EB Games of Australia has figured out a way to compete with the popularity of digital game subscription services such as EA Access and Xbox Game Pass. The company has announced a new program known as “Swap ‘N Play” and it is already available to gamers in the land down under.
For $19.95 AUD per month (a little under $16 USD), subscribers can designate their preferred store and select any preowned in their inventory to take home and play. They can play as much as they like and then take the game back to the store and choose another preowned title. You won’t be limited to any particular console – if there is a preowned game in the store for any system, you can take it home.
There are a couple of caveats though. You are limited to just one game out at any given time and you must subscribe for at least two months. If you don’t return a game or it is damaged beyond repair then you will need to pay its recommended retail price. If a game is only slightly damaged and can be repaired, you’ll be charged a small fee.
Swap ‘N Play is not the first example of a subscription service for physical games. GameFly comes to mind and the now defunct BlockBuster Video tried something similar before the company’s demise. EB’s initiative is still an interesting response to increasing digital game sales and competition from online retailers such as Amazon. I would not be surprised if GameStop ultimately decides to offer their own program.