Leaked internal memos seem to indicate Best Buy is shuttering its Gamers Club Unlocked and free Gamers Club programs. The paid subscription was a favorite among avid gamers as it yielded some of the best deals on new releases, amiibo and more, not mention deeper trade-in values. And now it appears the whole thing is going away, making that coveted Amazon Prime membership even more valuable than it already is.
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Becoming a member of Best Buy’s GCU program was originally much more expensive than gamers have become a custom to. It originally launched at $99.99 for a two-year membership, but was saw a massive official price drop some three years ago. Best Buy dropped the two-year sub to just $29.99 in March of 2015 making it one of the smartest options for those purchasing multiple new releases per year.
On top of other benefits, GCU granted members 20% off all games, including pre-orders, special editions and even other products like amiibo. So clearly you would only need to purchase so many games before the membership pays for itself, and then some. As some have been suggesting for a while, this was likely bleeding Best Buy’s bottom line, at least to some degree or other.
We started to notice that Best Buy stopped selling memberships to its coveted GCU program online over the last week or more. At first it wasn’t overly concerning considering there was a time GCU was only available in-store and we assumed Best Buy was reverting back to that method for the time being. But, then internal memos pointing at the shut down started to hit Twitter.
Unless this is part of some kind of re-launch, it looks like you can wave goodbye to GCU for good once your existing subscription lapses. It looks like paid and free tiers are getting shut down and no new members will be accepted (online or in-store).
On the bright side, Amazon’s Prime membership still includes 20% off on pre-orders (the same as what GCU offered), although it does not work after the games release the way GCU did. It is certainly a loss for gamers everywhere, but at that price it seemed like only a matter of time before it all came crashing down.
You’ll still get 20% off on Amazon and the deals come every day of the week here at 9to5Toys. Our daily roundups include all platforms, and are a great way to grab deals on new games and older titles to fill out your library while they are on sale.