Week of Dec 18 – 24 Round-up

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There are two titles that come highly recommended by folks all over gaming forums: Undertale and Life is Strange. I actually bought the latter during a PlayStation Store sale and will be checking it out in the next week or so. I’ve seen GiantBomb’s coverage of the adventure title and it looks like it could go places. 

Here are a couple of things you may have missed

Search Is In

It took a while but I finally implemented search for GameDealsCanada.com. I originally wanted to include search when the site launched but there were issues with getting accurate results. Nothing’s worse than having an unreliable search on a site, so I wanted to ensure it was implemented properly.

There are two search fields on the site, the most prominent one on the top of the page will only return deals by title. We’ve included common acronyms and shorthands for titles, so hopefully you will find what you’re looking for when Boxing Day arrives.

GameDealsCanada.com’s 1 Year Anniversary Giveaway

Speaking of Boxing Day, GameDealsCanada.com launched around Boxing Day last year so it’s time to celebrate with a giveaway!

Leave a comment below and I’ll randomly select a winner for a $50 Amazon.ca Gift Card. You will have until 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT of December 23 to get your comment in! Also feel free to give feedback about the site and its features. I’m always looking for ways to improve it. Thanks, everyone!

Pro-tip: Turn Disqus notifications on, leave a social media contact or e-mail address so we can contact you if you win.

Guess what? Boxing Day Was Always Okay Too

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Boxing Day is just around the corner but unlike Black Friday, there hasn’t been as much grumbling about its “potential crappiness”. Is it lowered expectations? Or perhaps people are putting away their rose tinted glasses after realizing, like Black Friday, they’ve always been okay.

I did some data mining, pulled out some numbers and made some charts. So let’s look at some of the Boxing Day game prices that graced us over the last half decade or so.

The Annual Franchises

Assassin's Creed Prices on Boxing Day 2015 Call of Duty Prices on Boxing Day 2015

Surprise? There’s a very high chance that you’re going to find Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate and Call of Duty: Black Ops III for $39.99 on Boxing Day. It might not be available across all retailers but some national chain should have it for that price or at the very least, $44.99.

If you’re wondering, the $29.99 sale price for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was from an extremely limited door crasher at HMV (5 copies per format per store). We haven’t seen anything like that stunt since 2009. (Remember HMV used to sell video games? Remember HMV?)

Also note that there are steeper discounts compared to Black Friday. (Perhaps I’ll get a little chart happy and come up with grouped stacked bar graph comparisons in future articles.)

Other Releases

Q4 (Oct - Nov) Release Prices on Boxing Day 2015 Q3 (Jul - Sep) Release Prices on Boxing Day 2015 1st Half Release Prices on Boxing Day 2015 Previous Year's Release Prices on Boxing Day 2015

Boxing Day always outstripped Black Friday when it came down to discounting older releases. There were numerous repeats from Black Friday but some titles receive slightly deeper discounts. One thing for certain: there was always more selection during Boxing Day.

Takeaways

These are the key takeaways compared to Black Fridays and other Boxing Days:

  1. You should not be paying full price for Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed titles; they often receive even deeper discounts on Boxing Day.
  2. More Q4 releases will see $39.99 or lower sale prices.
  3. You will see some Q3 releases drop to $29.99 price range
  4. Expect some first half releases to drop to $19.99
  5. Year old titles will also occupy the $19.99 price range
  6. There will be repeat sales from Black Friday but there will also be more selection as well

If patterns hold true, Boxing Day will end up been perfectly fine in 2015. I know there’s concern that the recent dip in the Canadian dollar will affect Boxing Day discounts but I’m not worried. Canadian retailers are quick to raise prices but not that quick.

Week of Dec 11 – 17 Round-up

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I was very tempted to pick up Rise of the Tomb Raider for the Xbox One but knowing that the PlayStation 4 and PC versions are coming down the line, I hesitated. What if they include additional content at no extra cost? What if they don’t and I can simply pick up the Xbox One version at a lower price point? Decisions, decisions.

Want to submit a banner of your own? Check out this page.

 

Week of Dec 4 – 10 Round-up

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Xenoblade Chronicles X is coming out on Friday. Those who were fans of the original are excited for their copies to arrive (especially those who got it for $20 from Amazon.ca!). I pre-ordered but cancelled my order after hearing how much of it was molded like a MMORPG. I never played any of these Xeno titles so there’s no attachment whatsoever. Then I picked up a New Nintendo 3DS XL and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D and after pouring 30+ hours into it, I think I made the right choice. There’s only a handful of details that I like about it thus far. I’ll try to finish it though.

Here are a few things you may have missed

  • Jade Empire: Special Edition is free via Origin
  • Monument Valley is free via App Store
  • Shadow Complex: Remastered via Epic Games

December 2015 Gold & Plus Games

Games With Gold

Xbox One

  • The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing
  • Knight Squad
  • Thief

Xbox 360

  • CastleStorm
  • Sacred 3

PlayStation Plus

PlayStation 4

  • Gauntlet: Slayer Edition
  • King’s Quest – Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember

PlayStation 3

  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
  • SSX

PlayStation Vita

  • Freedom Wars
  • Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken

Week of Nov 27 – Dec 3 Round-up

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It’s Black Friday week. I would have tried to find a piece of game art to tie to this shopping bonanza but I couldn’t think of anything. Then I saw Rainbow Six: Siege was debuting next week and I found the cover to be fitting. Consumers vs Retailers. And then there’s us, helping you with your plan of attack. Sound cheesy? You betcha. Enjoy the deals!

Week of Nov 20 – 26 Round-up

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Fallout 4. That’s a popular game at the moment and I don’t just mean in terms of people playing it. There’s quite the fervour around its issues, people complaining about its issues and everything in-between. I guess it comes with the territory. I didn’t partake in the Fallout 4 festivities despite my love of Fallout 3. I just couldn’t stomach another Bethesda RPG on launch. Maybe I’ll pick up the inevitable GOTY edition in 2016.

Here are a few things you may have missed

  • GreenManGaming, authorized resellers & transparency via Eurogamer
  • Nov 23 is the last day to use your GMG Credit via GreenManGaming

Oh, in case your’e wondering, there hasn’t been any Black Friday leaks yet. I’m sure we’ll start seeing early flyers by Wednesday though. Just remember to keep your expectations in check.

 

Week of Nov 13 – 19 Round-up

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I wasn’t enamoured with the Star Wars: Battlefront open “beta”. As someone who loves his Battlefield games, Battlefront was shockingly simple by comparison and I just can’t see myself sticking with it for more than a couple of weeks. I love how it looks and sounds but not enough to justify picking it up for release.

Here’s something you may have missed

Remember crowds?

Black Friday Was Always Okay At Best

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Every year it’s the same thing.

“This year’s deals suck.”

“Worst Black Friday ever.”

“Last year’s deals were better.”

I got tired of hearing the annual chorus of moaning and decided to check out if any of the above rang true. I went back and plucked deal samples since Black Friday made its official debut in Canada back in 2010. There may have been a few outliers or buried treasures that I were missed but I believe I took an accurate snapshot of each year’s Black Friday deals.

The Annual Franchises

Let’s start with the easiest comparisons.

Assassin's Creed Prices on Black Friday 2015

Call of Duty Prices on Black Friday

Based on these two franchises, the worst Black Friday was 2011’s where we saw both Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 maintained their full price tags. Otherwise, we can see that the discounts from 2012-14 were relatively consistent.

The sale prices for both franchises ended up being higher because the MSRP rose and discounts didn’t adjust for that. The Canadian dollar’s decline over the last couple of years put a significant damper on discounts throughout 2013-14 and in 2015 — not just on Black Friday.

Other Releases

Titles below were selected with the following criteria in mind:

  1. Deepest discount
  2. Title’s popularity
  3. National availability

That’s how deals have always been posted on Game Deals Canada and this selection process for this comparison was no different.

Now let’s look at other releases in that year closest to Black Friday and moving further back.

Q4 (Oct - Nov) Release Prices on Black Friday 2015
Q3 (Jul - Sep) Release Prices on Black Friday 2015

1st Half Release Prices on Black Friday 2015

Previous Year's Release Prices on Black Friday 2015

Again, discounts offered throughout the years have been relatively consistent.

First half releases saw the lowest sale prices in 2012-13 but that’s to be expected when a console generation grows longer in the tooth.

2014 was the first full year with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and we saw discounts on titles line up well compared to the previous years.

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. Some recent releases around Black Friday will drop to $39.99 or lower
  3. You will see Q3 releases drop to $39.99
  4. Expect some first half releases to drop to $19.99
  5. Year old titles will also occupy the $19.99 price range
  6. The weakened Canadian dollar caused MSRP to rise but the discounts didn’t deepen to compensate.

The Most Important Point

Black Friday wasn’t meant for “full time” bargain hunters; it’s for the masses who don’t keep tabs on the latest deals. If you kept on top of your game deals, you shouldn’t be surprised — one way or the other — when Black Friday arrives. You will see repeated sales from the past. You will notice discounts that don’t match with the one true crazy sale: Amazon.ca & BestBuy’s E3 promotions.

However, it’s still a worthwhile event because you may find a golden nugget. Maybe it’s that game you didn’t pick up in during last year’s E3 promo week discounted to $19.99. Or maybe you skipped this year’s Assassin’s Creed fearing it would be a hot mess but then it turned out fine. Who knows? Different games resonate with different people but, holistically, Black Friday was always okay at best for folks like you and I.

Week of Nov 6 – 12 Round-up

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Another year, another Call of Duty title. I know some have dropped off this series but I’m not one of them. I’ve purchased every Call of Duty title since Call of Duty 3 on Xbox 360 and continue to do so. Despite several disappointing installments, I always find a reason or two to check out the next year’s game. I was curious how Infinity Ward would fare with Ghosts, their first title well after the mass exodus and firings. In 2014, I was curious what Sledgehammer Games would bring to the Call of Duty franchise. And in 2015, I just enjoy what Treyarch did with the Black Ops titles. I don’t know how long I’ll keep this streak going but with such a low time commitment and E3 promotions, I don’t see it ending any time soon.

Here are a few things you may have missed

  • Warner Bros. offering full refunds on Batman: Arkham Knight (PC) on Steam via Announcement Post on Steam Community
  • Ghost Trick is back on the Apple App Store after being removed a few weeks ago

November 2015 Gold & Plus Games

Games With Gold

Xbox One

  • Pneuma: Breath of Life
  • Knight Squad

Xbox 360

  • Dirt 3
  • Dungeon Siege III

PlayStation Plus

PlayStation 4

  • The Walking Dead: Season 2
  • Magicka 2
  • Dragon Fin Soup

PlayStation 3

  • Mass Effect 2
  • Beyond Good & Evil

PlayStation Vita

  • Dragon Fin Soup
  • Invizimals

Week of Oct 30 – Nov 5 Round-up

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The Need for Speed closed beta showed off Electronic Art’s racer in a very favorable light. It ran well, looked great controlled surprisingly well. The live action cutscenes were cringe inducing and cheesy but I was okay with it. It’s not NFS: Most Wanted and Razor Callahan but I was amused by the Fast & Furious knock off. I like what I sampled but not enough to pull the trigger on a launch day purchase.

Want to submit a banner of your own? Check out this page.

Here are a couple of reminders

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