I recently read a news article that discussed the topic of video game rentals and how they were affecting video game sales. Gregory Fishbach, chairman of Acclaim Entertainment stated &I think the rental market stinks because it takes away software sales". Of course the people that work at the gaming companies will say that, they don't want you to rent video games, due to their own selfish reasons. If it wasn't for us gamers, there would be no sales in the first place.
A vast majority of the gaming population is consisted of teenagers. I know when I was a teenager I didn't have the money to spend $30.00 to buy a game. If Mr. Fiscbach is worried about sales, maybe he should think about making games more affordable. Not too many parents will go out and spend $60.00 every time their child wants to play a game.
There are some rumors circling around the internet that say people who rent a game are less likely to buy it. In my own experience I find this to be partly true. There are a few different reasons that a gamer might choose to not purchase a game after renting it.
The most obvious reason is they simply did not like it. That is the beauty of rentals, try before you buy. I would much rather test out a game I was on the fence about, before spending my hard earned money on it. I have a very simple solution for the gaming companies that would resolve this, make more demos. Not every single game that is coming out has a demo, and the only way your even going to get a demo disc is if you subscribe or buy a magazine that has one. I'm sure that gaming companies would never want to go through with this idea because if the game stinks, not one person will buy it when it's finally released.
Another reason to not buy a game after renting would be game length. Some games can take over 80 hours to beat while others can be beaten within a few days. If I rent a game and beat it within a week, it wasn't worth my money. If I'm spending around $60.00 for a game I want it to last me awhile or at least have a good replay value.
In 2008 the video game industry is huge, I see people of all walks of life playing, buying and renting video games. Game companies are so worried about rentals, and they really shouldn't be. I used to buy every new system that came out, which meant I bought a ton of games. With the costs of next generation systems averaging around $400.00, it makes it much harder for anyone to own more then one console. If prices dropped down, or they offered more special bundles, companies wouldn't have to worry about rentals, because they would be making more money.
Rentals might have an impact on game sales, but if they do it's minimal and not worth any big company, like Acclaim, mumbling about.