Gamefly: One year later

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posted 3/8/2004 by The GN Staff
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Last year GamingNexus interviewed GameFly co-founders about their new business which rents video games to gamers around the country over the internet. Jung was gracious enough to give us a follow-up one year later to tell us how things are going.

GamingNexus:How is the business doing compared to a year ago?
Jung Suh: Business is going very well. Every day we are convincing gamers there is a better more reliable way to rent video games.

GamingNexus: What's been the biggest challenge you've faced over the last year?
Jung Suh: Online subscription services are a new model for video game rental and for gamers. Like any new concept, it takes consumer education. Once explained, the consumer response is very favorable. We are helping educate consumers through marketing efforts (both viral and traditional), PR, and word-of-mouth.

GamingNexus: What new features are you offering customers?
Jung Suh: We have added several new features since we first started the business. Some include:
a) For our members in good standing (those who continue to use the service and return games undamaged) we offer a 3 games-at-a-time option, for $29.95/month. A lot of our members have taken advantage of this option.
b) In November, 2003, we started offering GameFly Gift Certificates to anyone who would like to give our subscription service. GameFly gift certificates can be purchased in 1- 12 month increments, and existing members can use their gift certificate to extend their memberships. This was quite popular during the holiday season, so we will definitely continue to offer the gift certificate option.
c) We also added GameBoy Advance games to our service offering.
d) Finally, we are currently holding the first annual 2003 Q awards. We invited members to vote on their favorite games, categorized by both my platform and genre, and we will be announcing the winners in a couple of weeks. Response has been great and we are already looking at different ways to enhance the award in the future.

GamingNexus: What do you consider to be the best decision you've made in the last year?
Jung Suh: Trusting gamers. We believed if we built a great service for gamers, they would respond, and the answer is an overwhelming yes. Because of this, word of mouth travels fast and they tell their friends about GameFly.

GamingNexus: If you could change one decision over the last year what would it be?
Jung Suh: We have no regrets.

GamingNexus: There are other competing services, do you feel that there's enough market space for all of them or do you think that there will be some contraction in the industry?
Jung Suh: The video game business is an $11B business in the U.S., there is plenty of room for everybody. Remember, GameFly carries over 1500 titles, which is 5 times the number you will find at your average
national rental chain.

GamingNexus: How did the name come about?
Jung Suh: We were thinking of names that connoted games, speed, and reliability and we came up with GameFly.

GamingNexus: What do you think the big gaming events of 2004 will be?
Jung Suh: We are one of the official sponsors of the V Games, which is a 30-city game tournament taking place at malls across the country, from March through October. I think we will be seeing more events like this, which are a great indicator that games have become as mainstream as movies and TV.

GamingNexus: Where do you see Gamefly going over the next year or so?
Jung Suh: I see the fundamentals staying the same: more members, better content, and continued improvements to the service. We spend all of our time growing the business and thinking of ways to make the customer experience the best.

GamingNexus: What games are your currently playing?
Jung Suh: The New James Bond game "Everything or Nothing, Project Gotham 2, Manhunt, and Socom 2. Socom is a great game.

GamingNexus: What was the biggest surprise game for Gamefly last year?
Jung Suh: We had so many, but the ones that stand out in my mind are Ikaruga,Disgaea and Simpson' Hit and Run.
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