You Can Now Rent PC Games Over The Internet

You Can Now Rent PC Games Over The Internet

Here’s a novel concept: digital delivery store Direct2Drive is trialling an offer whereby PC gamers can download and rent a game.

It works like this: you download the entire game from D2D, and pay $US5 for five hours of playtime. If at the end of that time you want to buy the game, you pay the difference from its retail price. We’re unsure as to what happens if you decline that offer – presumably the game is “locked” – but we’ll check with D2D to find out.

Neat idea. Sadly, only four games are currently being offered as part of the deal (Silent Hill: Homecoming, Grid, FEAR and Divinity 2), all of them older games that you should be able to buy in full for not much more than the renting price, especially if competitor Steam is saving a sale.

Apply it to recent, full-price games, though, and this becomes a great idea. An asking price of $US40-50 for a PC game can be steep if it doesn’t have a demo, so having the chance to try before you buy could help a lot of uncertain gamers out.

D2D’s [D2D, via Shacknews]


  • While it doesn’t look that amazing now, I can see this business model being a godsend to computer gamers once it adapts to the competitive market. I am very hesitant in purchasing titles over $30 without a demo or trial.

  • It’s a good idea for PC games as you cant return/trade a PC game (EB games etc). But I think it may run into trouble – if you do indeed download the entire game for $5, then say na dont want it…then I dont know maybe download a crack for it, subsequently gaining the entire game for $5. Unless they can somehow remove it from your system. Either way I’m sure their will be people out there that will find a way to exploit it. Shame really.

    • Atleast they made that $5 rather than have people just crack it anyway.

      Also, what stops someone from re-renting it for another $5 just to finish it off (Including renting it on another account and porting over save files)?

    • If someone wanted to download the game illegally they could do it for free…Why would they bother paying $5 only to crack it later?

      In the worst case, it’s better for them to recieve $5 from someone cracking the rented game, as opposed to them just downloading it without any investment.

      However, I personally see this acting as an effective anti-priacy vessel in it’s own right. Assuming it gets proper coverage, and support, could offer a valuable way to try games before buying them, which, from what I’ve gathered of many colleges and indeed from my own experience, is the main reason many people pirate in the first place. Personally, I will oft download a game to see if I like it first (assuming there’s no demo software available), if the game suits me I will buy it and support the company that made it.

      Morality of it all aside, I would definantly use this service as I’d rather support PC gaming than watch it die from lack of security of purchases…people dislike spending money on crap they don’t know if they want.

    • But if you are getting cracks for games presumably you know what you are doing and are therefore less likely to spend the $5 in the firstplace.

    • I would think that if they use a “ecosystem” in which the games are purchased and downloaded similar to Steam you would have a form of anti-piracy. You could link the rental/purchase to their ID and after the five hours it won’t let you use the official servers as well has having a remote-password system like a RNA as when you download it could send hardware tag info or even IP info to prevent theft.

      Which honestly I would be ok with. I’ve spend over thousands of dollars($100 games really shouldn’t exist) over 9years with Steam and EBgames I’ll be honest I tried to download a game one. KOTOR:1, Downloaded had issues installing/mounting it and then finding patches and the other misc file. Checked EBgames $8 sale. Bought installed done and happy 😀

  • “It works like this: you download the entire game from D2D, and pay $US5 for five hours of playtime. ”

    Bet you we won’t see Modern Warfare or Black Ops up for rental any time soon…

    • Not true. Think about it like this. Developr sells a license for $100 for a game that can be used multiple times ( rented). Imagine what would happen if Aussies used the codes during the day then yanks use it overnight or during the day when we are sleeping. Your total return would increase. This is something that console gamers would almost certainly never get. I think it could work

  • Replace ‘rent’ with ‘purchase a demo of’. Wasn’t EA or some big publisher raving about purchasable demos about 6 months ago? I got the impression most people were against it.

    On the plus side, with the whole ‘quality over quantity’ mentality this could lead to some cheap purchases. We could all finish our annual COD for $5 🙂

  • i am actually so glad this is possible, i have feelings this may reduce pirated games as people would not want to pay large amounts of money to buy a pc game, be disappointed with it but not be able to return it, just my view though

  • Sounds like you’re paying for a demo or trial edition.I remember downloading Civ 3 trial for free, and after about an hour or 2 it just came up with a message saying the trial was up, did I want to buy it. Sounds very similar to this, but for some reason you have to pay for this one…..

  • “It works like this: you download the entire game from D2D, and pay $US5 for five hours of playtime.”

    Why is it that nobody ever brings up the fact that there are a significant number of people for whom an 8 gig download isn’t something you can just do on a whim? Or am I the only one still on an archaically small/slow internet plan?

  • Unless all code self deletes on the due return date I can see claims of ‘piracy’ from the publishers quite easily being leveled at this due to code being distributed (unplayable due to being locked or not) by D2D…

  • It seems like a good idea for everyone except developers who feel that 8 hours of gameplay in a full price title is good value. Gamers get to try something that they would otherwise ignore or pirate, developers get potential customers viewing their products and D2D gets people spending money.

    If they can get the majority of their games fitted with this feature, especially shortly after release, and it isn’t too easy to pirate these demo versions, then they’ll likely do well.

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