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Netflix drops plans to offer video game rentals

Netflix drops plans to offer video game rentals

January 25, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi

After a brief period of indecision, video streaming and disc-by-mail company Netflix has officially dropped earlier plans to begin offering video game discs by mail.

The news was confirmed by CEO Reed Hastings in a conference call with Netflix investors attended by tech blog Engadget. Hastings said the company has "no plans" to offer games for rental.

The company's ambition to expand into game rentals was first teased in September of last year. At that time, Netflix was splintering off its digital and physical divisions into two distinct categories: the video streaming service would continue to be called Netflix, while the disc-by-mail portion -- which would expand to include video games for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii -- would operate under a new company called Qwikster.

"Members have been asking for video games for many years, and now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done," Hastings said at the time.

Plans to split the company quickly dissolved among analyst denouncement and declining stock prices. When asked the following month if video games would still be introduced into the service, Hastings said the company had "yet to decide whether or not to offer video game discs."

The move, had it gone through, would have offered substantial competition to the current leader in games-by-mail, GameFly.

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