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Video Game Rentals
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The History and Future of Video Game Rental Stores

In this day and age everyone and there grandmother plays video games, literally. Video games have become a huge part of our society's daily entertainment. Right now there is a need for video game rentals, and so far our choices of places to go are limited.

Where I live there are only two stores that offer video game rentals, Blockbuster & Hollywood video. These two companies mainly deal in renting movies but do offer video game rentals. If you already have a Blockbuster or Hollywood video store that you rent movies from, it's an added bonus to be able to pick up a game as well.

Blockbuster has been around since the early 1980's. When video game consoles like the Playstation and N64 became more popular, Blockbuster offered rentals. Not only could you rent a game but for a certain amount you could actually rent the system. At that time there was no such thing as online rentals and Blockbuster was the video game rental giant. I used to rent games from Blockbuster all the time, and I was very satisfied with their service. If I rented a game and the disk was scratched, I could return it and get a new one. The fact that Blockbuster offered movies and games, made planning my Friday night even easier.

The draw back to renting at Blockbuster was the selection. New games were usually all rented out and I would constantly have to keep checking every once in awhile to see if the game I wanted to try had been returned. Now Blockbuster has a plan called a game pass, for $20.00 a month you can have one game out at a time for as long as you want. Before the game pass was introduced it would cost you around $7.00 to rent a game and it had to be returned within a week.

Hollywood Video has been around since the late 1980's but has really become popular towards the late 1990's. In the area I live in besides Blockbuster, Hollywood Video is the only chain that offers video game rentals. The rental costs run about the same, $7.00 for a game, the only difference being Hollywood does not have a monthly game pass as of yet.

In a 20 mile radius I have more then thirty different retail stores that offer video games for sale and only around ten stores that offer game rentals. It's because of this that online game rental companies like Gamefly, are doing so well. As far as I know, and I'm an avid gamer, there is no offline company that currently focuses on game rentals. It would be so nice to walk into a local rental store and be able to choose a ton of different games that I could rent.

Blockbuster and Hollywood Video are slowly becoming obsolete due to Netflix. It would be in the interest of both companies to focus solely on game rentals, instead of movie rentals. By switching their focus these two companies can hit on an untouched market and make it big.