Tuesday, June 7, 2011

GameFly acquires Direct2Drive

I have just learned that GameFly, a mail-order game rental service, has acquired D2D (see the press release). This apparently took place near the end of last month. I don't know if this has anything to do with the changes D2D has been undergoing, but I suspect it might, especially as of late.

If I thought getting too big was a bad influence on D2D before, I wonder what will happen now. GameFly will certainly be in a stronger position, being able to offer both physical media and digital downloads, assuming they will fully integrate the two services. D2D had already begun offering some of their downloads as rentals. But I can't help but feel that this deal benefits GameFly more so than D2D.

I never used GameFly, so I cannot attest to that service, but I still feel strongly that D2D needs to re-focus on customer support. D2D now has something called "Agent Striker," a virtual support representative. It looks to amount to little more than an interactive FAQ. There's no live person behind it, rather it is more like a keyword search tied to their limited support documents. I don't think it's a step in the right direction. It just feels gimmicky.

Since my original post, I've purchased two games on D2D, Just Cause 2 (with DRM) and Red Faction (without), for $5 and $2.50, respectively. Clearly, both were on sale. So, I obviously haven't given up on D2D. They were once my favorite game download store. I would just like to seem them return to their former glory. Here's to hoping GameFly adds value to the equation.

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