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Blockbuster Makes A Play for Gamers

26 Dec, 2001 By: Hive News

Blockbuster is cashing in on the thousands of new game consoles flying off retail nationwide with a console sweepstakes, a new Games Pass and loyalty rewards.

To position itself as the place to rent games for all formats, the company has several new marketing programs designed to bring gamers in the door. The chain has increased its supply of games to increase copy depth for popular PlayStation 2 games and include key titles in the new Xbox and GameCube formats.

Gamers who got a new console over the holidays are eligible for a free five-day game rental before Jan. 31. Customers who bring in a receipt from any retailer for the purchase of any new game console purchased between Dec. 1 and Jan. 31 will get a five-day freebie on a game in the format of the new game system on the receipt.

Gamers who didn't find a new console under the tree can try again by entering the chain's sweepstakes, which has 1,000 new systems--250 each of the Xbox, GameCube, Playstation 2 and Gameboy Advance systems--as prizes. The contest links game popularity with home entertainment rentals by entering renters automatically each time they complete a transaction at participating stores. Mail-in entries are also accepted, but online transactions don't qualify. Point-of-purchase signs, direct mail and TV advertising will support the contest.

Blockbuster is debuting its national Games Pass as well. Through Jan. 31 the company will offer a Games Rental Pass . The pass will provide one rental per day for 30 consecutive days for $24.99 to Blockbuster Rewards Members, $29.99 for nonmembers.

"This is a great offer for our gaming customers," says Brian Woodrick, director, Interactive Merchandising. "For less than the purchase price of one game, our customers will be able to rent a different game every day for a month. Games are expensive to purchase, and both kids and adult gamers get bored playing the same few games over and over again. Renting a variety of games keeps gaming new, fun and exciting."

Passes will be available at participating U.S. stores while supplies last. Promotional efforts include in-store signage and direct mail.

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