Gottaplay sounds impressive on paper, boasting no less than five shipping centers. However, their recent stock falls (from a high of $2.27 in 2007 to under a penny) make us very wary about suggesting people sign up with them at present. Several game rental companies have closed in the recession, and customers are often left holding the bag in case of bankruptcy.
We have no other information to suggest Gottaplay is in financial trouble, but the investors might know something we don't, and we notice their claimed inventory has changed in a year, so we'd still be wary. We also notice their shipping centers seem to have reduced from nine to four, and they don't seem to be adding new titles (see screenshot--none were listed in March 2010 when we visited)--never a good sign.
Again, on paper Gottaplay looks excellent; mailing from the Distribution Center nearest you (see map below) can shave days off of transit times. They even ship on Saturdays, a rarity among game and DVD rental companies alike. They also track where their games are in the shipping process for you, so you know when they'll arrive, and as soon as your post office scans a returned game in, they dispatch the next title.
The company was originally known as DeepShark, but has since acquired several rival firms enabling it to offer this 5-distribution center service.
The website itself is fast-loading and the search engine powerful. We would prefer a bit more detail on individual titles, but this is a minor criticism. They call your list of game preferences a "Q" (how many people can spell the British "queue" anyway?), just one of several minor quirks which set GottaPlay apart. For instance, you can even purchase gift certificates for membership for 1, 2, 3, 6, and 12 months--great gift for a gamer.
Despite being a large company, Gottaplay has phone support, unlike some competitors, which is a big plus. They even have a tagline under the phone number "We won'\t hide this on you"--relevant as many companies bury a contact number deep within the FAQs, if they have them at all. Continuing in this vein, they have extensive FAQs and Terms of Service, so there should be no surprises, which is how it should be. There are plenty of little extras, like a vacation feature to suspend your account when away and a trading system for swapping games with other users.
Again, we simply wouldn't sign up to a company in financial distress like this, but if they manage to recover in the coming months, they will definitely be worth another look.
Prices: GottaPlay has eliminated its free trial option--you now get 30% off the first month subscription. Game plans are a very competitive $11.95 for 1 game out for the first month, $15.53 thereafter, or for 2 games $19.95 for the first month, thereafter $ $25.99. There are several other options available.
You have 7 days after cancellation to return any outstanding games or you will be charged $50 for outstanding titles.