In the "old" days, Black Friday was strictly a brick-and-mortar event held in the early morning hours of the day after Thanksgiving. The point, of course, was to kick off the holiday shopping season by offering deals at substantial savings, if not substantial quantities, to lure customers into the store and whip them into a purchasing frenzy.
In the information age, the concept was expanded online to Cyber Monday. For 2011, it’s an entire Black Friday week. A few years from now it will likely be Black Friday Month, replacing the quaint "November" on your calendars, much to the delight of retailers across the land.
The good news for sim game fans is that there are a staggering number of deals before December, though they almost all involve digital download versions of computer games instead of disc-based, retail copies.
Below are some of the notable sales for sim games on the Internet. Most of the sales are in effect starting the week of November 22, 2011, with additional, exclusive deals available the day after Thanksgiving. Time is of the essence on these deals, with some expiring daily, some expiring on the 27th, and some good only for Black Friday (11/25/11).
Steam’s autumn sale began on November 23, 2011 and will run through the weekend. Steam traditionally hosts one of the largest sales that can be found for digitally distributed computer titles, with more than 1,000 games on discount as well as daily deals that offer additional savings on select games.
Note: Steam client required to download and play games.
Savvy shoppers can save up to 66% on hundreds of computer titles (466 titles to be precise), including many games not available anywhere else.
GameFly's Direct2Drive is having a countdown to Black Friday sale, with one daily deal available at a discount leading up to its post-Thanksgiving sale. On Black Friday, you'll be able to save 20% off your total order with the code "doorbuster." The deal is only good for Black Friday.
The digital storefront formerly known as Impulse, now part of GameStop, is also having a sale, with savings up to 75% off games from Kalypso, 1C, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, THQ, Activision, and Bethesda, among others. The deals will keep being added throughout the weekend. The sale is set to end on Monday.
Note: the Impulse client is required to download and play games.
Electronic Arts’ newly remodeled digital storefront kicks off its first Black Friday with a sale lasting one full day and several other deals that are good throughout the week, month, and end of the year. Over 200 titles on the service will be discounted at 50% off for Friday and Friday only.
If you miss out on Friday's deals, there are still savings to be found on the service. For $10, you can purchase The Sims 3 Fast Lane Stuff, The Sims 2 Double Deluxe, SimCity Societies, Mass Effect 2, Darkspore, Create, Spore Galactic Adventures, Dragon Age: Origins -- Awakening, and Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam. These deals will run through December 25, 2011
The Sims 3 collection is also on sale for $179.99, which encompasses the base game, the first four expansion packs, the first four stuff packs, and the Barnacle Bay world. The collection is on sale through the end of December.
Note: Origin client required to download and play games.