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GameStop presses pause on its PowerPass unlimited used games program

GameStop storefront from outside.
A few weeks ago, we reported on GameStop’s PowerPass, a new program giving subscribers unlimited access to their local store’s library of used games. The program looks poised to rival competitors like Redbox and GameFly, but the company has temporarily put it on hold.

Speaking to Kotaku, a GameStop representative said that the company had run into “a few program limitations” and had temporarily halted plans to offer PowerPass, which was to launch on November 19.

“We feel this is the right thing to do for now to ensure we are able to provide our guests and exceptional service,” the representative continued.

For those already enrolled in PowerPass, GameStop said you’ll be allowed to get a full refund if you bring back the game you checked out, and you’ll also receive a free preowned game to keep. The only stipulation is that you’re a PowerUp Rewards member, but this can be a free account rather than the paid “Pro” and “Elite” memberships.

It’s unclear what changes GameStop plans to make to the program, if any, but the company’s original pitch for PowerPass is quite impressive. For $60, customers have six months to pick any used game they want in their local store, and they can play it as long as they like before selecting a different one. Retro and recent games are eligible for rental, and at the end of the subscription period, they’re able to choose one used game to keep forever. PowerPass subscriptions can also be given as gifts, and as long as you have the coupon code for your subscription, you can even return a game to a different store than where you rented it initially.

PowerPass comes at a time when physical game sales are on the decline in favor of digital purchases. Physical games still offer more value to consumers, as they can be traded back into stores for cash or credit toward other titles. We’re hoping GameStop plans to roll out PowerPass as it was originally envisioned, as it seems like just the thing to get more players into stores — and it should clear up some of the space on store shelves currently reserved for Funko Pop figurines.

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