Good news, everyone! Steam, Amazon, Blizzard, and more have kicked off Consumer Season by booby trapping the web with potent spending bait such as 33% off XCOM: Enemy Unknown, 50% off The Walking Dead, and 66% off StarCraft II. We spent the morning stumbling through the minefield to compile a list of some of the best seasonal discounts, but stay vigilant: more surprise server-busters are bound to go live as we approach the spendiest weekend of the year.
Steam: Like the Summer Sale, the Steam Autumn Sale rotates deals daily, with even more fleeting Flash Sales lasting only 10 to 15 hours, so serious shoppers should check in at least twice a day. As a bonus, you get to follow Steam's adorable doodle story: currently, it seems a turkey is being forced to enter a Felix Baumgartner-inspired high diving competition.
But don't just look at the front page: Steam isn't promoting most of its deals, so scan the full list now and then. Here are some of the better discounts at the time of writing:
33% off XCOM: Enemy Unknown - $33.49 / £20.09
50% off The Walking Dead - $12.49 / £10.49
25% off Borderlands 2 - $44.99 / £22.49
75% off ARMA II: Combined Operations - $17.99 / £14.99
25% off Dishonored - $44.99 / £22.49
50% off Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - $11.24 / £8.99
33% off The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - $40.19 / £23.44
75% off Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - $2.49 / £1.74
75% off Limbo - $2.49 / £1.74
25% off Torchlight II - $14.99 / £11.24
75% off Cave Story+ - $2.49 / £1.74
More Steam Deals
Amazon: (Some deals are region-specific) Amazon hasn't been quite as liberal as Steam with the big games, but it has conjured a storm of Lightning Deals on desktop PCs, components, and peripherals. The scattershot selection below should give you an idea of what to expect.
17% off iBuyPower AM699 Desktop - $579.99
18% off CyberpowerPC GUA890 Desktop - $499.99
39% off Dell S2330MX 23" Ultra-Slim VGA Monitor - $139.99
40% off Samsung Series S24B30BL 23.6-Inch Screen LCD Monitor - $119.99
33% off Corsair Vengeance C70 Mid Tower Case - $97.45
31% off Logitech Optical Gaming Mouse G400 - $34.49
19% off Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse - $64.62
50% off The Walking Dead - $12.49 (Steam code)
80% off Dungeon Defenders - $2.99
10% off Hitman: Absolution - $44.99
75% off all Assassin's Creed games (excluding Assassin's Creed III)
More Amazon Deals
Blizzard: Blizzard has joined the party with Diablo III for $40 / £33 and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty for $20 / £17.
GOG: GOG's current sale nets you five games from a list of 20 for a mere $10 (just over £6). The list is loaded with some great indie adventure and puzzle games, so if you don't already own them, now's a good time to prepare for that "it's cold outside, so I'm going to drink tea (whiskey optional) and not leave my screen for the next forever hours" feeling.
Green Man Gaming: While Green Man doesn't celebrate consumerism with a morbid-sounding Friday, it is offering its usual voucher code. Enter GMG20-1FYLZ-EDG8R when purchasing a PC download for 20% off any game, except those already on sale. At the time of writing, GMG's daily deal (North America only) is Mass Effect 3: N7 Digital Deluxe for $15.99.
Newegg: (US and Puerto Rico only) Newegg has taken this whole "Black Friday" thing awfully far. Not only has it preempted Black Friday with "Black November," it's re-preempting it with a Pre-Black Friday Frenzy sale. How about a 500 GB Western Digital WD Blue hard drive for $50? A Samsung B350 Series LED monitor for $180? Keep in mind that if you visit Newegg from now until December 1st, you should not expect to then purchase other things, like food.
If you find any great deals as the weekend progresses, we'd love it if you shared them in the comments. And if all these sales combined with a poorly-timed lack of funds has you feeling down, remember that buying stuff is only briefly thrilling, while instead you could be continuously thrilled by PlanetSide 2, MechWarrior Online, Tribes: Ascend, or many of the other new free-to-play games we're thankful for this year.