Amazon Prime Review: The Gaming Side
I mentioned in previous posts that I am very much against paying full MSRP for video games, and most items. There are exceptions of course, like certain short supply collector's items, but you should really save whenever you can. I want you to always look out for your money, and your time, because nothing is more valuable. To that end, one of the options for getting discounts is Amazon Prime membership.
Update 8/22: Unfortunately, the 20% discount now only applies on pre-orders. This means that in order for you to get the discount, you must purchase your games before release date. This brings the overall value of the Amazon Prime gaming discount further below GCU. It is a an even softer recommendation now, only worthwhile if you love the other Amazon Prime benefits and REALLY plan out your purchases.
Amazon provides 20% savings on "New-Release" games and pre-orders. Prime will provide the discount until two weeks after the game is released. This only applies to physical versions, currently including collector's editions and game figures. These last two will soon go away unfortunately. These are all good for games you pre-order or recently released games. If you go to buy Tekken 7 right now for instance, you will receive 20% off. Awesome right? Paying $48 is a lot better than $60.
Amazon Prime currently costs $10.99 a month, or $99 a year(half for students with a valid .edu email). Let's ignore the other benefits of Prime for the moment. Is it worth your time just for the game savings? Only if you are a huge spender, and want everything delivered. In raw game savings alone, you would need to spend $500 in video games in a year to break even on the cost of the membership. That is a lot if you have other options, like a nearby retail store where you can get the same price.
Amazon Prime would be a good option if you have no nearby brick and mortar stores or don't want to go to one, and spend a good amount on games, especially at $35 an above to get the free Prime shipping. If you consider the $5 or so you save on shipping per game, and order seven games at $60 pre-savings, that is $119 in savings, or $20 above the membership price. This would require a lot of planning on your part though, and a huge up-front investment. I would highly recommend starting a 30 day trial right before you make a large amount of eligible purchases, then either cancel, or sign up for the yearly membership if it is working for you. You also get Twitch Prime which has a free game a month if you have a PC, and one free Twitch subscription per month. These benefits can't be used by everyone, which is why I don't give them much weight. It may be different for you though, and for me in the future.
I believe Amazon Prime Game savings are there as an added benefit to make existing Prime members feel good about paying for it. Like most other individual benefits, not really a game-changer on it's own, but it adds to a great overall package if you order enough through Amazon. I have a Prime Membership myself, and the main benefit I get is free shipping on random household items and electronics when needed. I don't buy many games from Amazon, but when I do, I'm glad they have the free shipping. There are a ton of people who have Amazon Prime, if you're one of them, you can save quite a bit on your gaming habit if you plan well. Make sure that you do.