Best Buy Shuts Down One Of The Best Deals In Gaming

Gamers Club Unlocked, you were too good for this world.

103 Comments
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Pour one out for Best Buy's Gamers Club Unlocked program, one of the best deals in gaming. According to a leaked memo, the retail giant has shuttered the program. Current customers will still receive their GCU benefits until their subscriptions expire, but no new customers will be able to subscribe.

The Gamers Club Unlocked program gave discounts on nearly all video games sold at Best Buy. A two-year GCU membership used to cost $30, but it offered 20% off all new video games and pre-orders. Members also saved 10% off used games and received an extra 10% in trade-in credit.

The memo reads, "For a variety of reasons, we have decided that our Gamers Club programs will not be accepting new members. This includes both the free Gamers Club membership and Gamers Club Unlocked (GCU). Current members will continue to receive their benefits and we encourage everyone else to use our 'My Best Buy' membership to receive perks, including receiving a $10 reward certificate when pre-ordering select, hot games.

"This afternoon, POS will stop prompting enrollment and employees should no longer offer Gamers Club Unlocked to new customers."

While the company has made no public announcement, numerous Best Buy employees have confirmed the memo is real. Best Buy's GCU page is still live, but it's no longer possible to purchase a membership online. Searching for "Gamers Club Unlocked" on the website now brings you to a page for My Best Buy, the retailer's general rewards program.

This is a bummer for video game deal hunters. If you bought just three $60 games at Best Buy over the span of two years, you'd come out ahead. Buying more games saved you even more money.

Perhaps it's not surprising to see Best Buy close the program, as it must have been a money-losing proposition for the company. Amazon used to offer similar savings to Prime members, giving them 20% off new video games for two weeks after launch. But in August of last year, Amazon limited the program to pre-orders.

Whatever the reasons, people looking for deals on video games in the future will have to look elsewhere.

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Avatar image for waelse1
waelse1

07/22/2019, wish could have renewed beyond that.

Avatar image for soroush1985
soroush1985

Your Gamers Club Unlocked membership is valid through Apr. 23, 2020

I GOT lucky i guess .

Avatar image for jsprunk
JSprunk

Best Buy is always such a nightmare. I've been in the BB stores near me maybe a handful of times in the past 5 years, and the employees are always rough to deal with, and I end up buying from somewhere else. Best Buy as a company still behaves like they're competing with CompUSA and Circuit City, when those companies have effectively been gone for a decade, and they should be acting like Amazon is about to deal the death blow. Even if I got better deals on games, I'd never buy them from BB.

Avatar image for jesterofbass
JesterOfBass

"Current members will continue to receive benefits"

Uhm....no they won't? At least not in my case.

My membership is good till March 2019 and my discount is no longer showing for anything when I'm logged in. Unless they're only honoring it in-store now, in which case they haven't specified that.

Avatar image for LinconSixEcho
LinconSixEcho

@jesterofbass: The benefits are still there. You have to go to the checkout page and you'll see the discount(s) or if you're on a computer, you'll see the Unlocked price beneath the item (or that's how it is for me currently).

I feel fortunate that mine doesn't expire until January 2020.

Avatar image for Jigen32
Jigen32

@LinconSixEcho: I'm good till Oct. 11, 2019. A little over another year.

Avatar image for dankidsyounot
DanKidsYouNot

Very unfortunate news... I produced a video about switching over to GCU from GameStop's program just a few months ago. With no official announcement, I'm still eager to see how Best Buy will handle the accounts of those people who just recently joined the program. https://youtu.be/BZtVBbIgGw4

Avatar image for blkmac
BlkMac

@dankidsyounot: GameStop has no program!

Avatar image for Jigen32
Jigen32

@blkmac: Guess I might have to go back to Amazon if they still offer 20% off in 2020.

Avatar image for blkmac
BlkMac

@Jigen32: its a shame but it looks like ima have to take my money to Amazon as well.

Avatar image for Jigen32
Jigen32

@blkmac: the problem I had was BestBuy also did release Day delivery where Amazon doesn't. I'd usually have to wait a few days after release for Amazon to deliver.

Avatar image for blkmac
BlkMac

@Jigen32: really!? I dnt like that at all. Best Buy used to mess up a lot and send games out early. Sometimes i got it two days. Other times the day b4. Ima miss that. Square Enix titles especially. For some reason i ALWAYS got those days early

Avatar image for quantumanticz
Quantumanticz

😂 If you wanted the GCU to stay you should have purchased it. I currently work at BBY and can confirm we got rid of it. Yes it sucks, but when game companies are decreasing our profit margins and we litterally get one new GCU member, district wide, a week, its not really doing anything. No one should be worried about the longevity of Bestbuy, were not going anywhere. Last I checked we put Toys R Us and Sears out of Business. Video games are a large profit margin, and yes our GCU members on average spent 10x more than any of our other shoppers, the amount of GCU members was dismal. BBY isnt going anywhere, since last I checked we still carry games and we pride our selves on excellent customer service. Sorry we ot rid of GCU though 😢. Even though BBY is fine, its still sad.

Avatar image for blkmac
BlkMac

@quantumanticz: i spend thousands upon thousands upon thousands of dollars @Best Buy each year and I absolutely love it there...when u have what i need in stock. Computer wise? I aleays have to go elswhere cuz yall nvr have nothing. GCU is hands down the one and only perk there is shopping at bby and yall got rid of it. That sucks. U also should've marketed it better. Cause u barely did. Also, Wal-mart took out Toys'R'us, not best buy. And Sears? Doubt Best Buy had ANYTHING to do with that. Best Buy will go the way of Circuit City. Its only a matter of time. Then i'll have to get my fix elsewhere.

Avatar image for YohanDeEmercer
YohanDeEmercer

@blkmac: you should have elite status then, its only offered to those who spend big

Avatar image for blkmac
BlkMac

@YohanDeEmercer: yea. Im an elite plus member every year. Still cant believe they r gettin rid of their ONLY perk of shopping there! I REALLY dnt want to give Amazon all my money.

Avatar image for Simulator_Shock
Simulator_Shock

@quantumanticz: I'm pretty sure Best Buy's days are numbered, if anything this will help Amazon Prime's membership's skyrocket.

Avatar image for sotacane
SotaCane

@quantumanticz: You put Toys R Us and Sears out of business? I worked for Best Buy for years. You've had little to no impact on those closings.

Avatar image for ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

This is a bummer and will hurt BB in the long run when it comes to gamers supporting the store anymore. It was there main reason to shop at BB and this if going to hurt their gaming profits/business big time. Maybe they were taking such a loss with GCU that they don't even care if they lose gamers money. Here is the question now going forward with GCU going away... does Amazon now get rid of their prime discount on pre ordered games? Because the only reason they did it was to compete with BB and GCU.

Avatar image for atopp399
atopp399

They just gave Amazon a nice boost in future sales. This service was one of the few reasons to even use best buy anymore especially with their draconian return limits.

Avatar image for TheKokopelli
TheKokopelli

This would explain why it wasn't showing the prices on the app this weekend. This is very unpleasant news, and begs the question on BB's direction and overall longevity. Box retailers should have learned it's not wise to shoot themselves in the foot as it'll cost them. This is evident with Toys-R-Us, who continued to sell high priced toys, some of them being on the shelves since 15, and overpriced video games. Even with their GOOB sales, it's still more profitable to snag a game elsewhere.

The writing was on the wall though, when their trade-in values were higher than GameStop's back in 11-13, dropping to lower or on par with their competitor.

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
Bread_or_Decide

Fudge. Guess I’ll have to use mine like crazy til it expires.

Avatar image for southsouthsac
southsouthsac

Big Box needs to die, and rather fast tbh. There's no reason for big store like BB and Toys r Us to exist and take up green space. May Lord Beezos enjoy a 1000 year reign.

Avatar image for taylor12702003
taylor12702003

@southsouthsac: No thanks

Avatar image for TheKokopelli
TheKokopelli

@southsouthsac: except if nothing takes its place, it becomes a blight on the area. Do a Google street view of Flint Michigan. Yes, that is a depressed economy, but even the former K-Marts around my city are beginning to the show the signs of blight - rubbish in the parking lots, burned out lights, gang tags, etc.

Avatar image for shamatuu257
shamatuu257

Never used it.

Avatar image for TexArcane
TexArcane

What??? Best Buy shoots themselves in the foot competing with Amazon? NO WAY!!11!1!
The only reason I even go there is because of their Gamer's Club. If they're taking that away, I'll just switch to Amazon or use them to price match somewhere else. Seriously though, Best Buy's days are numbered. The big box style that they've been using for decades doesn't work anymore. Downplaying their video game section is just another nail in the coffin.

Avatar image for jadephoenix13
JadePhoenix13

That sucks. If Best Buy thinks people are going to keep buying games from them anyway, they're sorely mistaken, too many people have Amazon Prime anyway. The only reason I started using Best Buy over Amazon was because Amazon's pre-orders never show up on time, but it's certainly not with paying $12 more per game over.

Avatar image for TheKokopelli
TheKokopelli

@jadephoenix13: Problem with Amazon, is that you have to pay return shipping if the game turns out to be teh suck. While the naysayers will shout, "don't preorder," it's not uncommon to preorder it, and read the reviews. Reviews say it's good, you get the game and preorder bonuses. Reviews say it sucks, you return it with no loss.

This was the main thing that set them apart from GameStop, as they frequently don't stock the lesser known titles in store, and their trade values have fallen.

Avatar image for PStrife
PStrife

@jadephoenix13: They do not expect you to buy many games from them these days, if it all, just like all of their other physical media with their new tiny sections hidden in the corners of the store. Corporate has made it quite clear with all their recent renos that they are now aiming at the more profitable/expensive appliance store business model, not this old physical media business they clearly want no part of.

Avatar image for fanboyman
FanboyMan

R.I.P. GCU I wish we had more time together.

Avatar image for juiceair
juiceair

F'n pissed about this!

Avatar image for jbreez00
jbreez00

Ah man, GCU I barely knew you, but I've taken full advantage of it this year after I got my switch. Didn't take too much advantage of it last year because I fileshare my xbox, which was what I went to buy when I signed up. I def Amazon for one game, but I'd rather not have to catch it within the release window for the discount to apply.

Avatar image for tillburg
Tillburg

Whoa that's a dang shame. Lucky me I got it two months ago.

Avatar image for urbanman2004
urbanman2004

Guess some good things must come to an end

Avatar image for masonshoemocker
masonshoemocker

I never saw the point of Gamer's Club. Best Buy price matches Amazon so I just show them the price on my phone and they honor it. I've been shopping a lot more at Best Buy because of that guarantee. A majority of my electronic and video game purchases have come from Best Buy for the past two years because of it.

Avatar image for kylexile
kylexile

@masonshoemocker: It was a great deal because you ALWAYS got the discount. So if a $60 game went on sale for $30, you'd get it for $23.99 because of GCU. Thats why I had it, is I always got the discount, no matter what. And Amazon has great deals, but their deals generally weren't any lower than the price you'd get for GCU.

Avatar image for TheKokopelli
TheKokopelli

@masonshoemocker: I've seen the items cheaper at BB vs Amazon, especially with the GCU. They'll also only price match it if it's "shipped and sold" by Amazon. So if it's sold by Hulk Smash Shop, they're not price matching it.

But outside of a few rarer games, the majority of my purchases have come from BB as they price match Amazon. Especially beneficial for some of the higher end phone & tablet cases - Otterbox, etc.

Avatar image for davillain-
DaVillain-

Never heard of it.

Avatar image for siarhei
siarhei

Noooooooo!!!

Well, I guess I'm preordering as many as I can before expiration date.

Avatar image for Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

They just reorganized the stores around me and have shoved the games in the back corner in most of them.

Physical games going the way of the buffalo. Which reminds me, I need to buy a memory card for my switch.

Avatar image for Terminator95
Terminator95

The End of Physical Copy Video Games. =(

Avatar image for TheKokopelli
TheKokopelli

@Terminator95: I can only speak from using Sony - as long as they're using outrageous prices for the digital content with no hope of a refund, it's not going to happen. There's no reason to pay fully price for an older or mediocre title, eg No Man's Sky, when I can get it cheaper at the store. Not to mention their proliferation of Steam Greenlight rejects polluting the PSN.

Avatar image for aross2004
aross2004

@Terminator95: Been hearing that for years now, hasn't happened yet.

Online
Avatar image for Utnayan
Utnayan

@aross2004: and it isn’t going to happen either. Most carriers are placing 1tb bandwidth caps on everyone and with games continuing to get near the 100gb mark for 4K, plus patches, streaming, and everything else, physical copies will now start to become more prevalent.

Avatar image for Sepewrath
Sepewrath

@Utnayan: And on top of that the added cost of storage. No matter what system your on, if your going all digital; the stock storage will be inadequate. With the large size of games, patches, DLC even 3 and 4TB HDD is enough for 5-6 years of 100% digital purchases. I think physical games will stick around for quite awhile longer.

Avatar image for kylexile
kylexile

@Sepewrath: I have a 2 TB in my PS4 and thats still not even really enough. If I have the disc then it doesn't take anywhere near the amount of time to reinstall a game. If I have to download a 60gb game like Ghost Recon Wildlands, that takes an entire night to download the game.

Avatar image for hotpants_mcgee
Hotpants_McGee

Honestly, this saves me the trouble of having to cancel it myself. It was a great deal when I was buying games at retail, but between my backlog and the fact that more and more games need another year or so *after* release to actually finish development, I’ve just been waiting a while and buying digitally during sales.

Avatar image for Utnayan
Utnayan

@hotpants_mcgee: You don't have to cancel anything yourself. It expired on it's own.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

This was all part of Best Buy's attempt to muscle in on Gamestop. Now that they've partially succeeded, the rewards disappear.