Amazon isn’t shy about highlighting the many benefits that come with the $99/£79 per year Prime subscription. However, the Prime site lists one important “feature” for shoppers: sometimes certain flash sales are Prime only. If you don’t subscribe to Prime, you won’t be able to buy that item at all.
Amazon UK buyers found out the hard way on Friday when big PlayStation 4 video games Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry Primal, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Battlefield hardlineand Rainbow Six Siege were placed behind Prime-exclusive barriers. As of this writing, you can’t buy any of the PS4 “standard” editions of those games direct from Amazon UK without a Prime subscription.
As videogamer.com reported, the games weren’t just getting a Prime-specific discount; they are completely unavailable as direct purchases from Amazon without the subscription. (However, the videogamer.com report incorrectly states that those games’ Prime-only status has been lifted for UK buyers; it’s still in effect at the time of writing.) Amazon’s cordial third-party reseller options allow buyers of games in the UK will still grab the games from the site, just not direct from Amazon.
This is another reminder that Amazon is actively applying Prime-only restrictions to products in both the UK and US in its sole discretion. The company has been doing this off and on for over a year now. These restrictions are usually temporary and sporadic, and they are tied to specific discounts rather than brand new product launches.
Amazon’s US site didn’t duplicate any of these games’ Prime-specific access and discounts. Update: As readers have pointed out, Amazon’s US page is ahead Grand Theft Auto V currently includes a Prime-only restriction for the PS4 edition, but other US games from UK sales do not.
Videogamer.com’s report included a response from Amazon UK, which confirmed that “one of the many benefits of Amazon Prime is access to exclusive selection of some great products.” However, that answer from Amazon didn’t clarify why Amazon Prime’s homepage doesn’t actively advertise that perk. Amazon also hasn’t specified if or when that Prime-only restriction will be lifted for these games.