According to a report by VideoBusiness, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will begin shipping rental DVDs without special features and featurettes in an attempt to spur retail DVD sales.

The policy will take affect March 31, when rental DVD releases such as Marley & Me and Slumdog Millionaire will be subjected to the features removal. Retail copies available for purchase, however, will still retain all the special features and can be identified by their unique SKUs.

While this may seem like a desperate attempt by Fox to nickel and dime customers, it raises a number of issues particularly for Netflix which lets customers rent special feature discs.

According to Video Buyer’s Group president Ted Engen:

“There’s no question that some rentailers will go and buy from Wal-Mart and rent out the copies, and you can’t stop that. But it’s not going to be that big of an issue as people think. The main thing is that studios have to add value to get customers to buy, and they aren’t buying. Numbers have been falling through the floor.”

It’s funny how Fox wants to charge us more when their numbers are falling, yet when their numbers were high they never considered the price reduction of their DVDs. Hey Fox, the economy is tough for everyone, if we have to take a hit so does a multi-million dollar corporation.