Back in March of 2015, I wrote about switching from GameStop to Best Buy for new game purchases, because of Best Buy’s newly-discounted Gamer Rewards program. The big hook for Best Buy was offering a 20% discount on new games, something that GameStop does not do.
A little over a week ago, Amazon gut punched GameStop again (and kicked Best Buy’s legs out from under it) when they announced that Prime Subscribers will now get 20% off of pre-orders and newly-released games to go along with their already free two-day shipping. The term “newly-released” in this case means up to two weeks after the initial release date.
So, how does this stack up to GameStop and Best Buy? Well, as I wrote about before, GameStop still gives you a print magazine subscription for your $15 a year, and Best Buy offers reward certificates that can be used for anything they sell. Both also give you extra value for used game trade-ins.
Looking at Amazon’s trade-in program, it looks like they actually give you slightly more value than GameStop, although GameStop gives more if you are using the credit to buy more games. For example, Amazon will give you $20.54 for Star Wars Battlefront, while GameStop would give you $19.66 cash, or $24.20 if you used it toward another game. Add to that the discount you get on used games, and GameStop can provide more value for those trading in games to buy more games.
But really, the main questions you should be asking yourself are if you buy new games and you are already a Prime Subscriber. Because if the answer to those two questions is yes, this is a no-brainier.
I am a Prime subscriber and for me, this move by Amazon actually hurts Best Buy more. I already had stopped buying new games at GameStop. Now I can get the 20% discount and free two-day shipping on my new games. So, Amazon will become the place for me to buy new, and GameStop will continue to be my used game option.
At some point, I think GameStop is going to have to bite the bullet and offer discounts on new releases. They’ve tried to diversify, getting into retro games and pushing more geek culture merchandise, but I don’t think that will be the solution in the long term.