We've seen about a million Xbox Game Pass to Netflix comparisons over the years; it's one of the easiest ways to quantify the subscription service. However, in a new interview, Xbox's Chris Charla has compared Game Pass to an older 'rental' institution.
That'd be famous 90s video store, Blockbuster!
In the interview with Screen Rant, Charla explained that he felt Game Pass had some of the Blockbuster "energy", recalling the times when you could go into the store and pick from a wide range of games to rent for a few days:
"The only thing I can compare it to - and this is an old comparison, because I'm an old person - is when you used to go to the video stores and rent videos. You could also rent video games, so you'd go into this Blockbuster in the US and rent one NES game for the weekend. But you have all this choice, so instead of getting the one game for your birthday, you now have a whole aisle of games and can have any of them. "
"I think Game Pass has some of that energy, and I think it's been a great way for people to find their next favorite game. But when I look at it from a developer point of view, I think it's been a fantastic way for developers to find their audience."
In our view, Xbox Game Pass is undoubtedly a massive improvement on the Blockbuster era, but it's impossible to deny there was something really enticing about going into a physical store and taking your time to pick out the perfect game to rent for the weekend. These days, we're just totally spoilt for choice with Game Pass!
Interestingly, Blockbuster has actually been in the news again recently as the official Twitter account has been posting for the first time in two years, including a particularly humourous tweet that has been going viral over the past 24 hours:
Agree with the comparison? Did you used to rent games at Blockbuster? Tell us in the comments.
Light news day eh
I think i'm most surprised that Blockbuster has a Twitter account, I thought they were wiped out before social media had become a thing and were now just a cautionary tale for executives about the dangers of not keeping with the times.
Ahhh man. The old blockbuster building near where I grew up has literally only just been knocked down and turned into flats!
It’s amazing I used like and use blockbuster.
And I don’t not one piece of physical media from music, movies and games now, I’m totally digital at home, work and in the car.
I guess I’m lucky to have lived through it all.
Gamepass is the Netflix of gaming & netflix killed blockbuster very bad comparison there
I kinda get what he is saying. and we are definitely spoiled nowadays with all of the access we have. Its cool, but it doesn't hold that same "buzz" as going to rent a game, having said game in your mind...then getting into the video store to find it, for it to only already be on rent. Then you have to step outta your comfort zone and pick something u weren't initially going to get or go with a familiar favorite. But in both cases, it was such a special experience as a kid, that i made sure to never leave empty handed. And, with it being my family paying for it, it would be a shame for me to not to get as much out of the rental as i could, so i usually could play a rented game for longer periods of time, because it had to go back eventually. good ol times. We also didn't have a blockbuster close by. We had Movie Gallery and Family Video.
@Dusk_Actual (most of them are lol)
i know that he meant this as a compliment, but is sometimes my complaint about Game Pass: it seems like just like "here's a whole BUTTLOAD of stuff! bound to be something in there that you'll like, probably, we guess!" instead of a more considered, carefully curated game library. especially when it sometimes feels like Sony effortlessly snaps up the REALLY good stuff as exclusive.
Used to love blockbuster back in the day and fact used to rent even when I had Netflix. I remember struggling to get my daughter's buggy in the tiny store in Johnstone, Scotland so I could browse the titles. Also when my wife was pregnant she craved Hagan Daz Dulce Luce and the only place you could get it was blockbuster
It’s not the same and even close. More PR and spin. As someone else has rightly said….. subscription model killed blockbuster and GPU is subscription model.
Blockbuster had old movies new movies and you could pick what you wanted. It wasn’t heavily curated and movies wouldn’t suddenly vanish.
GPU is more like that dodgy little video rental section at the local corner shop…. The big new movies aren’t there day one and you end up with something just coz your there and it’s better than nothing.
Doesn’t have the same energy at all. I didn’t frequent Blockbuster much, but I was a huge fan and user of Family Video until they closed up shop. I’ve even got a Family Video sweatshirt. Lol. Rental stores were a social thing. You’d run into people you’d see, you’d have all new film/game choices, you’d probably deliberate more, and you’d definitely playthrough or watch what you rented because you spent money on it. Gamepass has Netflix energy 100%.
Something I’ve learnt as I’ve gotten older… those that are given everything appreciate nothing.
Loved Blockbusters as a kid. Memories of it will always be looking through all the cool movie covers whilst the latest trailers played on old crt tv overhead. Finding the gaming section and routinely picking up and putting down the boxes of games on platforms I didn’t even own. Then chatting movies and video games to the guy on the other side of the counter who seemed only a touch older than me.
9 times out of ten I just went in the store for something to do. The rare special times I was allowed to get a movie or game out, alongside some sweets, was an awesome treat…that you made the most of regardless of the game/movie you left with. I ended up loving Two Human because of blockbusters… it was the game I opted to dedicated my weekend to…and had no choice but stick with it over that weekend.
Always a magical place… till it was time to bring things back and you’d curse having to walk all the way back to the store just to post your movie/game through the door.
I always remember going to block buster with my mother she would rent a movie and get me some bargain game deals that was 2 for 15 or 3 for 20 which was the low quality deal but you know you can't go wrong with that as kid with FIFA 96 thrown in for like 50p, as I got older I would go on my own a lot, I started to know the worker behind the counter really well a guy called justin (rocker/hippy type of dude) he would let me buy 18 age rated games by putting the disc in a different case, i come home one time and my mother went mad, good times.
I used to love going to blockbuster and getting a film for Friday and Saturday night. The instant availability of just turning on Netflix, Disney etc is good but I preferred browsing this boxes.
Gamepass on the other hand is amazing as I don’t have to que with smelly. People to buy a game anymore.
Man, imagine if we were all subbed to Blockbuster instead of half a dozen video and game services right now.
Yes Netflix killed blockbuster, but blockbuster killed the local mom and pop video rental store. I got such better deals there. They deserved to die.
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