When Alliance Entertainment, one of the largest physical media distributors in the US, acquired GameFly earlier this month, it said it had a variety of enhancements planned for the game rental subscription service. It’s now detailed the first of those improvements: GameLock.
GameFly subscribers will see a new interface element on the platform’s website that allows them to “lock in” a game that’s about to come out. GameFly claims it will guarantee its customers get a copy of a game they want on the exact day it comes out. No need to pre-order a title or brave a midnight release to get a copy of a popular game before physical units are sold out.
The usefulness of a service like GameLock may seem questionable when you can buy a digital copy of any new release — and, in some instances, preload it before its release date. But then not everyone in the US has access to high-speed internet and in recent years the size of games has ballooned. For example, a title like Red Dead Redemption 2 is a 99GB download on the PlayStation 4. Of course, the effectiveness of the service will depend on GameFly getting out copies to people on time, something that could be tricky during the pandemic. But that’s where Alliance Entertainment’s distribution network should help the company.