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mkiker2089

Retroscribe, rent cartridge games.

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I wondered if anyone here was familiar with Retroscribe?

 

https://retroscribe.com/

 

And no, I don't work for them ;)

 

Anyway, the idea is to be the gamefly of the retro world. Now honestly I'm not so sure it's a good idea. Retro gamers are mostly collectors, right? That said the customer service is great and the shipping is fast. My games got from their headquaters in PA to NC in two days.

 

I'll probably rent a handful of the games I can't buy cheaply and then cancel it. Castlevania 4 is my first rental and so far I'm very pleased.

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DVD services of this kind have been operational for years. I've tried the DVD service but found all the newly released movies took 1-3 months to come to you. You'd have to pick your top 20 choices of movies you'd want to watch. And if you paid X amount of dollars to have no more then 3 movies at a time, then that would be the maximum they would send out to you, until such a time you returned the movie in their self addressed package.

 

Never once did I get a movie from my top 10 choice and even after entering my top 20 the service then wanted me to enter another 30 (just in case) It was a good idea, but turtle paced on a first come first save basis. And you could keep the movie as long as you like so it depletes the amount of popular copies you wish to rent.

 

Eventually I cancelled my DVD by mail service. (This was before Netflix)

 

I wish Retrocade good luck… but I'm not confident it would satisfy a customer who'd like to have a game sooner. Perhaps at the beginning of the service, but once it became more popular I would bet the availability of games would slow down even more.

 

If a game is rare, how many copies do you anticipate they would own of that 'rare' one? I'm assuming not a lot.

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Yeah also good chance if they rent out a rare game someone might steal it and pay the "item lost" fee which would probably be cheaper than buying their own cart. It happens to the more rare library books and cds all the time.

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The lost fee is $100 and they only rent <$100 games. It's also tied to PayPal for billing.

 

This service is much faster than gamefly ever was.

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Hey guys - I'm the owner of Retroscribe, so I'm probably able to address the concerns :)

 

Yes, a fee for a "lost" game is $100. Of course, these are on a case-by-case basis. We understand things happen sometimes - but what's that old saying? If it walks like a duck...

 

I've worked a lot with my attorney to word the terms and conditions properly, and we also have a clause that reserves the right for us to bring theft charges to their local magistrate and/or turn them over to collections. Sure, many municipalities won't be much help with pressing charges, and it'll cost us a lot of money to send an account to collections (definitely a losing proposal for us) - but if you really want to risk ruining your credit or appearing in court over Mega Man, by all means, go for it!

 

To address the concerns about game availability - I came up with the "Top 3 Guarantee." The Top 3 Guarantee states that if we don't ship you one of the top 3 games in your queue, that month (or the next, at our discretion) is free. Now, if you have a 4-games-at-a-time package, we still only guarantee that one of them will be in the Top 3.

 

Yes, it will be a challenge once we grow that big to keep enough of all the "good" games in stock, but my software is pretty good for keeping on top of rental queues and letting me know how inventory is turning over. Once we get to be a certain size, we will look to acquire a large retro game dealer or bring on a strategic partner in a merger.

Edited by linktothepastgaming
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I can say that I do think people should give it a shot. I don't know what problems Gamefly had but Retroscribe doesn't suffer from them. The games traveled across the country in two days and were in great shape.

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It sounds like a really good idea, actually, as long as they can find enough customers to support it. One of the biggest compeititors of this service is emulation, of course, which although illegal in many situations, is free.

 

And like any service business, poor execution could break this one. I wish them luck.

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Any chance to expand the service to other systems? I know the four you have are probably the most popular, but I was curious about future plans.

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Absolutely - but I have to show proof of concept first. We're doing low/no-cost marketing now and through the summer, and have a larger campaign scheduled for the fall & winter (when gaming sales are much stronger). I'll have a much better idea of how this is going to do in 3-6 months.

 

It also depends on the type of subscribers that we get from these campaigns. If I find that most of our subscribers are coming from "collector" sources - the other systems will probably be a little more obscure (Sega CD, Dreamcast, TG-16, etc) because my market research has found that "collector" customers would love to be able to rent these types of games. One of the biggest things that helped Netflix take off early on was offering weird, obscure titles. If we find our customers are from the "Average Joe" demographic, you're more likely to see us add systems like PS1, GB/GBC/GBA and Gamecube.

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You should add a place where members can check which consoles they have. That would tell you who might want what.

 

Atari 2600 games can be had cheap and I bet people would rent the Activision titles among some of the other classics. Then again the games are cheap so maybe not.

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If I were in charge of this service, I'd deliberately seek out games that had crappy labels but were still fully functional and re-label them with my own company's labels. It might discourage the temptation for theft, and as a bonus you could get some rare games for more reasonable prices.

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Are there any plans to have homebrew titles such as Pier Solar and Battle Kid 2 for rental?

 

Homebrews that have been released already? No.

 

Homebrews that are new and will be available exclusively through us? Something like that just might be in the works... :)

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