Video and video game rental giant Blockbuster is not going to exist by the end of January 2014. Parent company Dish Network announced today that it will shut down its retail and by-mail rental distribution operations by early January 2014. The 300 remaining retail stores in the United States and distribution centers will also be closed.
"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," Dish CEO Joseph P. Clayton said in a statement.
Dish does go on to say that the Blockbuster brand will live on through expanded digital offerings. Dish will retain licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand, which includes key assets like the company's "significant video library." Dish also plans to continue offering the Blockbuster @Home service to subscribers, and the Blockbuster On Demand program will live on indefinitely.
On a related note, Joystiq reports that Microsoft and Sony will honor pre-orders made through Blockbuster UK for their respective next-gen consoles..