Netflix is not getting into games, but Gamefly is borrowing a page out of Netflix’s playbook.
Gamefly, which is known as Netflix for Games (basically, get games in the mail) has released in public beta its all-you-can-eat digital download service for PC games.
If you are a Gamefly member, you get the Unlimited PC Play service for free.
Gamefly purchased the download site Direct2Drive earlier this year that looks like the basis of foundation for its new service.
The company is smart to bundle it for free with its paid subscription-based game rental service, similar to what Netflix initially did when it launched its digital service as an add-on to its DVD rental service.
And the timing is just in time as well – before the US Post Office begins to slow down delivery service.
To really compete with the likes of Steam and Big Fish Games, however, they will need to built out the product further, and add more games, including casual games (now its more hard core titles).
In the past year, Gamefly has added a lot of neat new services, such as try and buy downloads and a very good iPhone and Android app for discovery.
Following in Netflix’s footsteps in streaming PC games as Netflix did for movies is a good move. Hopefully, they don’t continue to follow Netflix’s strategy of charging extra for streaming until you have good enough content, trying to split the rental and streaming units as two businesses, reneging a week later since it is such a stupid idea, and losing millions of users in the course of 3 months.
There are a couple different places where you can stream and play PC games for a monthly subscription price. It’ll be interesting to see what impact, if any, this has on the overall PC gaming and downloads market.