What was once many people’s go-to video game store—be it for preordering a new release or trading in some perfunctory movie-adapted game gifted by a well-meaning family member for the paltriest of sums—looks to soon be a nostalgic relic of bygone era of gaming. GameStop has been publicly struggling for a while now, as indicated by number of reports over the course of the past year or so. The one-time retail behemoth isn’t going down without a fight, though. Among its current efforts to appeal to a new generation 0f Fortnite-obsessed gamers is a plan to give subscribers to its reward program a free $65. Sort of. There are a lot of caveats.
First of these is the subscription fee. GameStop’s Rewards Pro program has never been free, costing $15 per year. While for a yearly sum it doesn’t amount to much, any subsequent savings necessitate that fee subtracted from individual discounts to calculate the total amount saved.
More importantly, that $65 isn’t gifted in a lump sump, but rather in distributions of $5 per month. Essentially, subscribers to the rewards program will now receive 13 individual gift certificates, the first one upon signing up, and then a new one for each month. That certificate, however, is limited to the month it’s issued (specifically, they have a 30 day shelf life) meaning that the theoretical $65 can never be accumulated in full.
On top of that, the terms of the Rewards Pro program have been changed in light of this new incentive—subscribers will no longer receive 10% off of used games and accessories.
The revamped rewards program was first introduced all the way back in May of 2019 on a trial basis at a select number of stores, much closer to when the company’s decline was first coming to light. GameStop must have determined the trial to be a success, as nearly a year later, it’s rolling these changes out to all of its stores nationwide.
Of course, anyone interested in joining must first understand that the $65 is only really money saved for those who would otherwise buy a minimum of four games per year. At that point, the subscription fee has been comped and one game slightly discounted. While it may not be for everyone, it’s nonetheless a new incentive to buy physical copies over digital downloads, which theoretically will give the declining retail outlet a boost in sales. As to whether or not it’s enough of a boost, only time will tell.
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