Week of Dec 18 – 24 Round-up

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Immortals Fenyx Rising is already on sale. Ubisoft’s latest release saw multiple price drops down to $45, then $50, and it’s already $40 on Epic Games Store with console versions following next week. This game came out 14 days ago.

Here are a few things you may have missed

Week of Dec 11 – 17 Round-up

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Cyberpunk 2077 is finally here. It’s a little hot, not quite ready, might be a little short for some people, but it’s here and we can finally move forward with our lives. I won’t be playing it until the next-gen patch is in and even then I might wait for the dust to settle with that. With CDPROJEKT RED games, it never hurts to wait.

Here’s Something You May Have Missed

Week of Dec 4 – 10 Round-up

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales would have been a game that I would be playing with my PlayStation 5, but I don’t like its price tag. It’s $64.99 and that’s a lot for a video game. It will come down in price and when that time comes, I will be there. I have no idea how this Miles Morales portrayal is, but I hope they borrowed many queues from the Into the Spider-Verse movie.

Here Are A Few Things You May Have Missed

December 2020 Gold Games

Games With Gold

Xbox One

  • Aragami: Shadow Edition
  • Swimsanity!

Xbox 360 & Xbox One

  • Full Spectrum Warrior
  • Lego Indiana Jones

December 2020 Games With Prime

Twitch Prime

  • Battlefield 3 on Origin
  • HyperDot
  • A Knight’s Quest
  • Smoke and Sacrifice
  • The Spectrum Retreat
  • Bridge Constructor: Medieval
  • Wizard of Legend
  • Lost Horizon
  • Sigma Theory: The Global War
  • Turmoil
  • Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan
  • The Last Blade 2
  • SNK 40th Anniversary Collection
  • Metal Slug 2
  • Sengoku 3
  • King of the Monsters
  • Ironclad
  • Shock Troopers 2nd Squad
  • Baseball Stars 2
  • The King of Fighters 2002
  • Samurai Shodown II
  • Blazing Star
  • Pulstar
  • Art of Fighting 2
  • Fatal Fury Special
  • The King of Fighters 2000

Why Don’t They Fix This?

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Walmart and EB Games announced the release of their PlayStation 5 inventory for December 4, 2020 @ 11am ET / 8am PT.

Everyone was prepared. Credit cards were ready.

…and then everything came crashing down.

Some made it through to the other side with smiles and a dent in their credit cards, but chances are you’re disappointed, frustrated, and wondering why this is still a problem in 2020?

These answers won’t make you happy, but hopefully they will explain why this issue persists.

A global pandemic ruins the party

Well, the first obvious answer is that it’s 2020 and we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. As a result, retailers and manufacturers are encouraging all prospective buyers to visit online stores. In a pandemic-free timeline, consumers would have been able to buy consoles across online and retail stores which would have alleviated some online stress.

Why are the websites dying?

The reason why websites are buckling under the tremendous weight of demand is money and the annoying reality that it is finite. From a retailer’s perspective, it is cost prohibitive to beef up server and network capacity for an event that occurs once every 6 – 7 years.

Retailers are trying to work within their budgets though. They’re putting in queues, and waiting rooms, but it’s obviously not perfect. Retailers certainly want to sell you things, and not have to endure being ratio-ed.

Wondering why Apple and the like don’t buckle as badly? They have annual launches with predictable data. They’ve had plenty of practice to wrestle with these launch spikes.

Damn bots and scalpers!

This is one area that I believe all retailers should be counteracting. Why isn’t there a built-in CAPTCHA is a head scratcher. If anyone has any insight to this, I would love to know. (Something tells me the reasoning comes down to money though.)

Retailers like Walmart have stressed they’re restricting purchases to 1 per household, but it doesn’t fill consumers with confidence.

Bundles suck! Why do they keep bundling them?

To make it worthwhile for the retailer. The profit margin for console hardware is small, so they want make this headache (it is a headache!) worthwhile.

At least they’re no longer bundling with third party controllers these days.

Why didn’t Sony make more?
“Unprecedented Demand

Sony saw increased demand for the console and boosted supply, but despite their best efforts, they are still selling out.

One could argue that they should have built up even more inventory before launching, but it’s a numbers game. Sitting on inventory doesn’t pay the bills, so Sony needs to recoup their investment as soon as possible.

Nobody Wants This

Nobody wants this situation to happen:

  • Not you
  • Not the poor Walmart communications team manning the Twitter account
  • Not the IT support staff scrambling to recover systems
  • Not Sony
  • And certainly not me. (This is Game Deals Canada after all)

Logistics is tough in the best of times, so you can imagine how much tougher it is to pull this off while keeping everyone safe during this pandemic. So while it is incredibly frustrating to have something slip through your virtual shopping cart into nothing, please be cool about this situation.

We all want happiness.

Week of Nov 27 – Dec 3 Round-up

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Yakuza: Like A Dragon looks like a solid time and I would love to play it despite its departure from the brawler combat that was with the series since its inception. To be honest, I don’t think I would miss it; even though the combat was a series staple, it’s not the draw. Seeing ridiculous things happen: that’s the draw of the Yakuza games.

Here’s Something You May Have Missed

December 2020 Plus Games

Instant Game Collection

PlayStation 5 & PlayStation 4

  • Worms Rumble
  • Just Cause 4
  • Rocket Arena

Black Friday 2010-2019 Retrospective

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“Worst Black Friday ever.”

“Last year’s deals were better.”

Remember 2019?! It’s been so long… Remember Black Friday 2019? It was pretty good. There were decent deals. Ubisoft didn’t release an Assassin’s Creed game last year and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s demand was high enough not to prompt the usual discount.

Let’s take a closer look at how Black Friday 2019 stacked up.

The Annual Franchises

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey may have had the steepest Black Friday discount for the franchise last year, but it sold rather well compared to Ghost Recon: Breakpoint which was described as disappointing:

For Ghost Recon Breakpoint, while the game’s quality appeared on track – based on E3, Gamescom, previews and our latest internal playtests –, critical reception and sales during the game’s first weeks were very disappointing.

I don’t know if the steep discount swayed enough people to redeem the game’s sales figures, but 50% off the MSRP a month later? It truly isn’t wise to pick up Ubisoft titles on day one.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was a return to form for Activision-Blizzard and Infinity Ward. You have to go back eight years to the last time a Call of Duty title was $59.99 on Black Friday. (Granted, it was not on sale in 2011, but still…)

Considering its high sales numbers, it’s safe to assume demand was sufficient that the publisher did not see the need to cut a deep discount on Black Friday.

Other Releases

Here are an assortment of other titles from 2018 and 2019. Titles were selected based on the discount, popularity, and availability. There’s little value in highlighting the door crasher sale of a niche title.

Q4 2019 wasn’t a hot bed of new releases. In fact, the only major third party release was WWE 2K20 which saw a steep discount due to its poor reception.

Wolfenstein: Young Blood Deluxe was the biggest Q3 release to see some sort of discount during Black Friday. It was on sale several times already, so it wasn’t a surprise to see it hit such a low price.

Ubisoft discounting Division 2 this aggressively wasn’t surprising considering it too was a commercial failure. It sold so poorly that Ubisoft was practically giving it away in February 2020.

One of 2018’s best, Red Dead Redemption 2, would regularly hit this $40 price point after Black Friday 2019.

The Lessons Learned

  1. You should not be paying full price for Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed titles; they often receive discounts on Black Friday.
  2. If it sold poorly for Ubisoft, it will receive aggressive discounts.

A Reminder

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.

Week of Nov 20 – 26 Round-up

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Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla looks like a very solid entry by Ubisoft. I won’t be checking it out, but I’m glad fans of the series received a solid effort on all platforms. That game is on just about every platform out there and it looks to be a quite a looker and performer on the new consoles.

Here are a few things you may have missed

Week of Nov 13 – 19 Round-up

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The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series of consoles launched which means now I have to stop calling them next-gen which always takes a bit of getting used to. Demon’s Souls would have been one of the new PlayStation 5 games that I would be playing except for the fact that it’s $89.99. That’s far too much. I will wait patiently and grab it when it hits half that price.

Week of Nov 6 – 12 Round-up

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The Dirt games have their fans. I respect what they do, but I’m just not a big fan of offroad racing so I was never drawn to them beyond a demo or two back during the Xbox 360 days. Dirt 5 doesn’t change my mind, but I think it’s the most attention I have ever given a Dirt game. It’s in Digital Foundry previews and console manufacturer spots. It’s under such an intense spotlight because it’s a next generation console launch title.

Week of Oct 30 – Nov 5 Round-up

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I started Pikmin 3 on the Wii U, but did not end up finishing it. I enjoyed pieces of it and would have enjoyed it more than I did if I ever got comfortable with the controls. They just did not jive with me.

Here Are A Few Things You May Have Missed

November 2020 Gold Games

Games With Gold

Xbox One

  • The Raven Remastered
  • Bleed 2

Xbox 360 & Xbox One

  • Saints Row: Gat out of Hell
  • Stacking

November 2020 Plus Games

Instant Game Collection

PlayStation 5

  • Bugsnax

PlayStation 4

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  • Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition

November 2020 Games With Prime

Twitch Prime

  • Stick it to the Man!
  • The Occupation
  • SNK 40th Anniversary Collection
  • Metal Slug 2
  • Sengoku 3
  • King of the Monsters
  • Ironclad
  • Shock Troopers 2nd Squad
  • Baseball Stars 2
  • The King of Fighters 2002
  • Samurai Shodown II
  • Blazing Star
  • Pulstar
  • Art of Fighting 2
  • Fatal Fury Special
  • The King of Fighters 2000
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