While Gamefly has been known for its game rental program and its occasional killer sale on used games, it’s also been giving the ol’ streaming game service a try with a variety of indie titles and third-party games. However, it doesn’t appear that it hit it off as well as intended. And now, it's going away.
Per this report from Variety, the company will be concluding its game streaming service at the end of August, based on a number of messages and information provided on its support line. The last day of service is expected to be August 31. Following that, accounts will no longer be charged for memberships, and the company will instead focus on its game rental program.
The company hasn’t said anything on the matter, but its streaming service hasn’t quite caught on like others on the market. While PlayStation Now isn’t as popular as it could be, it still has thousands of players enjoying PS3 and PS4 games on either console or PC. Gamefly just doesn’t appear to have that kind of strength in numbers, though an exact subscriber count is unknown.
There was a rumor that Electronic Arts could possibly be acquiring the service, but the company was quick to set the record straight. Speaking with Variety, an EA spokesperson noted, “We acquired the team in Israel and the technology they’ve developed, we did not acquire the Gamefly streaming service. We have not been involved in any decisions around the service.” So more than likely, it’s probably just closing due to lack of growth.
This isn’t the only cloud streaming service to go belly up over the past few years. After a launch with a handful of impressive titles, OnLive also went the way of the dodo, mainly due to Sony purchasing its service and shutting it down in favor of PlayStation Now’s superiority.
That’s not to say cloud gaming is doomed, mind you. Electronic Arts and Microsoft seem to be interested in this service, but it’s a matter of finding the right approach to keep players interested. That and, of course, figuring out the latency problem enough to make them feel worthwhile. We all know what happened with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard on Nintendo Switch when it elected to take the cloud route, right? (Needless to say, it didn’t work out as well as expected.)
Farewell, Gamefly streaming service. Here’s hoping the company finds renewed strength in bettering its rental program.