The games rental industry is an offshoot of the DVD rental by mail industry, which was pioneered by Netflix, launched in 1999 to take advantage of the power of the internet and easy delivery of DVDs by mail, while eliminating hated late fees. The US games-by-mail rental industry remains small in comparison to the booming DVD rental-by-mail industry, but the past several years have seen several games-only rental outfits set up. There are smaller combined DVD and game rental companies, but neither market leaders Netflix and Blockbuster have entered the fray, so for now, the best selection and service remains with the dedicated games rental sites.
After the growth of the middle of the decade, the last few years of recession have seen no less than 11 games rental sites go out of business. We hope that all 6 companies that remain will prosper, in order to facilitate competition so the consumer wins. However, at least two of them appear to be ailing, so the market may consolidate further still.
On the customer side the situation remains vibrant though; like the DVD rental market, which is in explosive growth at present, the games rental market will probably continue to expand, especially with the cost of purchasing games remaining so high relative to DVDs and game rentals. Even the poor economy has not dented DVD rentals, as it remains a cheap leisure method. In any case, this is a period of rapid expansion in which companies are fighting for the rapidly increasing numbers of customers. So enjoy the free trials and cheap subscription fees while you can. We at Games-Rental-Guide.com will continue to guide the way with our reviews and rankings, helping you pick the best.
For a basic description of how the industry works, check out Games Rental Basics.