All the way back in September, GameStop . Essentially, it turned your local GameStop into a video game library. For $60 (the price of one new video game), you got six months worth of access to any pre-owned games in the store, with the stipulation that you could only rent one at a time. After six months, you could keep one of the games. It was a decent way to incentivize going to GameStop rather than just downloading all of your games.
However, that is all in the past tense, because after a recent soft launch PowerPass has been suspended. Kotaku’s Jason Schreier that company employees said GameStop’s computer system could not handle the stress of the PowerPass program, leading to what GameStop is calling a temporary setback rather than a full cancellation of the service.
“We have elected to temporarily pause the roll out of the new PowerPass subscription service, based on a few program limitations we have identified. We feel this is the right thing to do for now to ensure we are able to provide our guests an exceptional service,” GameStop told Kotaku.
That means any in-store advertisements for PowerPass have been removed and put in storage until further notice. If you planned on looking into PowerPass as a holiday gift, start looking elsewhere. GameStop has not given any indication as to if or when the service will be restored, but since the company statement uses the word “temporary,” it seems as though they will try to bring it back at some point.
Per Kotaku, anyone who already bought into GamePass can bring back their pass and any game they rented for a full refund. To sweeten the deal, they can bring home any pre-owned game for free for their troubles.
Assuming PowerPass is relaunched in a functional manner sometime in 2018, this is still not the outcome GameStop wanted right now. The prominent gaming retailer has been against the increasing convenience of downloading games, a service that the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch all offer for each and every game on those consoles. Meanwhile, the Steam platform from Valve made this the preferred method for PC gamers years ago.
In a likely attempt to stem the tide of game downloads, GameStop has devoted more and more floor space in each store to physical geek culture goods like Funko Pop figurines and T-shirts. Still, even in areas with poor download speeds or rampant data caps from ISPs, customers might be inclined to order new games from Amazon rather than go to a retail outlet.
A fully functioning and consumer-friendly PowerPass program might give customers a reason to choose GameStop over their respective gaming platform’s online marketplace, but for now, it seems the physical video game library dream will have to wait. In the meantime, one alternative would be Microsoft’s program, which gives Xbox owners access to 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 games for $10 per month. Along similar lines, a Netflix-like service for classic retro games on its Switch platform in 2018.
Source: Technology – Google News