“Worst Black Friday ever.”
“Last year’s deals were better.”
How much of this is true? Some of it is subjective. If you tend to enjoy niche titles with limited retail distribution, don’t expect significant discounts outside of clearance sales. If you are a fan of Nintendo titles, that’s almost a fool’s errand considering how careful Nintendo manages their game prices.
However, if you are in the market for third party releases and first party releases from the likes Microsoft or Sony, Black Friday can be a fruitful time for you.
So without further delay, let’s take continue the annual Black Friday retrospective and take a look at how 2018 stacked up.
The Annual Franchises
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey received the deepest Black Friday discount ever in 2018 with 50% off the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). The game debuted on October 8, 2018 and was on sale for $39.96 — a mere 46 days later.
Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII continued its ritual off knocking $30 off its MSRP. It was released on October 12, 2018 and received a $30 discount 42 days later.
Other major releases from 2018 and 2017 were sampled below. As always, titles were selected based on the discount, popularity, and availability of said titles. There’s little value in highlighting the door crasher sale of a niche title.
2018 Q4 new releases included the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2 and Hitman 2. Unsurprisingly, the new Rockstar game did not receive any discounts. The only major new release to receive a sizeable discount was SoulCalibur VI.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider found itself occupying the usual $40 price point for a Q3 release. It was the lowest price for the Square Enix title thus far.
The MSRP of Far Cry 5 may have been $79.99 at the time but it was regularly seen between the $40 – $50 since its release on March 27, 2018. Still the sale price of $29.99 was not wildly out of step with previous year’s popular 1st half releases.
Persona 5, released on April 4, 2017, still managed to keep its sale price (for its retail release) over $30 let alone $20.
The Lessons Learned
- You should not be paying full price for Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed titles; they often receive discounts on Black Friday.
- Some recent releases around Black Friday will drop to $49.99 or lower
- You will see Q3 releases drop to $39.99
- Expect some first half releases to drop to $19.99
- Year old titles will also occupy the $19.99 price range
- The weakened Canadian dollar caused MSRP to rise but the discounts didn’t deepen to compensate.
Black Friday isn’t meant for “full time” bargain hunters; it’s for the masses who don’t keep tabs on the latest deals or did not get a chance to use the usual E3 pre-order discounts.