Gamefly buys Shacknews

Chris Caceres · February 5, 2009 · Short URL:

With the acquisition of Shacknews, is Gamefly trying to go on-demand with game rentals?, a popular subscription based video game rental service, recently announced it had acquired Shacknews, a video game information site.  The financial details have not yet been disclosed, but Gamefly intends on keeping the entire editorial staff of Shacknews.

Why would a video game rental company want to buy a video game news site?  Simple, with the acquisition of Shacknews, Gamefly gets Fileshack, which is Shacknews’ video game file downloading site.

Let’s take a look at some trends.  Gamefly’s concept is similar to that of Netflix.  You subscribe to their service and get content mailed to your house – never having to worry about late fees or shipping fees.  In the past year and a half, Netflix has added some pretty neat features to its service like,  “Watch instantly.”  Now you don’t have to wait for the movies to get mailed to your house, you can watch them instantly on your computer.  Of course it isn’t unlimited, but it definitely comes in handy when you don’t feel like waiting two days to watch a DVD.  This feature was recently incorporated into Xbox Live in November of 2008. 

Perhaps Gamefly is planning to step into the service of on-demand video game rentals?  Although highly doubtful they can integrate with Xbox Live due to the fact the concept would directly conflict with Live’s current business model, where you can pay for direct downloads from their own service.  Although, emulators for high end PC’s may be a possibility for Gamefly.

With this idea put aside, Gamefly is acquiring one of the top gaming news sites on the Net.  Shacknews, which was founded way back in 1995 is rated by comScore as one of the top five video game news sites on the web.

To keep Shacknews' millions of readers calm, Gamefly’s co-founder Sean Spector explained, “We're not looking to twist and turn the site into something else…we purchased Shacknews because it's a great site."

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Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is the world's largest online movie rental service, providing more than seven million subscribers access to more than 90,000 DVD titles plus a growing library of more than 5,000 choices that can be watched instantly on their PCs. The company offers nine subscription plans, starting at only $4.99 per month. There are no due dates and no late fees – ever. All Netflix plans include both DVDs delivered to subscribers' homes and, for no additional fee, movies and TV series that can be started in as little as 30 seconds on subscribers' PCs. DVDs are delivered free to members by first class mail, with a postage-paid return envelope, from over 100 U.S. shipping points. Nearly 95 percent of Netflix subscribers live in areas that can be reached with generally one business day delivery. Netflix offers personalized movie recommendations and has two billion movie ratings.