Blockbuster Rentals

Blockbuster game exclusives have always been an interesting concept. The main idea was a game that couldn't be bought in stores, at least not at release. The only way to find it was to go down to your local Blockbuster store and rent it. The N64 might've had the most Blockbuster exclusive games of any console. Blockbuster was always willing to pay handsomely to have it exclusive, and many 3rd party developers who had seen some of their earlier releases have poor sales, turned to Blockbuster to get them off the ground. Some titles were intended to be Blockbuster exclusives from the beginning, while some only stayed exclusive for a short time. This list will detail all games that were at one point at Blockbuster stores only.

Blues Brothers 2000
This game, as well as Hercules: The Legendary Journeys were both developed by Player 1. The games were originally going to be released in the early summer of 2000 but didn't make that date in time. They did get released later on in the summer, but only onto Blockbuster shelves. After seeing two of their earlier games Carmageddon 64, and Superman get bashed by critics, the publisher Titus might not have been very confident in these two releases. Blues Brothers and Hercules did eventually see a proper release in retail stores.

ClayFighter Sculptor's Cut
Out of all the games on this list, this game is the big one. Clayfighter 63 1/3 had been delayed during its development and ended up having some things cut. Sculptor's Cut was to return these things. They brought back the singing intro, several characters, and they also added more detail to the environments and better camera angles. In order to fit all this, the cartridge size was upped from 12MB (96Mbits) to 16MB (128Mbits). This game was only available for rent at Blockbuster and a mere 20000 copies were ever produced. The low print run has made this the rarest and most expensive N64 game. Sculptor's Cut first became available for rent in May 1998.

The PC version of this game wasn't well received and the developer and publisher Kemco likely wasn't too confident with the N64 version. The N64 Daikatana got its start August 2000 with a rental release at Blockbuster. It was later released in very limited quantities to retailers in November 2000.

Duck Dodgers Starring Daffy Duck
This game became available for rent in June 2000. It wasn't exactly exclusive to Blockbuster as copies were shipped to Hollywood Video as well. To everyone's surprise, this game was actually pretty good and it had a proper retail release just two months later in August 2000.

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
This game has the same story as Blues Brothers 2000. Originally delayed, got released but only at Blockbuster, followed by a regular retail release.

Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
During the development of Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, LucasArts had shown a pre-release version to Blockbuster. Blockbuster had seen the potential in this game and they formed a partnership with LucasArts. This game was not sold in retail stores. It could be rented from Blockbuster, bought off of Blockbuster's online website, or bought off of LucasArts' online store.

International Superstar Soccer 2000
This game first became available for rent in the Summer of 2000. At the time of writing this, it's unknown if this game ever had a retail release. There does exist a variant of this game which has a Spanish box and manual with English cart. This version is more common and was sold normally in stores.

International Track & Field 2000
This game first became available for rent in March 2000 at Blockbuster. The game consisted of mini-games and it was a good idea to just make this rental only. At this time we can't confirm if this had a retail release.

NFL Blitz Special Edition
This game was only sold and rented in Blockbuster stores due to poor sales of other NFL Blitz games. It was over-printed though and sealed copies could have been found easily many years after this game was released. Those sealed copies have dried up now and this has become a difficult to find N64 game.

Razor Freestyle Scooter

The N64 version of this game was made specifically to be rented at Blockbuster. The Blockbuster logo is on the front of every box. This game was also over-printed. There were plenty of sealed copies available, but that amount has almost dried up.

Stunt Racer 64
Originally titled Stunt Racer 3000, this game was supposed to have a retail release. The game missed its deadline though and at one point Midway had cancelled it. Rumours had begun to spread of Midway bringing this game back as a rental exclusive, and they turned out to be true. In October 2000, this game hit Blockbuster rental shelves. Stunt Racer 64 never saw a retail release.

Transformers: Beast Wars Transmetals
After being poorly received in Japan, BAM Entertainment still tried to release Transformers: Beast Wars Transmetals in North America. The game got its start on Blockbuster shelves May 2000, but got a retail release in the Fall of 2000. Two box variants exist of this game. The one which is more common is the version intended for Blockbuster which was marked "Blockbuster Exclusive". The regular retail version has it removed. Here's a comparison:

Written by Kevin Ames
April 14th 2012