Black Friday 2010 – 2018 Retrospective

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“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 Releases

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

  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 $49.99 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.

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.

Black Friday 2010 – 2017 Retrospective

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Does this sound familiar?

“Worst Black Friday ever.”

“Last year’s deals were better.”

It’s that time again to look back and see how Black Friday of yesteryear compared to years prior. I plucked deals from 2010-17 and tried to pick popular titles with wide availability.

The Annual Franchises*

 

 

After a Watch_Dogs break in 2016, Assassin’s Creed returned with Assassin’s Creed: Origins in 2017. The return of Assassin’s Creed also marked the return of the $50 sale price during Black Friday.

Call of Duty: WW2 continued to the pattern of knocking $30 off the MSRP.

Other Releases

Discounts remained relatively unchanged across recent and older releases. If you’re in the market for third party releases, expect sizable discounts during Black Friday. As for first party? That can be tricky.

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 $49.99 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.

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.

Black Friday Retrospective 2010 – 2016

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Does this sound familiar?

“Worst Black Friday ever.”

“Last year’s deals were better.”

Is any of it true? We’re going to take a walk down memory lane and look at 2016’s Black Friday and how it stacked up against Black Fridays of years gone by. I sampled deals from 2010-16 and tried to pick popular titles with wide availability — I kept away from door crashers.

The Annual Franchises*

 

Well this is a bit awkward isn’t? After years of annual Assassin’s Creed releases, Ubisoft decided to give Assassin’s Creed a year off and release a remaster collection featuring Ezio’s adventures instead. In its place, Watch_Dogs 2 was released and forced me to change this category up a bit. I suspect it won’t be too long before I have to make changes to the entire category and simply call it “Big Publisher Q4 Releases” or something along those lines.

The worst Black Friday was 2011’s where we saw both Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 maintain MSRP. With regards to sale price, 2015 matched 2013’s Black Friday offerings. But when looking at the discount themselves, we actually saw the deepest discounts for both Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty titles with $20 and $30 off respectively.

Other Releases

 

Q4 releases in 2015 and 2016 held firm at $49.99 but if you were in the market for older releases, you had your pick of the litter. Unless it’s first party Nintendo game or a niche Japanese third party developed game, you’re almost always better off waiting until Black Friday. The discounts to western third party published titles from the likes of Ubisoft, 2K Games, Bethesda or Electronic Arts arrive rapidly.

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 $49.99 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 Amazon.ca & BestBuy’s E3 promotions.

Black Friday 2015 Was Okay Too

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Every year it’s the same thing and 2015 was no different.

“This year’s deals suck.”

“Worst Black Friday ever.”

“Last year’s deals were better.”

This is a continuation and update of last year’s Black Friday retrospective. I sampled deals from 2010-15 and tried to pick popular titles with wide availability — I kept away from door crashers.

The Annual Franchises

assassins-creed-prices-on-black-friday-2016

call-of-duty-prices-on-black-friday-2016

 

Based on these two annual franchises, the worst Black Friday continued to be 2011’s where we saw both Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 maintain MSRP. With regards to sale price, 2015 matched 2013’s Black Friday offerings. But when looking at the discount themselves, we actually saw the deepest discounts for both Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty titles with $20 and $25 off respectively.

Other Releases

q4-oct-nov-release-prices-on-black-friday-2016q3-jul-sep-release-prices-on-black-friday-20161st-half-release-prices-on-black-friday-2016

previous-years-release-prices-on-black-friday-2016

 

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.

Sale prices for Q4 2015 releases leading up to Black Friday outside of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 were at their highest in 2015. Fortunately, the rest of the back catalog of titles saw similar discounts and sale prices as 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 Amazon.ca & BestBuy’s E3 promotions.

2015 didn’t stray too far from the past and I suspect 2016 will stay the course as well.

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!

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.