Belgian authorities to require permits for game video rentals

game video rentals - Image 1Would you believe that authorities in Belgium are against game rentals? Well, not entirely. They’re just against the practice of rental stores not getting licenses from the publishers. Makes them lose money, they say. See what the fuss is all about on game rentals in Belgium after the jump.

Belgium - Image 1

Game rentals were banned in Belgium last June upon the Belgian Entertainment Association convincing the authorities to do so. The report is that it will start in December 1 and anyone caught will be facing legal action.  Better straighten up or you’ll be facing jail time.

The Belgian gaming industry believes that companies lose money because of game rentals since more customers are opting out to rent games rather than buy their own copies. Worse is that the rental shop owners by their own copies of the game by retail and have them rented out in their stores.

What’s wrong with this is that it bypasses the rental procedure of the store owners getting a consultation with the publisher first and then they buy wholesale from them. Essentially, it follows the same procedures that rental stores go through for films.

Olivier Maeterlinck, Managing Director of the Belgian Entertainment Association, explains:

What’s happening is that video rental stores are declining in popularity, and because of this those stores began to buy retail copies of games and put them up for rent. I can’t think of any country that would allow this. Rental outlets need publisher permission to rent out games, and need to buy them wholesale, just like with films.

Filip Dossche, manager of Game Mania, consider this new legislation as catastrophic because game rentals make up more than 10% of his total income and the new law will definitely affect his business.

However, new reports appear to say that it’s not so bad after all since they are not totally banning these stores. Instead, they are only going to be implementing stricter policies on the game rentals industry, specifically on getting permits before they can rent out titles.

Wow, who would’ve thought that rentals business can be risky business? Stay tuned here for more updates.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.