Amazon launched a pretty sweet program two years back that would knock 20 percent off the price of pre-ordered and newly-released games ordered through its Prime service. As of next week, that service is going away and being replaced with a much more restrictive program.
The 20 percent discount that applied to just about any game being sold through Amazon is being replaced, starting August 28, with a $10 credit on select pre-orders. The credit can then take up to 35 days to arrive, Amazon says, at which point you’ll have 60 days to spend it.
The original program started back in January 2016, and initially gave 20 percent discounts on both pre-ordered and newly-released games. The latter condition was removed the next year, leaving the deal to only apply to pre-orders, and now the whole thing is going away.
It’s worth noting that Best Buy did exactly the same thing back in May with its Gamers Club Unlocked program, swapping a 20 percernt discount on any pre-order with a $10 credit on some pre-orders if you participate in Best Buy’s more generalized My Best Buy program.
Only thing I can contribute to the Best Buy GCU reports is that 'GCU is dead', the memo pictured below was sent out today to employees and is real, current GCU members will get benefits until membership expires but cannot be renewed.
RIP GCU pic.twitter.com/T2t2L93wlW
— Wario64 (@Wario64) May 18, 2018
Retailers are battling right now for gamers’ dollars. All the major consoles have digital marketplaces that offer the same games that these shops can offer, but you don’t have to wait two days for shipping or have to put on pants to go to the store. With both of these programs going away within months of each other, it seems likely they weren’t making a significant divot in those digital sales, and the $12 you’d save each time wasn’t ending up back in Prime Overlord Bezos’ warm embrace. Instead, Amazon is forcing you to come crawling back if you want to take advantage of that credit, and give Amazon even more money in the process.
“Alexa, what items are $9.99 after tax?”
Is the $10 credit enough to keep you shopping at Amazon for your gaming needs, or was this the last excuse you needed to go digital?