Blockbuster horning in on game rentals

Wow. That was fast. A few years after Gamefly basically sewed up the entire games-by-mail thing, Blockbuster is launching a game rental pilot program in the U.S. Where is the first place that gets these exciting 360, Wii, and PS3 games? Is it Austin? Dallas? Denver?
Nope. Cleveland. That’s right: the heart of Ohio’s blightland gets to rock out with it’s controller out with Blockbuster’s online game rental service.
There will be an incremental monthly fee and they’re planning on rolling out the the rest of the country this year. Until then we can all envy Cleveland.
Note: I do love the meat market in Cleveland and the Cleveland Clinic is basically nursing my mom back to health but come on – Cleveland? to Launch Online Game Rental Pilot in Cleveland; Plans Continue for Nationwide Launch Before Year End
DALLAS, May 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI, BBI.B), a global leader in entertainment, today announced that in keeping with its previously disclosed plans to pilot an online video game rental offering by summer, the Company would be launching the program in the Cleveland area June 30. Blockbuster plans to expand the program nationwide before the end of the year, making it the only by-mail service to offer both movie and game rentals.

“BLOCKBUSTER(R) stores already rent more video games than anyone else – in-store or online – so giving our consumers the ability to rent games from our online service is a natural progression for our business,” said Bob Barr, Vice President and General Manager of “This pilot allows us to test a variety of implementation details and gather invaluable key learnings and consumer insights before finalizing and launching a national online game rental offering.”

The Cleveland pilot test will be open to all BLOCKBUSTER Total Access(TM) and BLOCKBUSTER(R) By Mail subscribers. Subscribers in the pilot test will be able to opt-in to add the hottest Wii, PS2, PS3 and Xbox 360 games to their current online rental queue for an incremental monthly fee, which will only be charged for billing cycles in which they have actually rented games. For the set fee, subscribers can rent as many games as they want during the month, one game out at a time. The game rentals will count toward the total number of rentals a subscriber is allowed under their current online subscription plan. Additionally, Total Access subscribers will get the same in-store exchange benefits with their by-mail game rentals as they do with movies under their current plan. offers two primary types of online movie subscription plans. BLOCKBUSTER(R) By Mail plans offer online-only service, with online rentals delivered and returned by mail. These plans are perfect for consumers who want the simplicity of online rentals, as well as those without a BLOCKBUSTER(R) store in their local area. BLOCKBUSTER Total Access(TM) plans deliver online rentals by mail plus the option of exchanging online rentals for free in-store movie rentals or discounted game rentals up to monthly plan limits at participating BLOCKBUSTER(R) stores.