T-Mobile has reportedly teamed up with WildTangent to develop a video game rental service for Android devices. Rather than committing to the full price (which is only $1 to $5 in most cases), the service will let users rent games for as little as $0.25. They’ll have one day to play the game and if they enjoy it, their rental fee will discounted from the full price.
Naturally, such a plan might help encourage players to try games without being concerned about money — even if the title only costs a buck. “We see an opportunity that addresses the challenges of discoverability inside a cluttered and overly sourced app store with poor advertising choices,” said WildTangent’s Matt Shea, speaking with AllThingsD.
The service will use WildTangent’s virtual currency (“WildCoins) for rentals and in-game items. Users will be able to purchase a set number of WildCoins (one coin equals roughly $0.25) or sign up for a subscription plan. It’s unclear how much the mobile subscriptions will cost, but WildTangent’s desktop users can currently buy 50 coins for $6.99 per month.
Alternatively, cash-strapped users will be able to watch ads for free game sessions and virtual items courtesy of WildTangent’s BrandBoost advertising platform. WildTangent’s mobile service is expected to roll out later this year, but we haven’t spotted any specific dates, games or devices — though it will presumably be exclusive to T-Mobile devices first.
Although it didn’t use virtual currency, we’re immediately reminded of the rental program Direct2Drive announced in January, which let user pay $5 for five hours of gameplay on a handful of titles. That offer appears to be defunct already, but considering D2D was acquired by GameFly last month, we wouldn’t be surprised if a digital rental service were reintroduced.