Direct2Drives Rolls Out Virtual Game Rentals

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Direct2Drives Rolls Out Virtual Game Rentals

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Digital distributor Direct2Drive has rolled out a new rental service allowing customers to pay five bucks for five hours of playtime.

PC game rentals have historically been a thorny issue. There was a time when it was actually quite common, but the rise of consoles and, even more important, worries about the ease of piracy finally brought the practice to a halt. But Direct2Drive seems poised to bring it back, after a fashion, with a new digital rental program that gives players five hours for five bucks.

The concept is fairly simple. You pay $5.00, download your game of choice and play it for five hours - all at once, spread out over a weekend, whatever you want. If you decide to buy the game after the "rental" period is over, the $5.00 will be deducted from the purchase price; if five hours is enough to scratch the itch, then it's game over and everybody goes their separate ways. Only four games, F.E.A.R., Divinity 2: Ego Draconis, Silent Hill Homecoming and Grid, are currently available to rent, but presumably there will be more coming soon.

It's a simple idea but one with some obvious appeal. A five-dollar, five-hour rental may not be of much interest for games like F.E.A.R., which can be bought outright for $10, but for more expensive games it could be a very attractive option. The current selection probably won't draw in a lot of customers but if Direct2Drive can substantially broaden the titles on offer, I could see it being a big success, possibly even enough to convince other digital distributors to try something similar.

via: Shacknews

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So, it's kind of like a paid-for demo that expires after a certain amount of time?

I like the idea. If you like it, buy it, if you don't, no harm done. Sounds fair to me.

I just hope this doesn't turn into an excuse for devs to not make demos.
Something about this just rubs me the wrong way.

That's really expensive. Locally I can rent console games for 3 days for $5.

Erana:
I just hope this doesn't turn into an excuse for devs to not make demos.
Something about this just rubs me the wrong way.

What demos? I can't remember the last time I saw a demo for a non-indie PC game.

Andy Chalk:
snip

Just a friendly heads up: The headline should read "Direct2Drive", not "Direct2Drives".

OT: I'd be interested to see if that $5 is renewable. In other words, can I pay $10 for 10 hours of play? If so, this could definitely be a viable business model.

Of course, games that aren't 50-60 hours long won't fare too well.

Already bought FEAR for half the price on Steam

5 dollars to rent 5 hours?

5 bucks gets me a game for a bloody week at my local rental store!

Assassin Xaero:

Erana:
I just hope this doesn't turn into an excuse for devs to not make demos.
Something about this just rubs me the wrong way.

What demos? I can't remember the last time I saw a demo for a non-indie PC game.

Arkham Asylum comes to mind. Every subscription-based MMO, Mass Effect 2 has a demo...

Are you just not looking?

Still trying to decide on this one.

In one sweep it pushes Pirates away because you've already paid an amount for it, so you're more likely to finish the deal.

But, like Erana says...something just feels itchy about this.

I don't really know if this is a good thing or not.
On one hand, I can pay $40 on Steam to buy a game released 2-6 Months ago and play it all I want anytime I want.
On the other hand I can go to D2D and buy a rent thus only allowing to play 5 Hours.

Erana:

Assassin Xaero:

Erana:
I just hope this doesn't turn into an excuse for devs to not make demos.
Something about this just rubs me the wrong way.

What demos? I can't remember the last time I saw a demo for a non-indie PC game.

Arkham Asylum comes to mind. Every subscription-based MMO, Mass Effect 2 has a demo...

Are you just not looking?

Hmm... guess just games I'm not interested in. I remember back when there used to be a demo for almost every single game out there (now I can never find demos for any games that look remotely interesting), but now that is only on consoles, which seems backwards to me.

Make it $5 a week then we'll talk.

5 Dollars for 5 hours? I suppose they're trying to make sure you don't beat the game before you buy it.

Also 5 bucks is the price for F.E.A.R. 1 right about now or at least during a good sale so not a great idea to advertise with that.

Or, OR, you could release demo's instead, and limit those to 5 hours.

Kind of like Mount and Blade, only instead of a time limit, it just stopped at level 7.

Garak73:
That's really expensive. Locally I can rent console games for 3 days for $5.

Yes but will you play them for 5 hours? How many console games? Yeah it limits the amount of time but you're thinking of it from the perspective of keeping them. This is just playing them 'til the time runs out.

If it has cloud based servers to store your saved games then it would have some pazaz to the offer, but as it stands $5 for 5hrs is like someone stealing your kid's icecream cone and stepping on it while laughing in his face. The value just isn't there, most major games are already on console so you I can go a couple blocks pick up a $7 rental for 5days and get in as many hours as I want. Maybe the casual market will take it since I assume it would keep a timer on how long you play it. Don't pause and leave it sit though!

Ok, over priced but FINA-FUCKINGLY! I was wondering when all the DRM and digital distribution services would combine to allow rentals, especially as PC demos seem to become retardedly hard to come by. Be the second best solution (the first being actually releasing bloody PC demos) for the industry, encouraging them to make longer games and all that good stuff. Plus, if it's digital then the publisher can get a cut of each rental nice n easy like - everyone wins!

Only thing is, the way AAA games are these days, you'd probably finish it in a 5hr sitting *zing!*

meepop:

Garak73:
That's really expensive. Locally I can rent console games for 3 days for $5.

Yes but will you play them for 5 hours? How many console games? Yeah it limits the amount of time but you're thinking of it from the perspective of keeping them. This is just playing them 'til the time runs out.

If I have the game for 3 days and I like it then I will play for much more than 5 hours. Especially on a weekend.

Actually, I rented FF XIII when it first came out played it almost non stop. I could have/should have rented it again and just beat it. Would have costed me $10, instead of $60.

Alot of PC games these days are just bad ports of console games so when you compare the price for the same game: $5 = 5 hours or $5 = 72 hours....it's not a good value at all.

Erana:

Assassin Xaero:

Erana:
I just hope this doesn't turn into an excuse for devs to not make demos.
Something about this just rubs me the wrong way.

What demos? I can't remember the last time I saw a demo for a non-indie PC game.

Arkham Asylum comes to mind. Every subscription-based MMO, Mass Effect 2 has a demo...

Are you just not looking?

The majority of main releases don't bother. I'm not going to shell out full cashy monies on, say, Black Ops *hoping* that they've updated the gameplay from freaking CoD4. If there was a demo anywhere then I could have had a look, maybe got excited and pre-ordered and all that jazz, but there wasn't so I didn't. Same for its 2 predecessors (though, of course, I would have been disappointed anyway if I was looking for actual development and innovation). Would have probably bought Assassin's Creed if there had been a demo.

There's quite a list of big games that just don't want to make themselves available - I guess it's easier and cheaper to buy favourable reviews than to make demos...

From what people are saying I dont think they read the whole thing. The article says that if you decide to buy a game then you get the rental price off the purchase price of the game. I think the whole point is to be a try before you buy thing.

chris11246:
From what people are saying I dont think they read the whole thing. The article says that if you decide to buy a game then you get the rental price off the purchase price of the game. I think the whole point is to be a try before you buy thing.

A paid demo, should we be excited about paying for that which used to be free?

chris11246:
From what people are saying I dont think they read the whole thing. The article says that if you decide to buy a game then you get the rental price off the purchase price of the game. I think the whole point is to be a try before you buy thing.

Except the price is really high compared to console rentals. That's the main issue here, I guess. Oh, and whatever happened to free demos?

I got the fear complete back for i think £5.74 ($9) which is fear 1,2 and all 3 dlc's. So how is £5 for 5 hours of fear a good deal? Anyway i thought renting was for games that are too short or lack replayability to warrant a buy. If you just want to try something out there should be a demo. Besides if i rented a game i could get 5 hours in one day easily. So in summary this will not work unless the hours increase or the price drops.

While I don't have the prices to hand OnLive offers 3 and 5 day rental services for around the same price band. 5 hours isn't all that much for 5 bucks.

cursedseishi:
5 dollars to rent 5 hours?

5 bucks gets me a game for a bloody week at my local rental store!

While that may be true it only holds so for console games, an audience that they have absolutely nothing to do with. This is for PC gamers who really have absolutely no way to try out a game before they buy it. Sure the price is rediculous but when you consider that about 90% of games today can be beaten in under 10 hours they cant offer anymore time. I could see alot of desperate PC gamers buying into this crap.

It will definatly be interesting to see how much of a boost this is to piracy. Wont be very hard to crack whatever program they are using to limit your time.

Hot damn! Digital game rentals? Count me in! I don't care if you can get a better deal at your local game stores, but here? They've never even heard of the notion of 'renting videogames'. As of now they will only let me rent FEAR and GRID without regional restrictions, but it's a good start.

It's about time digital distribution did something like this, but friggin' popcap came up with a better system years ago. You download or rent a game or demo, you get 7 free plays during which you can play as long as you want but when the plays are up, you gotta pay. That's a better system, now isn't it? Why not 5 dollars for 7 free plays?

if the total time was 24 hours? I'd be all RIGHT ON!

but 5 hours? no. nice concept though.

cursedseishi:
5 dollars to rent 5 hours?

5 bucks gets me a game for a bloody week at my local rental store!

yeah but u cant deduct your five dollars from an eventual purchase at your rental store. And they don't do pc games.

Tbh PC rentals aren't about using it to play the whole game. their used to get a taste, and see if it runs on your setup. And this is a good system for that.

Too expensive. That's all there is to it. It's a good idea really, I've always wanted to be able to try a PC game without having to pirate it. It would theoretically boost sale quite a bit, but not at the current price. Like most people have said already if I want to rent a console game it costs me under 10 dollars for a week. In a week I could easily finish most games(unless I'm particularly busy that week).

Damn,before I read that only a few games were available I was gonna go right on over and rent Dead Space 2.It would of complemented the snow storm outside very well.

I do like the idea though just wish it wasn't limited to those old games that I've played years ago.

Erana:

Assassin Xaero:

Erana:
I just hope this doesn't turn into an excuse for devs to not make demos.
Something about this just rubs me the wrong way.

What demos? I can't remember the last time I saw a demo for a non-indie PC game.

Arkham Asylum comes to mind. Every subscription-based MMO, Mass Effect 2 has a demo...

Are you just not looking?

I'll give you MMO's but ME2 And AA are oddities in that they have pc demo's. Its becoming a rarer and rarer thing. which is a major pain in the balls if the spec information they provide is wrong (Which it usually is).

Racecarlock:
Why not 5 dollars for 7 free plays?

Are they really free plays though if you pay $5? :)

Seems like they don't offer a lot of playtime, but otherwise it's a decent idea.

Think about it, they don't really have to worry about them pirating this way, because, let's be honest, there are SO many easier ways to pirate then renting a game for $5 and trying to somehow keep it.

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