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GameFly acquires ShackNews

By on February 4, 2009
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GameFly has acquired ShackNews, according to a post on ShackNews website.

GameFly is an online game rental service that allows members to rent console games with no charges or late fees, just as LoveFilm does for movies.

ShackNews is a content destination website that covers games. It’s a media business, funded by advertising.

I’m struggling to see the logic of the deal. GameFly needs to persuade people to rent games: does having an in-house content provider improve that?

It also seems likely that ShackNews independence will come¬†under scrutiny now that it is owned by a retailer. Additionally, will premium advertisers want to advertise on a retailer’s site, and will Shacknews be able to take advertisements from retailers and online businesses that operate in direct competition with GameFly?

Interesting, but in the end, I wonder if it was a deal born out of desperation rather than ambition.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com
  • There is an interview with GameFly founder Sean Spector and Shacknews founder Steve Gibson at GamaSutra. Not a lot of information on the purpose of the acquisition, though.

  • I noticed that ShackNews includes FileShack, a “popular downloads site”. I wonder if this is more a sign that GameFly might be looking to move into digital rental?