EBGames is testing a new program in which customers can rent new games for $10 per month. Well, technically, it's a program in which customers can buy a new game for full price and then bring it back within thirty days and receive the price of the game in store credit minus ten dollars. At face value it doesn't seem like such a bad idea, but I can't help think that there's some hidden catch that makes the whole deal bad for customers. Granted that years spent dealing with game stores have turned me cynical, but my red flag still goes up when I read of offers like this one.
What does EBGames get out of the deal? Weak willed gamers like myself who are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest will be even more likely to buy more games knowing they are guaranteed an excellent trade-in value, regardless of how good/bad/popular a given game ends up becoming. EBGames turns around and gets more used games to put on the shelf and to eek out even more profit.
I gave up renting games a while back because I felt that after my week with the game was up I was right back where I started before I rented the game, but $8 lighter. I feel like I get more for my money if I just spend the $50 and buy the game. There's no time limit to how long I can play the game, no worries that the disc will be scratched or damaged, and I get a nice intact manual to read. I never trade my games back to the store and I can go back to my old favorites all the time. Customers that cannot afford ongoing game purchases may love this program, but I think I'll just keep buying the games I want and skip rentals altogether.