GameFly Launches Steam-Like PC Client For Rentals and Purchases

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GameFly, the video game rental service, today announced that its PC client is officially out of beta. The digital distribution platform now has over 1500 PC games for purchase, and "hundreds" of games to play for free with a subscription to GameFly. There is also a Mac version of the client, but with significantly fewer titles. As a release present, the company is also giving away free copies of Bioshock to those who download the client.

"We used the positive and constructive feedback from our community during the beta to help make the best product possible," said Sean Spector, GameFly co-founder and senior vice president of Business Development and Content. "To celebrate the launch of the client, we're excited to partner with 2K Games to give away their highly acclaimed PC game Bioshock for free."

The GameFly desktop client also has news, photo, and video feeds as well as an "active social community." If this all sounds similar to Valve's Steam, there's a reason for that. GameFly appears to have launched the first real competition to Steam's near-monopoly on downloadable PC gaming. There have been other clients, of course, such as Electronic Arts' Origin or Ubisoft's UPlay. Those platforms haven't been highly competitive because they carry mainly games from those specific publishers. GameFly's plethora of choices should energize the PC gaming market a bit, especially if GameFly is able to provide enough quality games for download through its subscription option. $8 a month for unlimited play of new and classic PC titles would be a fantastic deal, and would certainly force Steam to make more changes than selling creative software or providing a console-like skin.

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