Rumors Of Blockbuster Potentially Returning Inspire Both Debate And Criticism Online

March 24th, 2023 - 4:40 PM EDT by Adam Downer

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"Blockbuster" may well be a name many of us haven't heard in years, but it sure seems like the former video rental giant is up to … something.

Despite famously disappearing from the face of the Earth with the onset of Netflix and other streaming services, Blockbuster didn't technically go out of business. In fact, there's still a brick-and-mortar Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon and the company's Twitter account is still active, though it mostly posts memes and gags.

One of those gags began fueling speculation that Blockbuster might actually have positive future plans. Last Tuesday, the company tweeted, "New business idea: We're going to come back as a bank and use VHS and DVDs as currency. Time to go visit your mom."

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This wouldn't be anything all that notable in itself, but it did prompt some people to check out Blockbuster's website where they found a message that reads, "We are working on rewinding your movie."

The message has supposedly been there since November, and while it might be Blockbuster's "oopsie woopsie" message, others have interpreted it as a sign Blockbuster could be coming back.

While there's no confirmation, this means you might be able to go to a local Blockbuster to rent Heat soon, the clues have given people a reason to debate if Blockbuster should come back. Polygon argued Blockbuster could be great for renting video games, as similar, cloud-based alternatives such as Google Stadia have struggled to find their footing. Additionally, the return of Blockbuster could be a boon for those who live in areas with shoddy internet.

While some may be nostalgic for the days of physical media, several noted that Blockbuster wasn't exactly the gold standard of movie rental experiences. Others remembered that Blockbuster was essentially the megacorporation that killed smaller movie rental stores, and it didn't provide an experience worth reviving.

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There's certainly an argument to be made for more widely available physical media, particularly as movies and video games disappear from various online hubs, and while Blockbuster returning could partially address that issue, it seems some former Blockbuster customers would prefer the return of old mom-and-pop rentals.

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