GamePump: The New Must-Have Monthly Service For Gamers?

Geeks love goodies. Pay-monthly goodies are really “in” right now, with Loot Crate being ridiculously popular with geeks around the world and Humble Bundle introducing their “Humble Monthly” service which includes big-name games such as Mad Max and ARK: Survival Evolved.

New kid on the block “GamePump” offers something truly unique, however. Gamers can purchase this service and know that they are receiving games into their email every month that are not available anywhere else. That sounds pretty darned epic, but whether or not it is a good thing or if enough people subscribe for it to be a success remains to be seen, as the service has not yet launched.

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I subscribed to this months ago, for the ridiculously cheap price of twelve months for $20 (roughly £20 at the current exchange rate). One month is $5 and three months are $15, so I had a “why not?” attitude to upgrading to the twelve months for the extra five pounds. This was a limited time deal, with the usual price being $60 for the year, and works out at £1.60-ish per game.*

Oddly enough, buying in bulk does not usually give you any sort of discount, with the yearly and three-month memberships costing the same price as purchasing the individual months. This may not bode well for them if they continue this, as you want to encourage customers to purchase more than one month. However, at the current (as it has been since announcement three months ago) price there is an epic saving of $40 on the cost of buying per-month for the year’s duration.

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Let us now weigh the positives and the negatives…

You get something unique. This one comes under both the positives and negatives categories.

So, I have my membership now and I will be getting games every month. Scratch that, because I only get one game per month. One unique game, unavailable anywhere else. That is the “selling point” that they really want to push home here, and it did, indeed, grab my attention and earn them my subscription. However, the unique game could be a pile of rubbish, let us be honest.

Unique, because it is retro. Again, this could go on either list.

You do also have to be a retro/classic gaming fan, as the games are specifically aimed at that market, with the website stating

“We partner with video game veterans of today and yesteryear to reclaim lost gaming artifacts.

Which is a really fancy way of saying, we revive classic game libraries from the proverbial basements of some of the top video game publishers in the world and help bring them to modern hardware.”

So, we could get a really neat, HD remastered, obscure, forgotten classic… Or we could get a game that was forgotten for good reason…

There is a “GamePump Guarantee” that states

“100% of the games you receive as part of your subscription will be BRAND NEW to your PC games library!”; but this does not guarantee quality.

I shall be writing a review of the first game when I receive it, to tell you my conclusions.

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You are doing a good deed! For the positive list, definitely.

Apparently $1 from every twelve month subscription goes towards the children’s gaming charity Extra Life which has the motto “Play Games. Heal kids.”, raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital fundraising program by encouraging gamers to partake in twenty-four hour gaming marathons for sponsorship, the money for which goes towards sick and injured youths.

Now, at the current price of $20, that is one-twentieth of the income from subscriptions, and that is an impressively generous number. However, at the normal price of $60, that is one-sixtieth, which is far less impressive, and of course no money is given for one month or three month subscriptions.

If you are going to get the membership, it is nice to know that some of the money is going to go to a good cause, but if you want more than just a smidgen of your gaming money to go to charity, I recommend Humble Bundle, as you can literally change a money dividing bar to how you want the purchases’ money to be handed out between the Humble Bundle people, the games developers, and the charity.

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DRM free, or Steam: your choice!

Some of you will know what “DRM” means, and others will not. Briefly, I will say that it means that you can use your copy of the game on as many different computers as you want, without limitations. If you want to know more, Google is your friend. Subscribers can choose their game be DRM-free via GoG, or if they would rather have a Steam key, they forfeit the DRM-free option; but it is great to have the choice!

Direct to the makers. Another for the positives.

Whether the games will be good or not, you know that your money is going directly to the people that make them. If the game is bad, perhaps they can use the money they make from that bad game to make better games(?). I do not know about any of you reading this, but personally, I could not even make a bad game, so I say giving money to people that make the effort is a good thing.

One charge, no contract. One last positive.

You pay a one-off price, whether you are doing the one month, three months, or twelve months. They do not keep your payment details, and there is no contractual obligation. I whole-heartedly approve of this! I find with subscription services, I often forget about them, do not really use them, but continue to pay for them, and that is not cool, so this makes a welcome change.

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The Conclusion? High-risk, high reward?

I weighed all the above when I chose to buy my twelve month subscription. I decided it was worth the risk of bad games, in order to give money direct to the makers, a little to the charity, and – hopefully – get a good game or two. At the current $20 price (I do not know when this will change to $60) it is quite a cheap risk, as well.

“The PC debut of the award winning puzzle game from WayForward is our gift to you!” – GamePump

You can watch their promotional video, read the FAQs and sign up, here. The first game was due to go to email inboxes on Friday 6th January, but there has been a delay in the Gamepump Launch. As compensation for this, however, existing subscribers are going to be receiving two bonus games in the coming weeks, which is nice, and a refund has also been offered.

“Despite our best efforts, we were unable to meet our development, submission, and release schedule we had planned.”

“Rather than push an unfinished slate of games out the door to meet this deadline, we have decided to delay the launch of the service to ensure that we can meet the expectations of our fans and subscribers.

This delay could be as short as three weeks (by the end of Jan) or as long as a month (early March)”

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I am slightly disappointed with the delay of course, but this does mean I get bonus games.

I hope to keep you all informed on this very interesting and unique gaming service, and any games I receive from them will of course be reviewed.

That said… How will non-Gamepump-ers manage to get a copy of a game, if they like my reviews?..

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To find out more, visit the website!

*At the time of publication for this article, they are no longer taking pre-orders

Article credit: Illisia Adams.

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