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All Family Video Stores Will Close, Making Game Rentals Even More Obsolete

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Is it the end for Family Video Stores ?

It’s a sad, sad day for those who rent games before buying them, because US movie/video game rental chain Family Video is closing down for good.

The main cause isn’t Netflix or Xbox Game Pass as some may expect (although they may be symptoms of a massive shift in how we enjoy media and the downfall of rental stores). What tipped them over the edge is the COVID-19 pandemic that caused a lack of movie releases and less foot traffic, according to the parent company’s CEO Keith Hoogland, who spoke with CBS. It has “pushed [the company] to the end of an era,” said the executive.

Family Video Stores
Family Video Stores

More than 250 stores all over the United States are actually closing with liquidation sales on movies and video games; it may be a great way to fill up the backlog of yours for 2021. Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the staff members who’ll be out of work during this pandemic. We hope they are going to land on the legs of theirs.

Knowing that Blockbuster Video rolled credits just over a decade earlier, Family Video had a good run in the age of digital streaming. At one point, the company had more than 10,000 employees with a peak of 800 locations recommending the newest films and games to the consumers of theirs.

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With fewer companies pivoting towards game rentals, it appears to be a thing of the past. Xbox has been providing their first party library to Game Pass subscribers on day one and has a competitive back catalog of titles. For instance, this month they will be adding Injustice two, eFootball PES 2021, and Torchlight three to the service. Subscribers also have a chance to access the EA Play library that offers triple A games as Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order and provides lengthy trials of their EA’s new releases. You can even get 2 free months of anime from Funimation with Xbox Game Pass.

Family Video Stores
Family Video Stores
via EA & LucasFilm

Meanwhile, PlayStation Now lets players stream PS2, PS3, and PS4 games to their PC, PS4, or PS5. They’re getting close to the value that Xbox is offering. Days Gone, Resident Evil VII, and more world class titles are available to stream or download. This month, it is adding the BioShock Collection and The Crew 2.

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