Incentive Programs Work On Me…A Little Too Well

Last weekend there was a special sale at GameStop for PowerUp Elite Pro members. I’d been getting email reminders about it (too many, but that’s another story) so, last Saturday, my partner and I went to see what deals there were to be had.

We were not blown away.

Over last holiday season while we were back in our hometown at a GameStop, I somehow got talked into upgrading my membership to the Elite Pro. It has a cost of $29.99 per year, but you save extra on used games and get more for trade-ins. I tend to buy as many physical games as I can, but I rarely trade games in. Even so, it’s nice to know I will get more for whatever I do trade in.

And I don’t often buy used games; I prefer to buy games new. But this program has found me doing the former more than I thought I would.

Back to the sale.

I knew in advance they were offering a better trade value for controllers and I had two older PS4 controllers just sitting there so I thought I’d trade them in. I also still had my copy of Breath of the Wild for Wii U, and since I also have it for Switch (a generous gift from a friend), I decided to trade the Wii U version in. From those three things I got nearly $100 in trade-in credit. Not a bad deal.

I saw they had a sale on game guides and since I love game guides, I picked one up for Super Mario Odyssey. Aside from that, I didn’t see anything I wanted. I tend to pre-order all my games from Amazon due to their incentive program of offering 20% off (from even most prestige editions), so I honestly have just about every current game I could want (I am entirely grateful).

I still decided to scour their used game section. Just because.

Because of that darn extra discount.

I didn’t find anything for myself, but my partner found two games that interested him and we got both for a song. Between those two games, my Odyssey hardcover guide, and a $50 PSN card, we had to pay just under $2 with the credit we had.

Not a bad deal.

But then I start thinking: if I didn’t have the Elite Pro membership, would I have gone to this special Elite Pro sale? Would I have wanted to sign up for it? And would I have bought those things if I wasn’t an Elite Pro member?

I think the answer to those questions is probably not.

With Amazon, I find I pre-order not only games I already know without a doubt I will want, but also games I’m questionable on. In fact, sometimes I forget I’ve pre-ordered something until I get the shipping notification.

That makes me feel silly and excessive.

Recently this happened with Kingdom Come: Deliverance. I’d had it pre-ordered for ages and when I received the shipping notification I was like, well, I guess I’m getting that game after all. In this case, it sort of bit me in the a**, as the game has numerous serious issues that need to be patched out. As soon as I’m not concerned it will reset hours of progress, I look forward to playing it.

Each year, I pay $99 for my Amazon Prime membership. Prime has many benefits I take advantage of, as I order a lot of household items (e.g.: dog food) from Amazon. When they announced the 20% off pre-ordered video games with Prime, I was ecstatic. When I found out it applied to many collector’s editions as well, I was downright giddy.

I just checked and I have 13 games on pre-order from Amazon. That’s so many more than I’m sure I need, yet with that hefty discount, my brain thinks, well, it’s a savings.

Of course, not spending the money at all is a bigger savings, but that’s a less fun savings, less fun being less games, not less money.

I’m confusing myself.

When I went back to look at the games I have pre-ordered, at least two surprised me that I hadn’t remembered. What does that say about my weakness for these incentive programs? I mean, I love games and my partner loves games and if we buy physical editions of those games, we can both play them and there is value in that. If we know there is a co-op game coming out we both want to play, we order two copies, easy peasy.

But I do wonder: if those incentive programs weren’t in place, just how many games would we wind up buying? That’s to say nothing of all the digital only titles on PSN, Steam, or Xbox Live.

For the record, the 13 games I have on pre-order are the following:

Dragon’s Crown Pro (05.15.18)
Dark Souls Remastered (05.25.18)
Nintendo Labo Variety Kit (04.20.18)
We Happy Few (it had a release date and now it’s a placeholder)
Detroit: Become Human (TBA)
Metro Exodus (TBA)
Dollhouse (03.27.18)
Biomutant (TBA)
Yakuza 6 (04.17.18)
Far Cry 5 (03.27.18)
Vampyr (06.05.18)
Red Dead Redemption 2 (10.26.18)
Death Stranding (TBA)

That’s sort of bonkers. I can see a handful on that list I’d probably wait on reviews for if it weren’t for my impatience and these incentive programs.

With that I ask: do you participate in any incentive programs? Which one/s? Do you find they impact how often you buy games from those companies? I’m curious how this plays out for others.

12 replies »

  1. “…Less fun savings.”
    Red Dead Redemption 2
    Far Cry 5
    I put my deposit down on Red Dead Redemption 2; back in Christmas 2016.
    If I’m not an Amazon Prime member will I receive the 20% discount incentive for Far Cry 5?
    Good as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember when you put your deposit down. Shoot, that feels like so long ago.

      Unfortunately you only get the 20% off with a Prime membership. Alas, Prime has lots of benefits like Prime video and two day shipping.

      And thank you. I appreciate that very much.


  2. I too, Rebekah, am fond of GameStop’ incentive program. I am just a Pro member. I got it for the used games; the discounts on games. I love it because I try to keep a little store credit on my card at all times. I am considering a preorder for GOW. I like the premise; trying to broaden my horizon gamingwise. Not sure what other games I am considering for purchase. I also enjoy that you can transfer balances on preordered games if I don’t like the demo or review. Just my thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I honestly think Pro is the way to go. You still get the GI subscription (the main reason I have mine) and earn all the points, but it’s not an extra amount per year.

      That’s a good call to always keep some store credit on hand. I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have done that last weekend when I traded things in.

      I love that! I’m also trying to broaden my gaming horizons. I love playing a completely different style of game and loving it and surprising myself.

      And that is another good point!

      Also, I just wanted you to let you know I’m thinking of you and sending positive thoughts.


      • Thanks Rebekah! Just trying to get thru the week & then the weekend. Just trying to stay busy. I might play either COD’ MP for the double XP; TT’ Batman because I am behind on the story. I need to catch up. What game(s) have you been playing; what are you most looking forward to in the next 3-6 mos.? Me., either GOW or Spidey if it gets a release date.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well I hope the time goes quickly, then. And I hope you are able to stay busy. And I hope you enjoy whatever you play.

          I am still trying to wrap up Primal. BLURG. I hope to finish today. And then I’m going directly into Crossing Souls.

          In the short term, I’m all about Far Cry 5 and this weird little game called Dollhouse. Long term, all I want to hear more about are Ghost of Tsushima and Cyberpunk 2077.


          • Excited for both. Although only Got is a PS game. They had me sold at samurai. It looks interesting from the little we have seen. I’d like to see more, imho! About to game soon.

            Liked by 1 person

                • I am feeling optimistic about E3 this year. I know we will hear more about certain titles, but I hope there are some major surprises.

                  I’d also really love a release date for Dreams. You can’t even pre-order it! It’s so weird.


                  • Do you have any thoughts on GI’ 300 issue? That’s huge! Not many magazines especially gaming magazines. Thoughts?

                    Liked by 1 person

                  • I adore GI and I’m so happy for them. I think the covers are unique and they went out on a limb with a vision and I like that.

                    Like any other top list, there are things I agree and disagree with. The exclusion of Okami from the list shocks me, though.

                    Here’s to another 100 issues!


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