Amazon’s set to conquer the video game preorder market thanks to introducing a new discount for Amazon Prime subscribers that knocks off 20 percent of any physical preorder or purchase up to two weeks after release.
One of the big conversations that always happens about video game preorders is this: they’re usually not worth it. The majority of games outside of niche import publishers will remain available throughout launch week and beyond regardless of popularity. Add to this the fact that a seemingly increasing number of video games launch with game-breaking bugs, and “why would you preorder anything” becomes a fairly reasonable line of thought.
To combat this, some retailers and publishers pack in goodies to incentivize preordering. This can range from plush dolls to soundtrack CDs to first-run DLC codes. However, for the most part, even these are often available long after any major title launches. Either the launch copies are still around and available, or any preorder incentive DLC has been packaged up for sale.
That is why the significant discount at Amazon is such a big deal. Why go to GameStop or Best Buy now? In terms of sheer dollars spent, there’s no competing. If someone’s heavily invested in a rewards program at one of the latter two, maybe, but otherwise? There’s no logical reason.
Announcing Prime Exclusive Savings: 20% off pre-order and newly released video games! Learn more here: https://t.co/0dvVBAp52F
— Amazon Video Games (@amazongames) January 12, 2016
On the other hand, the Amazon program does have a few caveats. It only applies to products shipped and sold by Amazon, and is only eligible to Prime subscribers. If a game is already discounted more than 20 percent, it appears that the lower price will be accepted without the Prime discount. Collectors' editions that fall within the eligible window will receive the discount, but stuff like video game console bundles will not.
It’s unclear whether specific publishers will be able to opt out of this new discount.
“All physical video games are included during preorder through two weeks after launch,” Amazon’s short FAQ about the new discount states. “Check the offer message on the product page for an item’s eligibility.”
Amazon does note — in big bold letters, no less — that the new discount applies to existing preorders for Prime subscribers.