Amazon Prime Members Receive Discounts on Pre-Orders, New Games

AP Photo
The Associated Press

Watch out, GameStop. Amazon has just dropped a deal that could very easily spell the end of midnight launch hype.

Amazon Prime subscribers will now receive a 20% discount on all pre-ordered and newly released games, reducing the average cost of a new release from $59.99 to just $47.99. For the record, that’s cheaper than GameStop will sell you a used copy of the same newly released title, without any of the pre-sale or DLC promotions.

If you’d rather wait for reviews, you’re still covered. Amazon will still give you that discount for up to two weeks following the release, so you can make sure you have a better idea of what you’re paying for.

It’s very similar to Best Buy’s own Gamer’s Club, but requires significantly less stepping outside and/or driving. And while the Amazon deal is currently limited to physical copies of a game — as opposed to codes for digital download — it’s still a whole lot more convenient.

The promotion deftly hamstrings one of GameStop’s primary methods of attracting business. By pricing games below what even a used copy of a new release cost, including the discount a “Power Up” card could get you at the game retailers’ brick and mortar locations, Amazon has created a situation in which it quite literally pays not to visit your local gaming retailer. It also guarantees that whether or not you stand outside a store at midnight, you’ll derive all the benefits of someone who did. And you’ll pay less, too.

The only real sticking point is Amazon Prime’s $99 annual fee. For those already subscribed to Amazon Prime, it’s a pretty nice bonus. And for those considering taking the leap, this could be just the necessary incentive to do so. Regardless, it looks like the gaming sales competition is heating up.

Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.