Amazon Restricting Access to Some Video Games for Prime Members Only

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Amazon Restricting Access to Some Video Games for Prime Members Only
Highlights
  • Restriction only applies to “sold by Amazon” products.
  • Not universally applied, dependent on region.
  • Has been happening with other verticals since last year.

Amazon Prime, the e-commerce giant's paid subscription programme, is now restricting access to a part of its own stockpile of video games, it has been revealed.

Games such as Grand Theft Auto V, FIFA 16 and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege are available "exclusively for Prime members", the site says if you try to buy it from Amazon, the seller. If you don't have a membership, you will now have to resort to buying it from a third party seller.

(Also see: Amazon Lumberyard Is a Free Triple-A Game Engine for Everyone)

This is far from universal though. Much of Amazon's collection remains outside the world of Prime-only and some titles that are restricted in one place (Rainbow Six Siege in the UK, for example) are available without any restrictions elsewhere (for everyone in the US). The website does not provide any details on why this discrepancy exists, and how the Prime-only titles are being decided. It's easily possible that Amazon is trying out this strategy with well-known titles to gauge its success in attracting new subscribers.

The "exclusively for Prime members" change isn't something out of the blue, to be fair, if you've been following reports around the Internet. As far back as January 2015, Amazon users have seen a version of the message, being applied to a whole range of products from external hard drives, Blu-rays, vinyl and Kindles. It's only now kicked in for video games, it seems.

Amazon has yet to bring its Prime membership to India, even though it was widely reported it would by the end of 2015. And when it does eventually arrive here, offering discounts and faster delivery on products could easily tempt customers to fork over money for a yearly membership, though it would ultimately depend on how said membership is priced.

(Also see: Mirror's Edge Catalyst Gets Pushed Back to June 9)

Have you noticed any other games under the "exclusively for Prime members" banner? Or maybe some other gadgets? Let us know in the comments below or tweet to us @Gadgets360 with your thoughts.

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Akhil Arora Akhil Arora covers entertainment for Gadgets 360, interviewing stars such as Christian Bale and Anurag Kashyap, covering series premieres, product and service launches across the globe, and looking at American blockbusters and Indian dramas from a global socio-political and feminist perspective. As a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, Akhil has reviewed over 150 movies and TV shows in over half a decade at Gadgets 360. When he is not completely caught up with new film and TV releases, Akhil ...More
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