Amazon is changing the terms of its Prime benefits for video game pre-orders, replacing the 20 percent discount with a $10 Amazon promotional credit on “select title,” as first spotted by Twitter user Wario64. Canadian gamers are likewise seeing their 10 percent pre-order discount eliminated, with no credit replacing it.
First launched in early 2016, the 20 percent discount for members of Amazon Prime originally applied to all new video games pre-ordered or purchased within the first two weeks of release. With most new games priced at $60, the benefit was typically worth $12. A year ago the discount window was reduced to include only pre-orders and day-of-release purchases, and just last month the benefit disappeared for remasters and re-releases.
The 20 percent discount is valid on all pre-orders placed through Aug. 27, giving gamers just one week to take advantage of the benefit before it is cut.
The move comes just three months after Best Buy killed its own 20 percent discount membership program: Gamers Club Unlocked, which Amazon’s Prime discount originally competed directly with.
Many gamers are criticizing Amazon’s move as a calculated maneuver to capture the market from Best Buy, then reduce the benefits as soon as they eliminated the competition. A Reddit thread on the change is full of gamers threatening to kill their Prime subscriptions over the elimination of the 20 percent discount.
In addition to cutting back the new game discount, Amazon has also eliminated the Twitch Prime benefit of “Ad-Free Viewing Experience Across Twitch,” which no longer appears on the Twitch Prime benefits page as of an update this morning. Amazon acquired the popular game-streaming platform in 2014 and launched the Twitch Prime program in 2016.
Twitch sent out an email to Twitch Prime members this afternoon explaining the changes:
As we have continued to add value to Twitch Prime, we have also re-evaluated some of the existing Prime benefits. As a result, we are announcing two changes.
First, universal ad-free viewing will no longer be part of Twitch Prime for new members, starting on September 14. Members with monthly subscriptions will continue to get ad-free viewing until October 15. If you already have an annual subscription, or if you upgrade to an annual subscription before September 14, you will continue with ad-free viewing until your next renewal date.
Advertising is an important source of support for the creators who make Twitch possible. This change will strengthen and expand that advertising opportunity for creators so they can get more support from their viewers for doing what they love. You can read more details on this change in our recent blog post.
Second, starting on August 28, Prime members will now get a $10 Amazon credit when pre-ordering select games on Amazon.com. This credit can be used on almost anything sold by Amazon.com. This new pre-order benefit is replacing the current discount on physical game pre-orders. All eligible pre-orders placed before August 28 will still receive the 20% discount under the existing benefit once the game is released. For more information and restrictions on this new Prime benefit, click right here.
We have reached out to an Amazon representative for further comment on the changes and will update this article with any response.