GameStop's game subscription service is here, aaaand it's gone.
A couple of weeks ago, game retailer GameStop soft-launched its new subscription-based game lending program, PowerPass. For $60 (which covered six months of the service), players could check out pre-owned GameStop games indefinitely. Whenever they wanted a new game, all they had to do was bring back the old title and select a new one.
The program, which was set to roll out on November 19, was going to be available exclusively for PowerUp Rewards members. Now it's not available for anyone. PowerPass is being "temporarily paused."
"We have elected to temporarily pause the roll out of the new PowerPass subscription service, based on a few program limitations we have identified," a GameStop spokesperson told Kotaku. "We feel this is the right thing to do for now to ensure we are able to provide our guests an exceptional service."
If you purchased a PowerPass during the program's soft-launch, you'll be compensated. "[W]e will allow [guests] to bring the pass, and video game they have checked-out, back to receive a full refund. In addition, we will allow them to pick out any Pre-Owned game for free."
Another source told Kotaku GameStop employees were told to replace the weekly ad and discard the current holiday guide, which is a good indication PowerPass isn't coming back before the end of the year. In fact, GameStop has given no indication when or if PowerPass will be resuscitated.
What went wrong? GameStop employees confided to Kotaku that the chain's computers can't handle the burden of managing a PowerPass database. Anyone who's worked in retail knows most companies' POS systems are at least ten years behind the times, so this is a viable reason for PowerPass' delay. Now it's just a question of whether GameStop will upgrade its system, alter PowerPass to work with it, or just scrap the game-lending service entirely.