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A Problem in the Game Rental Service

Another End of an Era

A few weeks ago I received a code to get a FREE Redbox DVD or game rental for one night. So I used it to rent out a game that had just come out so I can try it out before purchasing it. When I arrived at the Redbox kiosk, I entered my information to receive my game CD. When the CD case popped out, I received a blank case with the QR code sticker glued on it where the game CD is supposed to be. So I called the support group and reported the incident. The representative was kind and professional as she gave me a new code for me to rent out the game again. So I rented out the same game through the app on my phone, received the confirmation to pick up the game, and then entered my information to get the game at the same Redbox kiosk. Once again, a new case popped out and this one was also empty with the QR code sticker glued in at the exact spot as the first CD case. Now I have two empty cases with no games. Since the representative was still on the phone with me, I informed her of the same issue. She then gave me another code, but this time I ordered the game at a different kiosk. I returned both empty cases inside the Redbox kiosk and drove to the next Redbox location, which was around 15 minutes away from the current one. When I arrived there, I entered my information to get the game. When the CD case came out, thank God this time there was a game CD inside. What was supposed to take me 10 minutes turned into almost an hour task, and it was all because some thieves chose to outsmart the system and get free games.

With hacks like this, it seems that the game rental service may have some issues at hand. Even buying physical gaming discs is almost out of the question for me now. About three years ago the Blu-ray reader in my PlayStation 3 could no longer read the gaming disc and I was left to download the games that I already had from the PlayStation Store. In addition, fixing the problem would have cost me almost the same amount of money to get a new console. The way I see it, as long as you have a reliable and strong internet connection and plenty of Hard Drive space in your device, getting the digital product by download or through a streaming service is the best way to go.

The business of renting or selling physical discs can come with a loss in inventory and money for the business owners and a loss of time for buyers and renters. Now even though Redbox has an On-Demand service for movies, you still have to rent out the games from them through discs. Streaming services such as PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass are perfect for playing older games on your console. You basically don’t even need to purchase a physical product or rent it out like gamers used to do with Gamefly. Just pay a subscription fee and you will have access to the games right on the spot. When it comes to mobile games, all you need is enough internal storage on your phone or storage space inside your SD card. For now, new games can be purchased physically at a store or online by downloading it and getting the license for it. One can always try out the demo but it’s not the same as renting the actual thing. With thieves stealing the discs and the discs getting damaged by mishandling them, this may be the end of the physical discs era and the start of a new way to rent out and buy games in the industry. Now I’m pretty sure that even the digital product can be downloaded, duplicated, and shared as torrent files; however, due to updates and license keys, that makes it almost discouraging for someone to spend their time to obtain and keep an unlicensed program. When it comes to technology, hackers and thieves will always find a new way to cheat the system.

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A Problem in the Game Rental Service
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