Retailers want loyal gaming customers, and another one is showing today that it’s willing to offer discounts to keep you coming back.
Amazon is adding a 20 percent discount on new, physical video games to all of its Prime members (via Time). That means if you have Amazon Prime for the free two-day shipping, the Amazon Instant Video, or its music services, you now also save money on any new release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. For a $60 console game, as an example, this will save you about $12. Console and PC gaming is a $55 billion business, and this is the latest effort by Amazon to capture as much of that market as possible while also bolstering the features of its $99 Prime service.
Amazon Prime joins a number of retailers offering memberships designed to save gamers money — although it is the first online-only vendor doing this for physical discs. Best Buy recently introduced its Gamers Club Unlocked, which also gives consumers a 20 percent discount on new games that costs $30 every two years. Both of these compete with GameStop, the world’s largest gaming-specific retailer, and its PowerUp Rewards membership. That deal gets players 10 percent extra store credit when they trade in older games, and it gives members 10 percent off any used purchases along with a number of other perks.
These moves could slow the shift among consumers from physical to digital — at least on console. Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have online stores, and new games on those systems tend to do about 15-to-20 percent of their sales through the download stores on each system. But deals are difficult to come by on those stores, so cost-conscious consumers may still find signing up for a cheap membership on Amazon or elsewhere more appealing.
But digital games does also have something similar if you’re into Electronic Arts. It is making a similar effort with digital games. The company has already had EA Access on Xbox One, which is a $5-per-month service that gives players an instant library of games and a 10 percent discount on new digital purchases. And EA just announced today that is launching Origin Access, which is the PC-gaming equivalent of EA Access.
Clearly, retailers highly value gaming customers. Amazon, EA, Best Buy, and GameStop are all offering these membership deals as a way of getting the exclusive rights to a gamers’ spending. We’ve seen how well that’s worked out for Valve, which is responsible for most of the revenue made by digital PC game sales. Now, the rest of the market is getting serious about attempting to shake up that landscape.