This has been on our minds for quite some time. While we maintain that we are, ourselves, a video gaming news outlet of some kind, we have to draw a line. Game after game after game is being released with no content, huge day one patches, and incredible price drops as early as one week. There is absolutely no benefit to pre-ordering a game, as the download bonuses are never anything interesting or good. Deluxe editions are a joke. And then you get games like Battlefield V, Anthem, and Fallout 76 that are absolutely unfinished. Enough is enough. We will no longer give publishers the “benefit of the doubt”. We’ve done that 3 times and been burned 3 times, and we’re done with that.
So, via the leaks of an internal memo, it would appear that Best Buy has decided not only does it not want to provide the Gamers Club Unlocked program anymore, but that they will unceremoniously wipe it from their site and stores without telling anyone. They basically ensured that anyone who might have the interest of an early renewal would get nothing. No early warning, no notice to renew, not foresight into the goings on whatsoever. Instead of giving everyone a warning, Best Buy has decided that best course of action is to pull out the rug from everyone invested in their program and give them no chance to at least reach a final cutoff point.
The memo said it itself, the code for the club was being removed from the point of sale, and the cards for signing up in the store were removed from the store ASAP. This is quite an aggressive motion, that’s for sure. And it doesn’t sit well with me as a consumer. I shop exclusively at Best Buy for most of my needs. Full disclosure, I used to work at Best Buy and loved the work atmosphere, but it was not for me to move up in the ranks there. Being on the inside of the company for many years was a great way to keep track of the releases as they’d come out, since I would be there whenever something came out. But if you’re thinking that somehow employees got a great discount, they didn’t. Well, at least, not on games. I can’t disclose Best Buy’s employee discount setup (and it was good), but I can confirm that Gamers Club Unlocked was actually a better deal than getting the employee discount.
This discount has been monumental for Hard Mode Gamers, helping us save nearly $50 per month on our spending budget, which is practically almost enough for an entire game. Take away the discount and that’s less games we can purchase. The competitors’ deals aren’t that great either. At GameStop, you can join the PowerUp Rewards program and get 10% off used games and only used games. At Amazon.com, you can get your 20% off a game only if you pre-order, and not every game applies, and this is only if you’re an Amazon Prime member.
Now, this reaction may be a bit of a kneejerk as Best Buy has yet to issue a statement on this change. We don’t have any info as to whether or not they will replace the program with another one. One can only hope that they do decide to keep some sort of program going, or this is a potential loss of business. Prior to the price point being 30 dollars for 2 years of this extraordinary discount plus many benefits, it used to cost $100. Now, if they were to go back to that price point, that would be fine, as those who purchase many many games could still recoup that expense in a matter of months. Even if they raised the price to that amount and made it only a yearly deal, it would still be worth it.
Best Buy, we implore you, don’t mess this up. Last year we spent so much at your stores, we ended up on the Elite Plus rewards tier, a platinum membership with many benefits. We want to keep it up with the new status of ours but taking away this discount is very disheartening. Don’t leave us in the dark, tell us what’s happening and why.