Amazon Prime Just Got Way Worse for Gamers

If you're a fan of Amazon Prime's many gaming-centric perks, we've got some bad news.

Credit: Shutterstock

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The retail giant is axing its long-running pre-order discount on new games, and is removing a key feature from its Twitch Prime game-streaming service. 

Starting August 28, Amazon will no longer be offering a 20 percent discount on pre-orders and purchases of major new releases, a perk that's been offered since early 2016. To replace this promotion, Amazon will offer a $10 credit when pre-ordering "select video games sold and shipped by or Amazon Digital Services LLC."

According to Amazon, this $10 credit expires after $60 days, and can't be used on products sold by third-party retailers. When using Amazon's 20 percent discount, you can typically get a new $60 game for $47.99, which means you'll be saving a few bucks less under this new promotion. So if you were hoping to save as much as possible on big holiday releases like Red Dead Redemption 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Spider-Man, your best bet is to pre-order them before the 28th.

But that's not the only major gaming perk Prime members are losing. In a separate blog post, Amazon-owned Twitch announced that ad-free viewing will be removed from Twitch Prime, a service that gives Prime members access to a variety of Twitch-centric benefits. 

The feature will be officially removed from Twitch Prime for new members starting on Sept. 14, though existing subscribers will still be able to enjoy ad-free game streams through Oct. 15. After that, folks who want to watch their favorite streamers without ads can do so by subscribing to individual channels (Twitch Prime gives you one free channel subscription per month), or by paying a separate $8.99 per month for Twitch's Turbo service.

Naturally, gamers aren't happy about either change, but the strongest reactions seem to be from Twitch fans and creators. Twitch's blog post notes that the change will "strengthen and expand that advertising opportunity for creators so they can get more support from their viewers for doing what they love," though the company has previously stated that streamers still make ad revenue off of Prime viewers.

"This announcement is such a loss for all streamers," tweeted popular broadcaster Iateyourpie. "It's not even about the ad revenue, more people are going to drop prime meaning less prime subs. Twitch trying to spin this as a win for the streamer is laughable."

Streamer Jesse Cox echoed this sentiment, tweeting "Twitch saying the changes to prime are to help put money back into the pockets of streamers, by changing a thing they said wouldn't affect streamers income, is the laziest attempts at corporate double speak I've ever seen." 

It's worth noting that all of Twitch Prime's other perks, including free PC games and free monthly channel subscriptions, are all sticking around. And that's on top of the other countless benefits you get from being an Amazon Prime member, such as free two-day shipping and a vast library of digital content.

But if you're mainly subscribed to Prime to save on video games and get a better Twitch experience, it might be time to reevaluate your membership.

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.