Reuters reports that Redbox, one of the leading DVD rental kiosks, is in talks with video game providers to add video gamer rentals to its kiosks. Redbox has had some friction with movie publishers due to the low cost price that it rents its DVDs – $1 per night (although coupons are readily available to make the overnight rentals free). Both Twentieth Century Fox and NBC Universal won’t allow Redbox to buy their films directly because the movie publishers say the $1 rental price undervalues the potential sale of movies.
With some movie producers not allowing Redbox direct access to films, Redbox has to buy the movies at retail outlets and then package them for rental in their kiosks. That means some films are slow making it to the kiosks and when they arrive the films are in short supply. Redbox has stated that it is in talks with game publishers, though it is not saying what developers it is in talks with. Games will likely rent for $2 per day. Game rental trials are already underway in Reno, Nevada and Wilmington, NC.
Redbox president Mitch Lowe said, “We are talking early and often with the content providers of games so that we start out with a much better understanding of what we’re doing.”
Reuters reports that THQ CEO Brian Farrell has said that he would consider allowing Redbox to rent THQ video games. He said, “If you look at movies and music in some ways, resisting new business models has not been a great formula for success, so one of the things I like about our industry is we tend to think, ‘We have to adapt to this change.’ So it’s part of our DNA.”
Warner, Fox, and Universal may be keeping Redbox from buying their films directly now, but Redbox intends to fight. The rental company has filed suit against the movie firms on antitrust grounds. Currently, Redbox has 17,500 locations around the country with a total of 20,600 kiosks installed.