Friday, July 20, 2012

Sometimes I wonder about Steam...

We're nearing the final days of the 2012 Steam summer sale.  Frankly, it was probably one of the best sales I've ever seen on Steam, and that's saying something, considering the reputation the platform has built up for deep discounts.  As expected, nearly everything in the store has been discounted to at least some degree.  There were the usual pack sales, where you could buy out an entire publisher/developer's library at anywhere from 50 to 80 percent off what it would normally cost to do such a thing.  There were also, of course the daily deals, where Steam would take a selection of games or bundles and discount them even further for the day.  There were also the flash sales--which I don't think are new--a roster of four games receiving further discounts that would get rotated out every few hours.  What is new the community votes, where Steam puts up three games, and lets you choose which one is gonna get discounted.  As I write this post, Splinter Cell Conviction was chosen to receive a 75% discount, putting it at $5.

I've been through more than a few Steam sales, and as a result my library is quite literally massive.  Right now I have probably around 120 games in my Steam library.  So you can imagine why, at the beginning of this sale, I didn't think I'd be putting down much money.  Not because I didn't want to, but because I didn't need to.  Steam's already sold me most of the games I wanted.  What more could they entice me with?

I was naive, and there was always this voice in the back of my head telling me so.  I've already bought Sanctum, The Walking Dead, Alan Wake, and Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai.  I'm also having a hard time convincing myself not to pick up the aforementioned Splinter Cell: Conviction.  Not to mention I fully intend to pick up both Ys games (Origin and the Oath in Felghana) before the end of the sale.

But I sometimes wonder if this is...healthy.  I can't imagine Valve doesn't know what they're doing, but occasionally I wonder if dumping all these games on people for peanuts is the right idea.  Steam sales have become such a regular thing that people anticipate them now.  It's one thing to buy something and be surprised when it's on sale later on.  But it's hard to buy a game on Steam in an offseason without feeling like a sucker, because you know there will come a time (and sooner rather than later) when that game will come down in price in a big way.  It's not just something you suspect.  It's something you know for a fact.

To me, I feel like this kind of devalues the game in some way.

No comments: