for me, which equals out to the cost of four games per year. I usually end up buying some of the games I really enjoy anyway, but I can play them when they come out (or close to) and buy them when they’ve gotten a little more affordable. Even with those and the PC games I buy, I still spend less than I would otherwise.
- I can play games I wouldn’t have otherwise. I haven’t rented a game since middle school; I just don’t have the time to get through a game in the week they allot for you. Buying games is expensive, so I would never buy a game I didn’t fully expect to enjoy. With a flat monthly fee and any game I want to play, I end up trying things out a lot more and expand my horizons. I never would have played Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood without GameFly, but I can honestly say that the game enriched my perspective as a gamer.
- I don’t have to buy a game I would only play once. Another negative to buying games is you might only play it once, then all you can do is sell it back at a terrible rate, put it out on craigslist, or let it collect dust on your shelf. There’s no way I would play Prototype again, but it was fun enough to complete and send back.
- I can keep it if I like it. If I end up really liking a game and not wanting to wait for it to get cheaper, I can just keep what I have. This was really nice when I kept Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 because it was a brand new copy and I got it for $10 off the retail price.
- It helps manage my backlog. I typically have a list of games I want to play at any given time. Having a queue of games helps me to keep track of the games I want to get to, as well as eventually get them to me.
It also changed the way I play games. Before, I would play a game to completion, no matter what I thought of it. Now that I have a list of 30 games that I’m interested in playing, I might stop playing a game before I finish it in order to get the next one. It might be that I didn’t like it (e.g. Scribblenauts, which wasn’t fun beyond its “summon anything” gimmick), or it just stopped being fun (e.g. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was actually really fun, but got quite repetitive).
Thinking of getting GameFly? You can sign up here and get me some referral cash for me to spend on the next game I keep (yes, they have a refer-a-friend program as well).