Loyal GameStop shoppers can revisit classic releases through buying the latest games.
Every time a person purchases something at GameStop, they earn points if they are a PowerUp Rewards member. With the points they accumulate, they can redeem them for a variety of goods online. On Jan. 20 the company began the “Retro Game Vault” for the PowerUp program. In the Retro Game Vault, physical copies of releases from the Atari, NES, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis and PlayStation consoles are available for players to buy using their points.
Shoppers earn points by purchasing and trading in their games at GameStop locations. The program is free to sign up for in-store and only requires a valid email address. A person earns 10 points for every dollar spent on new games and 20 points for every dollar on used merchandise. If someone trades in a game, they get 20 points for each dollar earned.
Many of the games in the Retro Vault are common, like the Super Nintendo version of Mortal Kombat (1993) or Asteroids (1981) on the Atari 2600. Currently more than 45 games have already been or will become available in the Vault. So how much do you need to buy at GameStop to get one of the Vault games? Mortal Kombat can be redeemed for 30,000 points. Transferring this into real money, you would need to spend $1,500 in used merchandise to be eligible for the game.
The only way to get these titles through GameStop is to redeem the earned PowerUp points on the official website. These retro games won’t be available for sale or redeemable at GameStop brick-and-mortar locations, according to Jenn McMillen, GameStop’s divisional vice president of Loyalty and Customer Relations Management. McMillen is in charge of the PowerUp Rewards program.
More games will be released through the Retro Vault in the future. McMillen said that the Vault will only be opened four times a year to make more games available. The company was testing the response from GameStop shoppers before future releases, and so far have seen a positive reaction from players. The Vault began with a few games redeemable, and over its opening weekend almost all of them were sold out without any advertising from GameStop, according to McMillen.
Titles like NBA Jam (SNES, 1993), Shining in the Darkness (Sega Genesis, 1991) and Fear Effect (PlayStation, 2000) will soon be available. Even E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) for the Atari 2600 will be redeemable. Games aren’t the only items in the Vault though. Players will also be able to buy accessories such as the Nintendo Power Glove (1989).
The conditions of each game aren’t known but GameStop guarantees they will work correctly. Some games are even advertised to come available with their case and instruction manual. McMillen said there’s a reserve on hand for retro games, but the supplies are limited because of their age. The games in the Vault are all chosen because they have the best retro appeal to them, said McMillen.
While the Vault does give players a chance to catch up on classic releases from the past, many might be able to find these games for cheaper prices on places like eBay or through a digital service on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii. GameStop used to sell older games (such as from the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation era) as part of its regular inventory at brick-and-mortar locations, but several years ago removed the stock of those vintage releases through a system-wide clearance sale.
The PowerUp Rewards began in September 2010. Other rewards GameStop offers in its loyalty program include coupons off purchases, member only deals of the week, game t-shirts and posters. A PowerUp Rewards Pro membership is available for $14.99 and comes with a one year subscription to Game Informer Magazine, 10 percent off all used merchandise, 10 percent bonus on all trade-in credit and 10 percent bonus PowerUp points on every purchase.
Image by GameStop, Inc.