GameSpot’s Paid Subscription Service is Ending: FAQ

GameSpot’s paid subscriptions services are ending. If you’re a Total Access or GameSpot Plus subscriber, the answers to your questions can probably be found here.

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For years now, GameSpot has offered a paid membership service that gave subscribers additional benefits such as ad-free browsing over regular users. Over the years, the specifics of this service has changed significantly, and after much internal debate we must regretfully inform you that we will be ending the acceptance of new subscribers effective immediately and ceasing subscription renewals as of January 31, 2013.

We offer our most heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who has supported us with a paid subscription over the years. Please review the FAQ below for answers to what we believe your most common questions will be.

Why are you ending the paid subscription service?

When this service first debuted, it offered paid subscribers a substantial set of benefits, including magazine subscriptions, discounts at game retailers, ad-free browsing, access to HD video, and more. Over the years, these benefits have slowly evaporated as the result of changes to our business partnerships or in an effort to remain competitive.

The subscription service that we offer today is but a shadow of what it once was--we feel that we are doing a disservice to our users by keeping it active as it is, and frankly, this has been a long time coming.

While we currently have no plans to resurrect and reinvent our paid subscription service in the future, if there is enough user demand for us to do so we may reconsider.

I am currently a Total Access or GameSpot Plus subscriber. What does this mean for me?

Short answer: you will continue to receive all of your account benefits until your subscription term expires.

Longer answer: it depends on when your account subscription term expires. January 31, 2013 is the last day that we will be automatically billing you for your next subscription period, so:

  • If your billing cycle ends on or before January 31, 2013, you will receive one final charge for your membership. Your benefits will continue until your subscription term expires. Monthly subscriptions will end no later than February 28, 2013, and yearly subscriptions will end no later than January 31, 2014.
  • If your billing cycle ends after January 31, 2013, your benefits will continue until your subscription term expires.

I received a Total Access account as part of my Giant Bomb subscription. What does this mean for me?

Your complimentary Total Access account status is good for the period of one year following the date it was activated, and will remain in effect until it expires.

What will happen to subscriber benefits? Will they be made available to free users?

Some of the subscriber benefits will indeed be carried over to our free users beginning January 31, 2013! This includes:

  • HD 720p downloads
  • The ability to create a user-created forum board
  • The ability to select a color for user names in forum boards

Benefits including access to exclusive GameSpot events, prize contests, and high-speed downloads are already available to free users. Others not mentioned will be expiring along with your paid subscriptions.

I would like to end my paid subscription now. How can I do this?

I have other questions. Where can I go for help?

If you were unable to find the answer to your questions here, please check out the KnowledgeBase or contact customer service.

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Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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149 comments
vassago_
vassago_

I'd rather pay for not getting any damned ads. I frakken hate ads.

Agreb91
Agreb91

I'm not surprised by this, the benefits of a paid-subscription this this site are nill. 

akdiuuuryttt
akdiuuuryttt

anyone remember when gamespot was good for the forums 2

DantheMan9856
DantheMan9856

ive been on ad blocker so long i don't even know what sites look like without an ad blocker.

Kaisfate
Kaisfate

this is purely because gamespot wants ad revenue.....ridiculous gamespot. petty and ridiculous.

GamerShock
GamerShock

You realize the only reason I mantained my account was to avoid seeing a stupid add every time I tried to click a video.  It's a little annoying you say it's because of a "...disservice to our users..." bunk.  You don't really think any of us actually believe that? 

This is all about Ad Revenue and nothing more.  I'm incredibly disapointed.

Lawrencevanrijn
Lawrencevanrijn

I fear that the paying members kept things 'honest'. With these funds going, I fear that Gamespot becomes too much a vessel for EA marketing (or a competitors equivalent). Let's face it, their greed was pure reason that Mass Effect 3 did not become people choice game of the year. If Gamespot is not taking OUR money, it is likely it will need funds from somewhere else. Anyone else share this fear?


Blossem38
Blossem38

I Will Miss ya!!. Been a member for many years. I would support keeping the site going. If you do decide to relaunch. Thank you for keeping the site going

as long as you did. I do hope we get to keep out emblems also.

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

One thing that I think should be done is that if you ended your subscription as a paying customer on GS, I think one nice 'solid' that should be done is that all of get to permanently have our All-Access emblems retained (and thus 'retired', if you will) for us to keep in our emblems collection. At least to show some love to those of us that hung around to the very end! ^_^

C'mon, make it happen GS.....it's the least can do, lol.  

Ice-Cube
Ice-Cube

It's been good! Looking forward to seeing the benefits come to the regular users.

champmanfan
champmanfan

Main reason for paying for years was the free game guides, then wanted to view some of those lovely HD videos (think that came in 2007), faster downloads, and then our dedicated forum for any issues.

I still value these and really hope we don't get horrible ads in the videos otherwise there are plenty of other services that won't annoy us. Ads on the website I can deal with, in videos, no thanks!

LeMeAtOm
LeMeAtOm

how can dropping subscription fees be anything to do with hard times?  more likely a move to please the paying advertisers who want to bombard your eyes with their eager trade....

ConstantinNC
ConstantinNC

I am disappointed, I been a member since 2004, but I think they are not doing a good profit out of the membership, so maybe more adds will do the trick, now each time I visit I have to see more adds.

Somebody89
Somebody89

Yay, now everyone gets to enjoy ads. 

subyman
subyman

That's too bad. I've been a sub for quite some time, (I remember when it was gamespot and videogames.com.)  The ad blocking is worth the price for me. Especially for video ads.  I hate video ads and will gladly pay to avoid them.  

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

Soooo....what about part subscriptions? If we've paid for a year and are only getting part of the year?

merkhead
merkhead

Been a solid paying member since '03. Sorry to hear about this change. I'd gladly continue to pay and avoid annoying ads. But times are tough and you have a business to run. All the best!

oomu
oomu

I'm disappointed. I really wanted to remove all ads (on iPad too !) and to pay for that was a good way to support the website.

Time to use privoxy.


and for some people who can't understand : YES I _want_ to PAY to remove _ads_, all ads. Ads are very annoying and no, to remove on a desktop computer with some adblock is not acceptable in the long term.

cpinheiro2
cpinheiro2

Disappointing. Let me guess: The AD providers are saying that annoying banners we subscribers block when sign for a special access now shall look pretty more profitable than keep our accounts free of them, right?

No? Oh, I'm sorry then.

SiCwan
SiCwan

this sucks, I just re-upped first of the month.. so what am I paying for then?

iowastate
iowastate

heck - a little extra income for the site just from people who are willing to pay to have non-com stripes on their profiles whether or not we use the extra perks that come with the subscription above and beyond the "add-skip" which in and of itself has always been the primary inducement and IMO is  worth the price.

miken
miken

I think I've been a subscriber for about 15 years, and the only reason is always to remove ads so I can view in peace! The rest of the benefits I had no idea about nor cared. Would love it if we can keep an ad free option, otherwise I don't think I will keep visiting for the reviews.

robfield
robfield

I don't use an advertisement blocker on Gamespot and I really don't understand all the complaints. The advertisements do not bother me that much. 

 Websites are pressed for money and they need to find business models beyond "no ads" because ads are easily blocked by software. This change was long overdue for Gamespot to open up opportunity for Gamespot to try new things.

midnightsteel
midnightsteel

As long as there are no ads they can do what ever they want. It doesn't make any sense to force ads down our throats if we are willing to pay for the service

asddoly
asddoly

Hide mouse From videos.

asddoly
asddoly

More information about old games , Revenues Games  Thank you

TLCowart
TLCowart

If you do not provide a method for removing ads, I will provide a method on my own: I will go somewhere else.  I disagree that there is no value to the service: everything else aside, I HATE ads.  You are in peril of losing a VERY long time customer.  

mauro_rubens
mauro_rubens

And I was just about to change my CC. I see a huge and dramatic moves to mext months. I think I'm not going to like it, thou. I am gonna miss this site very much.

Nirgali
Nirgali

Make the benefits XP-based and grandfather in current subscribers and add 5-second skip buttons to video ads. Considering cnet and related sites, the banner ads aren't so bad. That should make everyone happy.

Ikthog
Ikthog

Agreed with some of the others here -- I've been a paying member for years, and I continue to visit Gamespot at least partially because it's not inundated with ads. If I have to watch 30-second ads before watching videos, and seeing the margins of every page full of annoying ads, I probably won't bother coming here anymore. I get that you're trying to stay competitive, but you're doing so at a time that some other services are going in the other direction (allowing people to pay to avoid ads). It strikes me as a pretty simple business model, and I have to think that the money you get from one subscriber more than offsets any income you have from showing ads to that one person.

The3rdGracchus
The3rdGracchus

Bah. The only reason I even come to this site is because I paid a modest sum to avoid adds. Once that is gone: cya.

I also sincerely hope CBS interactive doesn't shove this bull down Giant Bomb's throat.

DeadlyRamon
DeadlyRamon

I've been a paid subscriber since around 2001, and fondly remember receiving a 2005 E3 DVD set (as well as the following year's E3 event from my Gamespot DVD image download) free for being a paid member.  Initially I paid because of the faster download times for patches, and Gamespot hosted quite an extensive collection of those, back before services like Steam and GOG took care of all that for us.  Since then I've just maintained a paid membership to show some support for a service that I've come to appreciate even if I don't use it nearly as often as I used to.  Invasive ads, whose source servers can be infected and thus serve us malware, are not a change that I look forward to seeing, so I, too, will be forced to resort to an ad blocking browser extension for security's sake.  It's a shame, really.

DarkNeoBahamut
DarkNeoBahamut

I guess this means we will get ads all over the site. Well AdBlock extension will do the job for me :)

DimitreusX
DimitreusX

While I don't know if it is financially feasible, I would very much like to pay for an ad-free GameSpot. Of all the benefits this was definitely the one I enjoyed the most. I would be interested in paying in the future for that alone if you decide to bring it back. I feel like I would better directly contributing to you rather than other companies I may not have interest in.

If that's not the case, then I will say that I enjoyed it while it lasted.

Granpire
Granpire

HD 720p downloads were always available... It's 1080p that wasn't available.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

So, this means we will be forced to watch 30 second advertisements before EVERY video? That blows.

neobita
neobita

it saddens me to see that the "Go-To" place i use for gaming information is crippled by the need of market survivability, good bye ad free browsing, hello irritating banners and other adverts... gamespot will never be the same again for me...

invictuslemming
invictuslemming

One of the main reasons I subscribe is to avoid the adverts, particularly those put in the beginning of videos... I can't stand un-skippable adverts like those embedded in videos.  If that's what I end up with after my subscription ends I'll be moving on... its been a nice run.

maximo
maximo

So I guess theyy have given into the advertisers then? Obviously it is more profitable for them to just take the money from them than from gaming enthusiasts?

I have been a paid subscriber for years now. Part of the reason I like Gamespot is because I don't have obnoxious adverts flashing across my screen like you do on IGN where its a constant barrage of crap.

Is nothing sacred anymore and shame on you Gamespot.

Sell outs.

Noteldnep
Noteldnep

I'm glad users will at least get more benefits on the site due to this. :)

worlock77
worlock77

This is speculation on my part, but I'm going to guess that at this point running the subscription service is costing GS more money than they're actually taking in from it.

Arther-la-Blunt
Arther-la-Blunt

Look, I like Gamspot. I've been a paying customer for years.  I don't mind paying for a website that I use so frequently. It's more of a bonus that I get it ad free. Canceling seems like a mistake.

chiller420
chiller420

I use both gamespot and ign and prefer my experience here for one reason.  No ads.  Take that away and I don't see any reason to use gamespot anymore.

eiji1
eiji1

Hey, also considering the amount of people who are just going to start using AdBlock, etc., maybe you should consider reconsidering.

eiji1
eiji1

Hey, I paid, if I recall correctly, for a "lifetime" or somesuch subscription (I simply remember paying once years ago, and never paying since).

I don't know how binding a "lifetime" subscription is, but since I bought it when GS.com was under CBS Interactive, I believe it ostensibly still applies. If all I get from that is ad-free browsing, then that's all I need. Ads are the most annoying part of being a consumer on the web. Many people use ad blocking software so as not to see them. Also, I suspect I'll have to suffer through a lot of US-only ads, which are at best annoying, and at worst insulting (GameStop exclusives, etc.)


I paid so that I will not have to "suffer" that kind of stuff, and I think it's a shame that you're going to take that away.

Neo_Gamer81
Neo_Gamer81

I want my add free browseing and you are takeing that away ><

LessThanMike
LessThanMike

I don't mind paying for the ad free service....been doing it for ten years now...