Sometimes there's a mistake at PlayStation Store headquarters that causes a popular game to have its price slashed from $[something] to $[nothing]. If you manage to get in on the deal before the mistake is fixed, you can score a Sony PlayStation game for no cost. For some strange reason, this kind of error seems to happen to games in the God of War series most of all. Several years ago the PlayStation Store accidentally offered the PlayStation 3 remastered versions of the first two God of War games for free, then later compounded that mistake when the PS Vita versions of those games were released as cross-buy freebies. Today is happened again as the Ultimate Edition of 2012's God of War: Ascension for the PS3 was briefly available free of charge. Game Informer tells you what you missed.
Apparently, this was a glitch in the store that existed during a short window. According to a post on the PlayStation Blog yesterday, the full game and DLC bundle is discounted to $12 ($8 for PlayStation Plus members). The DLC bundle alone is supposed to be free for Plus, though.
I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and was able to "purchase" the game during the short window in which it was freely available. It's the third game in the God of War series that I've acquired thanks to a pricing error. Sony fixes these kinds of errors minutes after they hit the Internet at large and word begins to spread, so the chance to take advantage is remarkably small. That brings me to today's million dollar idea: a service that frequently pings the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, Nintendo eShop, Steam, and other digital stores of your choice in search of these kinds of pricing errors. When it finds one, it sends a text message to subscribers alerting them to the deal. It has to be a text message; e-mails, tweets, and other messaging services are too easy to ignore. If there's a chance you can get a free game, you'll want your phone to buzz immediately to grab your attention before the mistake is corrected. If anyone wants to implement this idea, it's available for licensing. I'll only charge you $[something].