So, I recently tried to log into my Direct2Drive account, for those who dont know it was a digital download gaming service owned by parent company IGN. I had been using it for years and overall, while it wasnt as good as Steam, it was perfectly fine and I had some older games on there. I like digital download because I dont have to worry about losing or damaging the disc or keeping track of authorization codes, and as a general rule I dont pirate software (or music, or movies for that matter - almost never).
So, when I logged in, I learned that D2D had been sold to gamefly in August 2011, and that all my games would be over there now. Now, as a former gamefly member, I wondered how it would work in terms of merging my accounts, as I get offers from gamefly to renew all the time. I logged into my GF account, and lo and behhold, there were some games - but, not all of them. I checked around and learned that only a fraction of the games people bought on D2D were ever transferred to GF - the rest would possibly "be added later," had some legal issue which prevented the transfer, or were "older games" which GF had deemed not even worthy of adding to their servers because only a few hundred people would ever download them. The outcry has been phenomenal.
So in the end, the customers got screwed. We paid for games, so we could have them indefinitely, and because D2D sold to a buyer who had no experience in the digital download market and no incentive to provide servers and updates and authorizations for older games, and various DRM issues with some newer ones as well - we now have a fraction of what we paid for. The GF client interface sucks, and from what I can tell its also some sort of evil spyware that wont ever close unless you end the process from the Task Manager.
If the rumor is true, and the next generation of consoles doesnt allow used games to be played without paying for an authorization, Gamefly is going to go out of business. Most of their money comes from renting and selling used games, and if this latest fiasco is any indication, they have no idea what they are doing in the digital download marketplace. Competitors like Steam and EA will eat them alive.
Im concerned about the next generation, between the lack of used games, online games only being active for 2 years, integrated motion controls for every game, and Sony filing a patent for in game advertisements which stop the game and force you to watch a commercial. Talk about breaking the players immersion, something like that would positively shatter it. Im sure they will find ways to get us to buy their next gen consoles, mostly by selling us remakes of games we already played which have since been taken offline or which will be remade in HD, offering features which we had and were taken away, and of course needing to buy one to play Bungie's next gen IP or Half Life 3. The greedy, money-sucking face humping vampire squid that is the gaming industry will find a way to get us to buy one, just like they did with the 360 and the Xbox and PS2 and N64 before it, ad infinitum, but that doesnt mean I wont do so kicking and screaming.