If one were to find themselves on the fence about picking up Astral Chain, the new Switch-exclusive action title from developer Platinum Games, then Walmart is looking to make the decision a little easier.
Like most brand new games, Astral Chain normally retails for $59.99. But at least on launch day, if one were to purchase the game physically at a local Walmart, it would ring up at the register for the discounted price of $49.94, or more than $10 off the normal price.
This isn't the first time this summer Walmart has tried to entice gamers to buy the physical version of a new game. Walmart offered similar discounts in July for Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, also Switch exclusives. Just like then, the discount was only offered in-store.
Astral Chain is set in the year 2078 where mankind is on the brink of extinction. Inter-dimensional beings called Chimera are trying to destroy the last remnant of humanity, which reside in the megacity called "The Ark." Players will choose to play as one of two twins who work on the Neuron Police Task Force and that utilize Legions, or subservient Chimeras tethered to the twins by a psychic chain, to combat the threat and keep humanity afloat.
News: Astral Chain (S) continues the trend of First Party Nintendo games being $49.94 via Wal-Mart. Game releases this Friday. pic.twitter.com/igRJgSXrPU— Cheap Ass Gamer (@videogamedeals) August 25, 2019
One wonders what could be prompting the day one discounts. There’s the surface level answer that price slashing is an easy way to entice potential Walmart customers away from their competitors. There’s also been worry lately in the gaming world over the lifespan of physical media. After all, brick and mortar stores like GameStop continue to see their stock plummet in a world where digital downloads offer unparalleled convenience for many.
Of course, Astral Chain also did not have nearly as much of a promotional window as many other games. It was only announced in February of this year, leaving it with less time to educate gamers as to what it was about, and relying on recent gameplay videos to try to build up hype.
That said the game is performing extremely well critically. It’s garnered a bevy of 8s, 9s, and even 10s, on the review front. Directed by Takahisa Taura, who was lead designer on Nier: Automata, while under the supervision of Bayonetta and Devil May Cry series creator Hideki Kamiya, it should really be no surprise that critics are responding positively from the latest stylish action game from Platinum.
Astral Chain releases on August 30, 2019, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.