And, by this title, I mean the bricks-and-mortar Game stores in the UK.
I used to get all my games from Amazon. However, order a game for delivery on the day of release and you’re reliant on whatever time the postman turns up – worst still, if you use Amazon Prime, they use a courier. When I pre-ordered Call of Duty : Advanced Warfare (with, let’s not forget bonus features on the first day only) it was delivered, by courier, at 8:30pm. I’d been at home all day (not to do with the game, I should add).
As a comparison, let’s take the release of Battlefield Hardline. Just before release you could order this from Amazon for £49.75. This was the standard version with the Deluxe Edition, at £71.36, only turning up at the last minute, and then with no description explaining what this gave you.
Game, in comparison, were selling the standard edition for £49.99 and Deluxe for £59.99. Unlike Amazon they also sell the Premium add-on for £39.99. If you want the standard game and Premium you can save even more by getting them for £84.98. But, as they say in the infomercials, that’s not all – Game also did an offer where if you spent over £75 you got a special £7.50 voucher that you can spend in-store over the Easter weekend. Alternatively, spend £100 to get a £10 voucher. Buying from Game also got you a special unlock which gave you an additional gun, unavailable if you buy the “standard” version. Oh, and you also get Game Reward points too.
But, going back to getting it in time, yes you have to actually visit a Game store but, bearing in mind you could Hardline up from their stores from midnight of the night of release, you could be playing the game a lot, lot sooner than those ordering online!
But Game isn’t perfect. I pre-ordered Hardline a few days before release and wasn’t made aware of the offer when buying with Premium. The game was purchased but they then keep your copy for collection on day of release – this consisted of them giving you a raffle ticket, with the matching ticket stapled on the bag with your game in. The receipt too was in the bag so in the case of any problems you have no evidence of purchase. And the tickets used were standard, “off the shelf” raffle tickets that anybody could get hold of. Lastly, they’re inconsistent with asking about your Game card – you have to hand it over at the time of purchase to get your points. Forget it and you can’t get the points added, so I would have thought reminding people would have been important – in this case I forgot, they forgot and I lost out. “Oh, maybe I should have said something” said the lad. Yes, maybe you should.
When I returned to pick it up I queried about the Premium offer – I think the “get them both together” offer was online only, but I wanted, at least, the £7.50 voucher. To do this they had to refund my original pre-order, made worse by the fact that when they put it through the till that game had gone up in price. The end result was complicated, involving gift cards and reams of receipts, but was eventually done. It cost me about £90 for the game and Premium but I also got my £7.50 voucher, £2.25 in Game points and gun unlock. In fact, because of the sale/refund/sale I ended up with two voucher numbers for the unlock – the other I shared with a friend.
So, the conclusion here is simple – buying from Game not only supports your local high street and video game retailer but actually gives you benefits to boot. With that in mind, why would you buy elsewhere?