Gamefly officially purchases Direct2Drive

While the first news of the deal was leaked late last week, the video game mail order rental service GameFly has now officially announced that it has acquired the Direct2Drive PC game download store from IGN Entertainment. Today's press release did not disclose the specifics on the financial terms of the acquisition. However, it did say that as part of the deal IGN will take a minority equity stake in GameFly.

IGN's parent company News Corporation will also take an observer seat on Gamefly's board. Gamefly's statement today said that IGN "will play no direct role in GameFly’s operations or governance." At the moment the switchover in ownership is not reflected at the Direct2Drive web site which has over 3,000 PC and Mac games to purchase and download.

Earlier this month IGN acquired UGO.com and its gaming web site 1Up.com with rumors that IGN might spin off from News Corporation in the next several months. It's possible that IGN didn't see Direct2Drive as part of those spin-off plans. As far as GameFly, bringing Direct2Drive on board finally adds a PC game revenue stream to its business in addition to its popular subscription game rental mail order service. Direct2Drive competes with other similar PC game download stores such as Steam (owned by game developer Valve) and Impulse (recently sold off by Neowin.net minority owner Stardock to the GameStop retail game company). GameFly also owns the Shacknews game news web site.  More recently (and quietly) GameFly acquired MobyGames.com, a popular gaming directory and data base web site.

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8 Comments

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brent3000 said,
Wonder why IGN let this one go

I may be wrong on this, but considering IGN is merging with 1up they might not be in the best position financially to where they could purchase D2D.

Ruran said,

I may be wrong on this, but considering IGN is merging with 1up they might not be in the best position financially to where they could purchase D2D.

They already owned d2d, sounds like they were in a bad spot to keep it with the purchase of 1up or something. Kinda like how NBC-Comcast deal screwed the pooch on them keeping lots of content on Hulu.

I think Gamefly has THE WIN product. When I researched them about a year ago, it sounded like the whole rental scheme was a problem, especially for new(er) releases and according to users, there were problems on returns etc. Once they get that ironed out (if they haven't already) - Gamefly is going to be a company to watch.

Yeah not sure if a rental scheme will work, but they will problably offer unlimited games to play each month as a service for a fee. If they make it affordable that might work out, but they will need to work with developers since this model requires it to go through a lot of licensing issues. May or may not work.