It seems that GameStop might be launching the most worthwhile rental system in recent years, judging by a leaked image that has surfaced online. Although renting games is a concept that seems both outdated and expensive, the retailer may just have found the best possible way to make it work.
With a GameStop Power Pass, gamers will pay $60 to gain access to half a year of “unlimited gaming.” What this pass allows players to do is choose from the store’s selection of pre-owned games and take that title home with them. When they’re done, the pass holder can swap it out for any other pre-owned game in the store, continuing the process for the 6-month term until the pass expires.
Unlike most rental systems, the Power Pass will allow GameStop patrons to keep any game they want – after all, they’ve paid for one full-price game – so if at any point the user doesn’t want to swap out their new rental, they can just keep it. Given that some games just aren’t for everyone, it’s only going to be a matter of days before new titles such as Super Mario Odyssey are sold back to GameStop, and Power Pass holders can then add them to their collection for as long as they want.
It’s an intriguing concept and, if the leaked image can be believed, it could deliver a boost to GameStop. According to the ad, sign-ups will begin on November 19, so it’ll be a little while for the process to begin, but those who are uncertain about what to buy their gamer friend this holiday season will likely be able to take advantage of the rental program. It will be interesting to see what impact this process has on GameStop’s used games sales, but with a deal that seems this good, it is also possible that Power Pass distribution will give the company enough revenue to completely eclipse the pre-owned titles’ profits entirely.
What’s questionable, however, is how easy it might be to game the system in some way. If a user claims the newest title currently available to be their last rental before their Power Pass expires, it might be possible to sell the title back to the retailer for a fair amount of money before buying their next rental pass. Of course in that instance, the user has kept no games, and GameStop has still profited, but it might be an easy way of using the service for about $20 each half-year.
For now, we will have to wait and see how authentic this new leak is but, if it’s legitimate, this could likely be a very good concept for gamers and GameStop alike. Judging by how weak the company’s sales were this time last year, this move might be just what GameStop needs to stay afloat in an industry filled with digital downloads.