With a heavy sigh, it seems like we are exiting the Golden Age of premium gaming discount memberships. Only a few years ago we saw Amazon Prime gimped their 20% off pre-order rewards program for newly-released games. Now it appears that Best Buy is following in those footsteps, and discontinuing their immensely popular Gamers Club Unlocked membership program.
Words of worry began spreading around on the internet as soon as people began noticing that the Gamers Club Unlocked membership was listed as no longer available:
Initially speculating this was a glitch without a broader announcement from Best Buy, further reports confirmed that the program was being shut down. Gaming community deal-hunter, Wario64, was able to track down the message being sent out across Best Buy’s internal systems:
Only thing I can contribute to the Best Buy GCU reports is that 'GCU is dead', the memo pictured below was sent out today to employees and is real, current GCU members will get benefits until membership expires but cannot be renewed.
RIP GCU pic.twitter.com/T2t2L93wlW
— Wario64 (@Wario64) May 18, 2018
Worth noting from this message is that they are only shutting down the ability for new members to sign on with Gamers Club Unlocked; anyone who already has the membership will continue to reap rewards at Best Buy until their membership expires.
And those benefits will be sorely missed by dedicated Best Buy patrons. For those who weren’t aware, the $30 Gamers Club Unlocked membership offered:
- 20% off new gaming software
- 10% bonus trade-in credit
- 10% off pre-owned gaming software
- 20% off game guides
- 2x points towards gaming purchases
- 2x points towards gaming trade-ins
- Special Gaming Offers
This is a massive blow to the deal-hunting gaming community — since the death of Amazon Prime’s premium discount (and even before that), Best Buy’s Gamers Club Unlocked was considered the gold standard plan for the dedicated gamer. This was due to the fact that all versions of gaming software (including premium editions, collector’s editions, and even amiibo figures) got the benefits of Gamers Club Unlocked.
However disappointing this may be, this is likely not the only gaming move we will hear from Best Buy within the month. The electronics superstore is well known for Nintendo partnerships at E3, often bringing many demos to select stores.