Gamestop Confirms Their Stupid Streaming Service Will Be Stupid
Good lord, there are days when I think Gamestop is literally daring the game-buying public to drive them out of business. Let me invite you to recall the way they dicked over Deus Ex: Human Revolution buyers last summer. That was when they pulled the onlive codes out of the PC version of the game, because OnLive competes with their still-nonexistent competing service. Just to remind you how idiotic this was, here’s what they told employees in a memo they never meant to go public:
“As GameStop is developing a streaming service in our Spawn Labs Cloud Computing Division, the coupon that was included is for a competing service. We are returning all copies of the PC regular edition to the vendor in agreement with Square Enix.”
Well, details about that service have finally surfaced, and guess what folks: It’s going to be a major rip off. That service is currently undergoing beta testing, and GameStop VP Mike Mauler talked to Gamesindutry.biz about it.
In terms of a service, the consumer has to have bought the game, so we’re not looking at a service where you can just play games in the cloud, you would buy the game through our loyalty program and through a partnership with the publishers we would give them an opportunity to possibly – this is still something we’re working out – to be able to play their game when they’re not at home with their Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.
You get that? In order to use their destined-to-fail streaming service, you’re going to have to buy a physical copy of the game. Or put in terms even a Gamestop VP can understand, they’re working on an inconvenient OnLive. Brilliant plan, guys, just awesome. It makes the fact that you shamelessly rip off your employees look positively benign.
But you know what, why stop there? Here’s an even better suggestion: why not require a persistent Internet connection just to keep your membership in the service current – literally, if your Internet ever goes out, you lose your subscription regardless of usage. And hell, while you’re at it, you should force your customers to bring their computer – or whatever machine is provided to access the streamed game – into a Gamestop in order to activate the download. And as long as we’re just spitballing here, you should also require players to insert the physical copy of the disc into the Gamestop streaming service machine in order to access the streamed version of the game.
Really, the sky is the limit when you’re making a product that everyone can tell sucks large months before it sees the light of day.