BLOCKBUSTER ON DEMAND
The first in-market Video On Demand service trial.
There was a time before “Netflix and chill” became part of the vernacular. I worked for a an interactive media shop in Atlanta called Mindflex in the early-mid 90’s. One of our clients was IBM and Blockbuster Entertainment, who tasked us with building the UI/UX and vision pieces for an in-home on-demand movie and entertainment service called Blockbuster on Demand (BBOD). Some of the highlights of this work included a fully realized 3D Blockbuster store, complete with a library of movies and music you could enjoy using a first-generation MPEG card. The games section was also notable in that you could watch a video preview of the game and then order a cartridge or CD – which was shipped or held at your local Blockbuster store for pickup. At the stores, there was a whole system specced out for on-demand burning of cartridges and CDs (there were no DVDs yet) so you would never be told a game was “sold out”. In the stores, we also pushed the XBAND modem adapters, which were the first devices to allow console gamers to play over the internet.
That was 1994. Think about that as you settle in to rent Jurassic World while downloading Halo 5 to your Xbox One. A day when “multiplayer games” meant your buddy sat next to you with the other controller.