1 month until Belgian game rentals are illegal

Following an announcement in June stating that Belgian rental shops will no longer be able to rent out newly released games, another announcement has been made that states from December 1st it will be illegal for any game to be rented out in Belgium. The Belgian Entertainment Association is the group behind the move, and it is believed that they are acting upon game publisher's concerns that rentals are harming potential sales, of which the gaming industry makes more money from.

Belgium is not unique in it's actions. Japan has a similar system in place, believing that introducing game rentals could reduce revenue.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Contentteller Community Edition 1.0.0

Next Story

Now Hiring: Talented & driven writers

43 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

...believing that introducing game rentals could reduce revenue.

Couldn't the same argument be made for renting anything? Movies, cars, apartments....

how the hell will this increase sales?! Despite I don't rent games, I would have thought the same argument for music piracy goes- it gets the product out there.

Oh, and it would also take game-developers/publisers off the hook to make GOOD games which are worth playing multiple times.

smooth_criminal1990 said,
Oh, and it would also take game-developers/publisers off the hook to make GOOD games which are worth playing multiple times.

That's the problem. Everyone is getting lazy and apathetic.

How does it even work with modern games? with all the games with set activation limits etc...how they get around that? are rental games different to the "normal" games you purchase? I'd seriously like to know!

Xerxes said,
How does it even work with modern games? with all the games with set activation limits etc...how they get around that? are rental games different to the "normal" games you purchase? I'd seriously like to know!

Dude they are speaking of Console Games, not PC games, besides I have never seen anywhere that rents PC games.... LOL

Publishers just don't want you to see how crap their latest game is, before laying down some serious cash. But we are not stupid, this will be their loss, not ours. Not that I am from "The armpit of western Europe", but you get the point.

I'm of the believe that if game developers/publishers actually gave their game enough replay value to keep my attention for more than 5 days (length of a typical game rental) then it's worth buying. If I can rent it and return it and be ok with never playing it again why should I buy it? I might buy it and play it for 10 days, but after that it probably won't get touched again.

I personally don't buy a game that I haven't rented/tried first. Seriously, why waste $60 on a game that you have no idea if it sucks or not?

Once again, content publishers are using their clout to pass laws for the sake of their profits, and to the expense of citizens. It will be their downfall, as every single one of their games is easily available on public peer-to-peer distrubution systems, and I am certain ex-game renters will turn to them.

LOL socialists at work. Isn't it better to let the game publishers decide which titles should be simultaneous/delayed rental?

Let me guess, you're going to vote McCain next week? [rollseyes] I've got news for you. A socialist would allow the game to be rented, its the capitalists who want to get the maximum profit out of it..... BTW, Canada is also a socialistic nation and we have more real freedoms and rights than the average American does as well as universal health care and downloading media and software isn't illegal. Whatever you've been told against socialism is a lie.

Foub,

Its only legal in Canada because your taxes are going to pay record companies, through a levy on blank media.

And then you have the Canadian Human Rights Commission trying to criminalize speech.

The thing is that it isn't collected for the most part. BTW, at least we get something for our taxes. Also, that $700 billion corporate welfare payout would just about pay off our entire national debt.

America is one of the least taxed nations in the West and it shows with around 70% of your infrastructure, like roads and bridge, being deemed unsafe. If you're going to throw in difference in population size China has around 4 times your population and it still only has a national debt of around $300 billion or so.

What form of speech are they trying to "criminalize"? Free speech was never every kind of speech. It was primarily political speech. If it were all forms of speech than there couldn't be an libel or slander. I know that you're speaking of hate speech. Get a clue. Like I had said, everything that you're told against socialism is a lie. The proof is how well the rest of the West is actually doing in comparison to the US now. Canadians actually have a right to privacy.

Wait--- who is it that supposedly told me all I know about socialism?

If you look at national debt as a percentage of the size of the economy, the US is not only better off than most of Europe, but also Canada. (Canada is 22 and the US is 27 in this chart -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_count..._by_public_debt )

China has a high rate of GDP growth because of the huge investment of foreign capital, including by US corporations, along with China beginning to open its market. Its not surprising they have a smaller debt.

Europe also consistently has had higher unemployment and lower GDP growth, though they've been doing better since many European countries decided to privatize parts of their economies in the 90s. For instance, France had between 11-12% unemployment in the 90s, until they started privatizing industries like telecommunications---and today its still above US unemployment at about 8-9%.

Most of the European countries have also been involved in bank bailouts, including the UK, France, etc. The IMF and World Bank just gave $25 billion to Hungary to try to help it out of its crisis--because they didn't have the funds themselves.

Yes, I am talking about hate speech. In my view, and the view of a lot of other Americans, harmful speech is already criminalized under normal statutes, whether it be libel or slander, or incitement to violence. I don't believe its necessary to make it criminal to be offensive. Some countries in Europe ban video games on the private market because they contain too much violence. The only thing the US bans on the private market is child pornography.

And while me and others in the US are concerned about privacy violations, most of us don't live in fear of the government, and we look to a country like the UK and see excessive security measures in places like London where everything is recorded on camera.

I'm not happy with everything in the US, just sick of how facts are distorted to make the US look worse than every other place when its not. The US is just an easy target to criticize.

brianshapiro said,
Wait--- who is it that supposedly told me all I know about socialism?

If you look at national debt as a percentage of the size of the economy, the US is not only better off than most of Europe, but also Canada. (Canada is 22 and the US is 27 in this chart -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_count..._by_public_debt )

... (cut for lenght)


Amen! Well said and proved. It's funny that people think Americans are arrogant when they're just as much so.

@chilliadus: Belgian copyright law may not provide for an exclusive rental right - in which case publishers can't otherwise prevent or embargo rental.

Such shortsighted greed. The money they lose in rental outlets buying their games at a higher premium is going to ridiculously overshadow the money lost to those who like to pirate rented games. Pirates aren't suddenly going to pony up the dough. They'll just resort to online instead. So now you have businesses closing and the game companies losing money but atleast you've added an extra half an hour to that pirate's busy day

If I'm unsure of a title, I rent it and then make a decision. Seems like they want to trap us the way music used to do. Release the only good song from a CD so someone buys it only to realize the other 13 songs are crap.

Game companies need to realize that rentals are revenue for them, it sure beats someone not buying the title because they were unsure and couldn't rent it to try it.

I understand this move and it doesn't affect me personally (I have never rented games nor do I live there). However, I don't see any problem with rentals as long as the content producers are rewarded. With rental DVDs stores have to pay a lot more than retail DVDs because of this, so I don't see why the same shouldn't be true of computer games - obviously the terms need to be decided but that's a separate issue.

Foub said,
Aren't comix still illegal there as well? These people are no fun.


erm no, where did you get that from?

Renting assume that you are giving some money in order to gain access to it. What if they lend it in exchange of another game?

As in the Angry Nintendo Nerd's words...

WHAT A LOAD OF BUFFALO...well you know... So you can't try a game and decide if you like it or not (is it worth spending your hard earned money on) If that's the case, they'd better watch out for internet review sites.

It has nothing to do with piracy etc... People who buy software will share it illegally.

Can you trust on internet reviews where several gaming sites are sponsored by a game company? (even Neowin).

I live in Belgium and OMG if the gaming marketing is concerned about something this tiny in just 2 countries. And if their sellings do reduce, then I'm concerned about them. Poor guys.

So this just means everything gets pushed back a little bit more.

Maybe it will help marketing sales, but I thought gaming was a huge market.. I didn't know it was in trouble because of rentals.

Amazing that the E.U. for 6 months of the year is based in Belgium.

Seems most of the judges are based or from Belgium.

They tell all us Europeans what to do and not what to do.

They tell us we must insist in free trade and movement in Europe.

However, why have they not got onto this case, it's discrimination to the nth dgree.

Avalanche said,
Another one that doesn't understand a thing about EU ... You just make a fool of yourself!

Even so, that's what happens when a country gives up it's sovereignty to another entity. They own your ass now!

Last I looked, it was the 360, not the PS3 that was experiencing piracy across the board. Very few people have Blu-ray burners; every Tom, D!ck & Harry have DVD burners.

With that in mind, it'd be overkill for Sony to implement a "lock". MS would be more interested seeing the amount of 360 game torrents I've seen on a daily basis.

They have assumed that everyone who rents would otherwise buy... I doubt it. More likely they will not bother or pirate it instead, resulting in the company getting a big fat €0 (compared to a couple of € for a rental).

Do they get anything from Rentals? Sure they get one initial sale but unless the person goes and and buys it afterwards its the person renting their copy out that makes money and not the publisher.

Unplugged said,
Do they get anything from Rentals? Sure they get one initial sale but unless the person goes and and buys it afterwards its the person renting their copy out that makes money and not the publisher.

I would expect (but don't know) that they would get a small cut. At the very least, the rental company has to pay a higher fee for a rental copy - a standard copy clearly says "not for rental".

That's pretty sad IMO. If you rent it in the first place, I would believe if you couldn't rent it would be less encouragement to buy it. I really don't understand where all this retard companies come from with this ideas, they seem to have no common sense.

Lucas said,
That's pretty sad IMO. If you rent it in the first place, I would believe if you couldn't rent it would be less encouragement to buy it. I really don't understand where all this retard companies come from with this ideas, they seem to have no common sense.

It's pretty simple rearlly. If you rent a game the chances are if you don't like it or complete it in 2 nights your hardly likly to buy it afterwards. By forcing people to purchase it they always get a sale even if the game lasts 5 minutes or it's a pile of crap.

Unplugged said,
By forcing people to purchase it they always get a sale even if the game lasts 5 minutes or it's a pile of crap.


Except people whould rather download it illegally than buy it.

Maybe so but piracy is always a separate issue and will be their even if you rented games for free on a library basis. For those who want to remain legal rental has always been a valid way of seeing if a game is any good before buying it and now this avenue has been removed.