So when it comes to gaming, we’re all about cutting corners to save a bit of cash. We all know as gamers the cost of gaming has finally exceeded the 80-120 dollar limit, which means in the short term of things? Our games aren’t cheap. They’re actually quite expensive with micro-transactions, season passes, and other little additions here and there. Luckily a few companies have come out clean and showed their two-tier pricing scale for their games. For Ubisoft they’re showing our games are going to average between 69.99 USD to 99.99 USD depending on the value of content offered with the packaging. For many of us, that means we’re buckling down, holding our breaths, and taking a punch in the kisser. Yes, you read that right. We get hurt and we get hurt badly when it comes to what we do. However, this price scale isn’t that odd at all. Battlefield and Call of Duty entries with season passes will run you roughly 99.99 USD to 120 USD and some loose pocket change, but how can we shave off a few dollars in the long haul? Easy, lets take a look at the memberships such as GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards, Best Buy’s Gamer’s Club Unlocked, and Amazon’s Prime membership to see who takes the crown and the B.A.T.G.R. recommendation.
Power Up Rewards
If you’re a frequent to GameStop and their system, you’re no stranger to their constant ways of trying to cut a few dollars off your pre-orders. You’re also used to the fact it takes a lot of time to even get rewards through their store. If you’re like me, it’s enough to make you cringe, and even pucker a bit at the sour taste in your mouth. While GameStop as a company has been doing a lot to reformat Power Up Rewards, they – at times – just don’t seem to get it right. As a Power Up Rewards veteran, I can already tell you I’ve not been impressed for years. Want that 5 USD coupon? Guess what. That’s going to cost you several hundred to say the least. However, GameStop has recently begun to run a lot more promotions in order to give their membership some appeal. Lately they’ve been doing things such as matching cash with in-store credit to bring in more used games, but also customers.
They’ve also been offering some rather good trade deals, the company has also made a few advances towards better promotions. Like recently, they had an offer with Far Cry Primal; buy the game, get a 1,000 reward points, plus what you already get for just purchasing the game. Good deal, right? We wish, but unfortunately, GameStop is still losing out to both Amazon Prime and even Best Buy. Their promotions are attempts to bring in some extra customers, but unlike the next two titans. This does not necessarily mean GameStop is back in the front of the race. Instead they’re going to have to change up their approach, make better offers, and even show just how good they really are in order to keep ahead of the race. Unfortunately for them, they may not have what it takes, and that spells trouble out for the company as a whole.
If you are an avid Amazon Prime subscriber, you already know the company has a mean streak with creating some awesome deals, but also pulling a bit more money out of your pocket. With them now splitting Kindle Unlimited from Prime Membership, we won’t be surprised if they soon split both the movie and music departments away also and force users into subscribing to more services to earn just a few more dollars. But what this online giant market has done, is joined Best Buy in the 20% off of new games, but this theirs? Only through pre-orders that are directly coming from the company themselves. This means that any game you pre-order will see 20 dollars cut from the top and thrown down just for you to have. However, this does not mean hold your breath and pray that you’ll save a giant amount. This does spell trouble for those of you who may want your game on day of release.
There has been some issues regarding this, but in the long run? It’s 20% off and you are guaranteed your copy of your game and its pre-order bonuses, which we’ll admit that Amazon has had some great offers in the past. However, that doesn’t always mean you’ll get that collector’s edition as we have seen those disappear faster than both GameStop and Best Buy. So you may want to hit multiple outlets if you are expecting a rare copy of a game. Y’know, like that DOOM Limited Collector’s Edition with the Revenant statue.
Best Buy’s Gamer’s Club Unlocked
While we’ve never been quite impressed with Best Buy’s attempts at gaming, we can say that they are truly trying to revitalize a user base, and a consumer base. With Gamer’s Club Unlocked, Best Buy has decided to once more step up to the plate and attempt a grand slam, or if you want to be honest – undermining their competition. While Wal-Mart has never been a great place to go, GameStop has been decent, Amazon has been a crowning champion, but here comes Best Buy on their pink little bicycle, crash helmet, and a sucker in their mouth attempting to ramp a plywood ramp. Guess what? They’ve made the jump and are doing it over, and over, and over again.
But how did Best Buy manage this? We’ve become loyal to using their new service, offering between 20% off new games, 10% off used, and double points on all game purchases, this was too good to pass up, but they also offer rewards for trade-in’s, which seems to sucker punch GameStop quite well. If these two titans were in the ring? It’d be a helluva good show to watch as we know fists would be flying. What GameStop doesn’t have though, is Best Buy has one-upped them yet again. With certain pre-orders Best Buy offers between 5 USD coupons and 10 USD coupons. While these offers aren’t stackable, they are quite enjoyable, and ones that keep customers coming back. It’s why we do. The certificates, however, aren’t like GameStop’s where they are instantly redeemable. They instead are ones that you will have to wait between 15 to 30 days to see moved to your account so that you may use them. While that seems like a bit of a nail-biter, we can honestly say it’s worth it in the long haul.
Who’s the Victor?
While some of us like to be cheap a$$ gamer’s, it’s hard to say that GameStop is even in the ring anymore. Instead they’ve been put in time out as their offers have begun to decline and not keep a grasp upon those hoping to have any form of relief when committing financially to games. While Amazon doesn’t have a loyalty program or even a rewards program of any sort, it’s nice to see they are joining in and finally giving Best Buy a run for their money. With some of their exclusive pre-order bonuses, it’s hard to say that Amazon isn’t in this race. Instead they are slightly ahead of GameStop, but not by much, but what our third competitor does offer is what these two titans don’t.
If you’re familiar with Jason and the Giant, you’ll know that Best Buy was one that suffered in this arena. Their prices are sometimes much higher than others, but with competitor pricing becoming more frequent and allowing for price matches with Amazon, it’s hard to say they aren’t ahead in this race. With their unique loyalty program through Gamer’s Club Unlocked and My Best Buy Rewards programs stacking, the points add up quick, which means fast discounts on games within a month. Due to this Best Buy has become the best one we’ve found to save a good 20-30 dollars with within a month if you are one that buys multiple games. With base games going between 59.99 USD and 89.99 USD it’s nice to see Best Buy takes those offers down to 48 USD and some change before tax and even 63 USD and some change. So our victor? Best Buy wins the day and we hate saying it, but if GameStop want’s to stay in the race, they’ll need to re-work their points scaling as well as special offers to bring in customers already using Gamer’s Club Unlocked. Unless you’re, well, a PC Gamer then Steam, GoG, and Humble Bundle have your back.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.
4 thoughts on “Cheap A$$ Gaming – The Debate of What Store Membership is Best for You”
My way of looking at being cheap, is to never “be like the Jone’s” and always have the newest games. I wait it out, finish what I’ve got on my play list and let the prices drop. Usually, the price drops a third after six to eight months. If it doesn’t dip within a year, I get it retail and not used. If I MUST HAVE it, then I either Gamefly or find a deal if I can. I’m sure you do this as well, at this point. Personally, I see great prices on Amazon all the time, so ponying up the admission for Prime is well worth it, as you get a pretty good streaming network and free shipping.
We debated putting GameFly and a few other sources into the article, but since we are looking at new games, we decided to take the three biggest competitors and put them against eachother. Personally I shop around a lot. I always look at who has the best prices and what my discounts can get me on new or used since I cover a lot of games.
For those who are still new to this area? I feel is definitely worth it for people to check out and try.
Of course, whatever saves you some serious cash. No other way but to be frugal with games.
Couldn’t agree more p2d2! Couldn’t agree more.