Layoffs at GameFly

By-mail and PC on-demand game service hit with layoffs as part of a restructuring effort; 15 percent of staff have been cut.

Restructuring at GameFly has led to a round of layoffs affecting 15 percent of the company, Joystiq reports. GameFly CEO Dave Hodess released a statement on the matter to the site, saying no significant changes will come to pass as a result of the cuts.

"We studied our business and determined that we could operate with a smaller team while continuing to provide the same high level of service to our customers," Hodess said.

"Aside from a greater focus in our software development efforts, we're not making any significant changes in our console subscription or digital download businesses. GameFly remains profitable with a strong balance sheet."

Future generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony are believed to emphasize digital distribution, which could spell trouble for a company like GameFly. However, in addition to the company's by-mail service, the firm owns the Direct2Drive platform, allowing gamers to purchase and play PC titles.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

Discussion

53 comments
DooleyMTV
DooleyMTV

Actually, the first person they should lay off is WENDY, their "Customer Service" supervisor.


I put "Customer Service" in quotes, because she is a flat-out liar who doesn't care about customers, only about ripping them off and LYING to them.


Good Riddance, Gamefly.

DooleyMTV
DooleyMTV

Good, they are a ripoff anyway, and they treat their customers so poorly.


This is the "beginning of the end' for a company that will hopefully be out of business REALLY SOON.

 

Atombomb1981
Atombomb1981

Talented people will find their way... it's too bad that upper management deals with them as resources.

tmorri603
tmorri603

This report is really saying is that they are going to lay off 15% their staff and make the others work harder while the upper management pockets the profit of the they canned. This is the same old story of the big fish eatting the little fish. I feel sorry for the people who are going to lose their job. It is a shame.

Josh098
Josh098

I am not sure how I feel about this. Game fly does let you rent and buys games, but it is 23$ a month after your trial period. That seems somewhat steep for a rental service to me. If you are just playing tons of games every month and more than getting your 23$ worth I suppose it is fine. If you do not play/buy new games that often you might be just better off buying them when you want them. Guess it depends what you get out of it. I do hope they make the service a little cheaper

jark888
jark888

The following is what I wrote to Gamefly around Nov. 2012. It's my personal experience with GF. This could be useful for those who consider trying GF. 

First of all, you get 2/5 for overall service from me which means below satisfactory standard. I'd concisely put it that the service is amateur (the image of the business is still looking good though). Now, the followings would be part of the reasons why:

1) I never get what I expect from you. I joined Gamefly in order to try Resident Evil 6, but I ended up buying it. The supply of games in your inventories is probably far from adequacy. This go for some of your old games as well.

2) The customer service agents never allow customers to upgrade their services during trial period. I had offered to pay for upgrading during trial period without asking for time extension, but that wasn't an option. I just wasn't really expect professional business practice to turn down paid customer request. That's why I said the service is amateur.

3) I did not get the 1st or 2nd in-queue game even if it was shown as "Available now" or "Low." At least, there should be a way to tell us how long it would take to get a certain title, and the option to wait for the 1st in queue game. You can't expect me to pay for the service that is literally decided by the employees (I was or felt like being treated as a low priority client). The point is, not getting the 1st in-queue game all the time is pretty suck.

4) Those games I really want were either "not rentable" or "available", but I'd never got it. Some of those titles are: Resident Evil - Dead Aim, Klonoa 2, Zone of the Enders - The 2nd Runner, and much more. It may be a good idea to add more of those high-demanded games in your inventories.

5) One game out at a time is not a good idea even for free trial customers. We should have one game to play while waiting for another one. It calls seamless service. You can impose limitation by allowing only one new game. This can be done by marking all of those high-in-demand games for identification and informative purpose.

Those are pretty much the main reasons why I decided not to continue the service. I hope you correct these mistakes within one year as I may come back for the service.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

Gamefly is kick-ass! great selections, fast shipping and delivery.  don't listen to the haters, they don't know what they're talking about.

Alecmrhand
Alecmrhand

Add me to the list of Gamefly fanboys.  Ive been a customer for a couple years now and not only has it allowed me to get games i want cheaper, but ive been able to try dozens of games i never would have been able to otherwise.  Its the greatest rental service ever.  

I wish all the best for those who lost their jobs.  Thank your fellow citizens who voted for irresponsible government.  Obamacare cost you your jobs.  

I just hope i can continue to afford Gamefly.  The economy is only going to get worse.

A day doesnt go by that there isnt a story about layoffs somewhere on Gamespot.  

ptown58
ptown58

Love Gamefly. 

They were a little sketchy at first but have been rock solid for a couple years now, not to mention 10% off and a $5 buck coupon at almost all times. Some pretty good free PC downloads also.

Hope they do whatever it takes to stay around as long as possible.

roguebot
roguebot

It only takes 2 days for me to get a game in the mail, but I live in Sarasota and I think they have a warehouse in Tampa, so it's not that far away.

inebriantia
inebriantia

I love Gamefly, and have never understood people's issue's with it. If you work your Q correctly, you can always get your games on Wed the day after release. Gamefly has saved me so much money, getting to try a game before buying it helps as well. I have no interest in digital downloads, unless it was on a PC. The PS Store recently shut down it's digital comics, and guess what, every purchase I made is now lost, I can't even redownload the titles. Digital is a waste of money.

lonewolf1044
lonewolf1044

D++n, not GF, I love that company and been a customer for many years since it came into existence, I hope they will be able to get things in order.

WWE6427
WWE6427

For those that lost their job I feel bad for them and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

SSJMonkey
SSJMonkey

They are going to be completely out of business next gen when we can just instantly start playing any game. No one wants to wait for anything these days.

kessel21
kessel21

that sucks, gamefly rules.  i understand the issues people have with game turn-around times and not receiving games on their Q but you just have to learn to game the system a bit (clear your Q for just that one game, etc).  now that there's a warehouse in-state, i receive games within a day or two.  buying used thru them is a great deal: always already steep discounts + 10% off + $5 quarterly coupons + free shipping + ships w/ box, manual and ALL unused online codes.  for $240/yr, i can play 20+ games.  $12/game on average?  SOLD.

Triton
Triton

I wish them best of luck in finding new jobs.

Incubus420
Incubus420

Still love my Weekend Confirmed! And the GameFly app on my iPhone!  (for news mainly)


brxricano
brxricano

"Aside from a greater focus in our software development efforts, we're not making any significant changes in our console subscription or digital download businesses. GameFly remains profitable with a strong balance sheet."  

Wait......wait.....*recalls accounting class, liabilities and assets, profits vs. losses, etc.* um....lol WHAT?! XD

Another corp. talking to their customer base like we are retarded little kids. smh

CaptainGamespot
CaptainGamespot

I'm not into gamefly, but sorry to those that got fire.d

leeko_link
leeko_link

I know a lot of company fired ppl cuz their service sucks but c'mon GF firing ppl cuz it's a success?

blitzinD
blitzinD

Always unfortunate when people lose their jobs.

I can't comment on their rental business as I have never used it but I have bought some games through them for download and have never had a problem and they have had some really good deals on games. I got both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City GOTY editions for around $15.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

If I actually received my game within 2 weeks I would consider the service.  Stuff wasn't delivered after a month and the time started to overlap.  I had it for almost 6 months and I swear I only played 4 games( with a 3 game at a time membership).

chrsvic
chrsvic

in order to prevent anymore layoffs and prevent going out of business. Gamefly needs to do two things:

1. let members use prepaid cards that have Visa and Mastercard logos on them. that's preventing some people from wanting to join Gamefly and it's hurting their business. Netflix lets you use those type of cards, so come on Gamefly quit being jerks and let your members USE THOSE CARDS.

2. stock more games. their shipping centers are like Amazon warehouses which can hold plenty of games. 

XspidervenomX
XspidervenomX

I was lucky to get two games a month let alone what I wanted. So I dropped them...

worlock77
worlock77

I'm sure they will continue to provide the same level of service, since they really couldn't get much slower than they are already. F*ck I wish Netflix would start offering game rentals.

CriticalCritic
CriticalCritic

This might be the year that I finally try this out, it's unfortunate that they have to lay off 15%, sounds like a great service though.

Sekhemket
Sekhemket

I loved Direct2Drive, until they bought it. It was very user friendly, you didn't need a download manager to get the games. Now the app they use for downloading games is not only confusing but crashes all the time. I got so frustrated with it I switched to steam, ended up buying most of my old D2D games again when they hit steam sales to avoid Gamefly.

Ten_Tigers
Ten_Tigers

What I want to know is if these assholes are claiming taxbreaks for being "job creators."

dogfather76
dogfather76

With the shipping times slower than ever, I can't imagine this being a good thing. 

Ten_Tigers
Ten_Tigers

And people wonder why the economy is complete fucking shit right now. Here is they are REALLY saying...

Translation: We found out we can make MORE money by firing 15% of our staff and making the remainder work 15% harder and pocketing the difference!

billlabowski
billlabowski

Good. Digitize all of it. People with slow internet and no HDD space need to keep up with the times. 

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

@jark888 Excellent.  I wrote to them about 8 years ago.  It was concise, thought out, and well written.  I never got a response.  The company isn't worth it.

rasterror
rasterror

@SSJMonkey I've had Gamefly for years and the amount of money saved is worth the wait.  I can get a brand spanking new game for $10-20 off the new price and only have to wait a day or two.  Or I can just rent it and if I don't like it send it back and get a new one.  I bought Fall of Cybertron brand new for ~$35 and will be getting Tomb Raider for around $40.  It's worth the wait.

rasterror
rasterror

@kessel21 Exactly!  There customer service is pretty quick to respond to any issues and the amount of money I save is ridiculous.  I would never be able to play the games I get if I bought them outright due to cost.  And seeing that I got a lot of games that disappointed me greatly I didn't feel like I just wasted money and sent it back.

silvergol
silvergol

@leeko_link Steam is the Number #1 This one not!.

Digital Rivers will follow the same path soon.

Serpentes420
Serpentes420

@blitzinD Added bonus of buying used from gamefly vs. gamestop.  When you buy used from gamefly you get the orignial box complete with any codes the game came with i.e. multiplayer codes

worlock77
worlock77

@XspidervenomX  

That's another thing - in my experience you rarely get the games that actually at the top of your queue. Basically if you really want a game it's best to make sure that it's the only game in your queue.

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

@worlock77 It may have improved since I last used Gamefly but it used to take about 10-12 days from when I dropped a game in the mail to when I got a new one. When you consider Netflix does the same in 2-3 days... I like the service but when you spend half of your subscription month waiting for a game, it adds up.

blitzinD
blitzinD

@Sekhemket I was a D2D subscriber too and got "absorbed" into Gamefly. I haven't suffered the same issues with their app you have fortunately. I use both GF and Steam.

Ten_Tigers
Ten_Tigers

@billlabowski You live with your parents don't you? All those people who just lost their jobs are gonna have a hard time "keeping up with the times" on unemployment.

kessel21
kessel21

@rasterror @kessel21 and there are plenty of games i've rented thru gamefly and then pre-ordered or bought outright when the sequel came out (or another game by the same Dev).  i wouldn't have had a chance to play those games at all because i never would've bought the original game.  this industry is going to kill itself it if destroys renting games or playing used ones.  and we're wise to any of these "play free demo before you buy" scams that i hear about ps4 trotting out.  playing a level "free" and then having to pay $70 ain't gonna cut it, sony.

bizuit
bizuit

@Saketume doubt it, apparently you've been part of a restructure 

leeko_link
leeko_link

@silvergol

Well Steam only support PC so of course they will be better in regards to that, Game Fly on the otherhands supports a wide variety of platforms including the previous two gen console library like the PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox as well as GBA, DS, 3DS, PSP, PS Vita, Wii, Wii U, PS3, and Xbox 360 as well. All these and they even support rental for PC too. To me Game Fly will always be known for being a great mail-by game rental service. Something Blockbuster and Steam will never be. Unfortunately Game Fly doesn't support Dreamcast games due to them being easily pirated but everything else they offered were superior than any game rental service out there.

blitzinD
blitzinD

@Serpentes420 @blitzinD I refuse to buy used from Gamestop they are such a rip off. Out of spite I would rather pay the extra $10 for the new game and support the actual developer.

worlock77
worlock77

@ExtremePhobia @worlock77  

I've been a subscriber on and off since around 2004 (currently on) and I've never really seen much improvement in their turnaround times.

silvergol
silvergol

@leeko_link You still rental games 2013?

Because i don´t that any more i just buy and re-sell.

HookedonPhonicx
HookedonPhonicx

@worlock77 @ExtremePhobia My experience with gamefly is the total opposite, I get games very quickly in 2-3 days. It may be because I live in the same state where their warehouse is located. Their customer service has also be good to me, when I had a problem they got back to me in a few hours that same day through email.