Earlier this fall, Gamestop announced they were experimenting with a game rental service in a few test markets. The concept involved signing up for a card called a PowerPass, which would let you check out an unlimited number of games from any store’s stock for a monthly fee, as long as you brought them back eventually. The plan was to roll out this service nationwide four days from now, but Gamestop has abruptly gotten cold feet.
This sudden change of heart is going to cost the company money. Gamestop already printed sheets and flyers promoting this service, none of which are usable now. Employees report they’re being instructed to destroy that material, as well as the entire 2017 Gamestop holiday gift guide, which mentions PowerPass. This is also probably the reason why Gamestop’s Black Friday flyer hasn’t been leaked by now….it’s not coming at all.
The exact reason for the abrupt cancellation is unclear. We can speculate the obvious reasons, like how continually renting out their stock would leave it in worse condition than it already is, but that’s not the kind of thing Gamestop would care about. A more likely reason could be that we’re about to be waist-deep in the lucrative holiday season and Gamestop would have less of the used games it likes to profit off of. But that hasn’t been stated publicly.
For now, anyone who prefers renting to buying will have to use Gamefly — or, if there are no other options, Redbox.