I remember a time, many, many, many, many, many (is that too many manys?) years ago when I used to love perusing a GAME store. They used to be the best place to go to get a hold of the latest release on the high street. Not only that, they used to have a great back catalogue of games too. Then, things all went a bit wrong.
After going into administration in 2012, someone wasted a Phoenix Down and brought the company back to life, albeit now a mere shadow of its former self. It’s been shambling along ever since; teetering along on 1 Hp, hoping that someone, somewhere, has a cure-all for its ailments. Still, I have to give the company some credit, as its latest effort to make you part with your cash shows that it at least still has a sense of humour.
The newly-announced GAME Elite scheme builds on the already existing loyalty card program to provide the ultimate GAME retail experience. Costing just £36 a year a join (£33 if you sign up right now) it boosts the amount of points you earn on your purchases, because hey, GAME care. About your cash upfront, at least.
Who knows, maybe I’m being a bit mean? On the standard loyalty scheme you only get the equivalent of 1% back on trade-ins and 2% on everything else, whereas with Elite, you get 10% on games, merchandise and accessories, 4% on consoles, VR, phones and tablets, and 2% on digital purchases and preowned. You also get exclusive offers, a birthday gift, plus the promise that if you get less points back on purchases than the annual fee you’ll get the difference back in points. But it all just seems a little bit desperate.
Whether you shop online or in-store, GAME is not usually the best place for you to part with your cash, and I doubt a paid loyalty scheme is going to convince anyone otherwise. Customer service is dire, prices are extortionate, and their range is pretty pitiful. Why amass points with GAME when you can just save 10% to 20% outright with the likes of Tesco or Amazon, as well as receive your product sealed and with the knowledge that you’ll be taken care of if something is wrong? In my eyes the GAME Elite scheme is a bit of a joke – just make sure you’re not the butt of it.