Redbox is the ubiquitous self-serve kiosk that you see, well, everywhere in the States. The service has been renting games nationwide since 2011, and apparently it has translated well into sales.
In the more than 35,000 kiosks around North America, over 200 million rentals were made in the first quarter of this year alone. Of those, 2 percent were video game rentals. This may not sound like much at about 4 million, but it does set a nice precedent. According to Redbox’s director of video games, Ryan Calnan:
We have a 20-50 percent conversion rate of people buying a game after they’ve tried it through Redbox. The percentage varies depending on the time of year, but it’s a very healthy conversion of rent-to-purchase rate.
It seems like the cheap rates and ease of access open the world of gaming to people who might not otherwise check out games they’ve not plopped down the full price for. Calnan stated “It gives them the ability to reach beyond the hardcore gamer, and it offers publishers an incremental revenue opportunity.” Perhaps most interestingly, the statistics tracked here involved physical, retail games, rather than digital, downloadable titles:
There is still a very big emotional attachment to the physical media, and a lot of people have slow internet connections and can experience extremely long download times. So I think Redbox has a very strong place in the gaming industry.
What’s your experience been with Redbox? Have you rented a game or two from the kiosk? Or stuck only to movies? Perhaps you’re the rebel, who has never used the service? Let us know in the comments below.