As of last Thursday, Valve began their assault on my wallet with the Steam Summer Sale. This would have been more timely if I mentioned this, say, Thursday, when it went live but I was too busy spending my money and starting games that will no doubt have to be added to my ever increasing backlog.
I’m normally a very frugal person. I usually don’t buy things I don’t genuinely need and sometimes I need to convince myself to buy things that I actually do. Like groceries. No one has ever mistaken me for a married man based on my items in the checkout line. You don’t need to look at my hand to know the guy with only peanut butter, bananas, bread, and a frozen chicken pot pie isn’t wearing a ring.
This isn’t an income issue; it’s some weird vestigial behavior from living meal to meal as an undergrad. I’ve attended gallery openings in River North for the sole purpose of acquiring free wine and cheese than I’d care to admit.
But with Steam’s annual summer sale (and holiday sale in December), all that shit gets thrown out of the window. Since Thursday, I’ve bought the following:
- Ys Origin
- Bejeweled 3
- HOARD: Complete Pack
- Binding of Isaac Wrath of the Lamb
- Trine 2
- PixelJunk Eden
- Legend of Grimrock
The amount of money I’ve saved per title is stupid. Most of these games were bought at a quarter of their normal cost. Whether or not I need them is another story.
EA’s Origin, Steam’s main competitor as a digital publishing platform for games, is currently offering similar promotional rates for many of their games. Although matching the competition shouldn’t really come as a shock, this is somewhat interesting considering that David DeMartini, the head of Origin, was quoted as saying that Steam sales, like the one currently underway, “cheapen intellectual property.”
I found that argument somewhat suspect. As you would expect, Valve released an official statement responding to the supposeded cheapening of IPs. Although Origin is offering to waive distribution fees for indie games for the first 90 days after release—this puts more money in the pockets of smaller game studios—I feel like Steam is generally a better service for exposing new IPs to potential customers. This is especially the case with Steam’s new Greenlight program which will put the community in charge of deciding what gets published.
In addition to daily deals off several titles and franchises, Valve is also offering flash deals that rotate every few hours that keep bargain-seeking gamers compulsively checking back like addicts.
The sale ends on July 22nd. God help us.