GameStop principally simply turned itself right into a Blockbuster for video video games

Picture: Powers Imagery/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

2016%2f09%2f16%2f63%2fhttpsd2mhye01h4nj2n.cloudfront.netmediazgkymde1lza2.c97cfBy Adam Rosenberg

GameStop has launched an in-store rental service referred to as PowerPbad. Bear in mind Blockbuster Video? It is like that, besides as a substitute of VHS tapes, you are renting used video video games.

The one distinction right here is, you pay up entrance. A six-month subscription prices $60, and means that you can swap video games anytime you need, at no further price. Nonetheless, you may solely have one sport checked out at a time.

This system will launch throughout the looming vacation season, with solely the six-month plan out there. There is a motive for that: On the finish of a subscription, you’ll select one sport to maintain, free of charge.

There’s yet one more situation. Solely GameStop’s Energy-Up Rewards members can take part, although each the free membership and the paid memberships ($14.99 or $29.99 per yr, relying in your tier preferences) let you join. All you actually need to do is create an account on the retailer’s web site.

Signal-ups for PowerPbad start on Nov. 19, based on an e-mail from the retailer.

That is an sudden play by GameStop, however a seemingly smart one. Because the online game area continues to shift towards on-line gross sales, there’s seemingly a shrinking secondhand market to go together with it. 

PowerPbad could also be a superb factor for the corporate, however that is the message between the traces: GameStop is in search of new methods to monetize its baduredly huge overstock of secondhand video games. A program like this — which, at this level, has the texture of a public beta check — might badist to shrink that inventory whereas creating a brand new subscription-based supply of earnings.

It is likely to be tempting to match this service to GameFly, however actually, the Blockbuster comparability is extra apt.

GameFly’s service resembles the early days of Netflix, whenever you would hire a DVD by mail and maintain it till you mailed it again. PowerPbad, alternatively, has extra of an old-school video retailer vibe: You go to a brick-and-mortar GameStop to choose up and return rented video games.

UPDATED Oct. 29 9:30 p.m. ET An earlier model of this story erroneously said that signing up for a PowerPbad subscription additionally required a paid Energy-Up Rewards subscription. As GameStop clarified in an e-mail, all you want is a Energy-Up Rewards account — which is free to create.

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