[Community] Amazon’s Ridiculous and Inconsistent Prime-Gating

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Before we begin, let me just get this out of the way and say that I am an Amazon Prime customer and am very happy with my service. Now on to the article.

Amazon has caused plenty of ruffled feathers and heads scratched in confusion with a very odd and inconsistent new scheme to sell games: major markdowns for Prime members. Discounts are hardly new for Prime, members already enjoy 20% discounts on new and pre-release games as well as free two day shipping, Prime-exclusive coupons, and the Prime pantry. What you might not expect is to see games becoming exclusive to Prime members for short periods of time.

The marketing is extremely inconsistent. For instance, as you can see above, both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One copies of Grand Theft Auto V are $39.99, while only the Xbox One version is “exclusive for Prime members.” If you get over to the actual store page as a non-member, you can’t buy it at all. You can buy the PS4 version for $39.99, but on the Xbox it is reserved for Prime members only. What’s even stranger is that just a few days ago the roles were reversed, you could buy the Xbox One version but not the PS4.

As another example, right now the PC version of Fallout 4 is on sale for $39.99, exclusive for Prime members, but the Xbox One and PS4 versions are also on sale for the same price but are not exclusive.

There has been a lot of speculation on why such a policy would be put into place, and Amazon hasn’t given any specific answers outside of pointing out benefits of Amazon Prime, but right now there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the exclusivity, nor any incentive to sign up for Amazon Prime since the sale price seems to be released to the public after a couple of days anyway.

As for the prices themselves, they’re decent enough. $39.99 for Grand Theft Auto V on Xbox One when it is still full price at most competing retailers, although Wal Mart and Best Buy both had similar deals at the time of this publishing.

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