Steam Sale Fatigue

Sixteen years of Steam sales have left me in a state of “meh” every time I get that email; oh joy, 20 of the items on my wish-list are on sale! Again!

There was a time when such sales meant steep discounts of 80-90% for older games, 50-75% off newer games. At least that’s what I remember, I have no data to back up this claim, I’m just ranting here. The discounts on Steam just don’t seem as high as often these days, or is it just me?

Regardless, unfortunately for Valve, so much time has passed since I began using the service, so many games have been purchased and un-played, I now scrutinise everything on my wish-list. There’s enough evidence of poor purchasing decisions in my backlog to suggest I shouldn’t buy anything until I’ve exhausted what I’ve already picked up.

Let me walk you through some of my decision making for this year’s Steam Summer Sale.

Doom Eternal. The re-imagining of Doom, released in 2016 was a spectacular video game. I was expecting to switch off my brain and shoot things, which is exactly what happened for around 10 hours. Glorious and gratuitous shredding of hell beasts.

Doom Eternal has been on my wish-list for a while as a result, released only a few months ago, it’s topping the Steam Summer Sale chart with a 50% discount at £24.99. Highly praised, it looks great, but it’s staying on my wish-list because this would blow my budget for the entire sale.

If Doom Eternal is anywhere near as buttery smooth as the 2016 instalment, this will be very nice, looks good too.

Far Cry: New Dawn. My first foray into the Far Cry series was only a few years ago, with Far Cry 3, thanks to you guessed it, a Steam Sale. After being introduced to the delights of Uplay via The Division, I started going on a Uplay splurge during Steam sales, because honestly, Uplay wasn’t that bad. I loved Far Cry 3, adored Far Cry 5 and I’m currently playing through Far Cry 4 for the first time. They’re all essentially the same, let’s be honest. I can wait for this one, at 60% off and £15.19, this is still a little too steep. I’ve also still got Far Cry 2 and Primal to get through.

A continuation of Far Cry 5, with a bit more colour, oh this does look sweet too, but I can wait.

Eastshade. This isn’t my usual cup of tea, as you’ve probably guessed from the constant mention of FPS games on this blog. I’m a recovering FPS junkie OK, I’m getting there… Eastshade and other walking simulators are something I’ve taken a fancy to over the years, thanks to titles such as Firewatch. Eastshade, Kim off of Later Levels tells me, is worth a play, there’s zero combat and its all about painting what you see, which is all beautiful. Is it worth 50% off at £9.74 though? Sorry, but nope.

This looks amazing too, but I’ve got dozens of films to watch, I’m not really feeling the need for a walking simulator right now, although the escapism would be welcome.

Chuchel. This looks bananas, I’ve had this on my wish-list for a while, a comedy adventure game from Amanita Design. I saw Kim and Pete playing another title from this developer during the 50-day challenge for Special Effect earlier this year, I forget which title it was, but it was hilarious to watch. Can I see myself playing this any time soon, even for 70% off at £2.39? No, I just can’t!

Super cheap, but totally unnecessary and it will just further swell the backlog.

Costume Quest 1 & 2. This was recommended as a purchase by Gaming Diaries during one of her streams, I forget why it was mentioned in the first place, but it looks great. Double Fine productions have quite the pedigree too, this Halloween themed role-playing game won me over with its art style and the fact that you can apparently collect a bunch of costumes! Sign me up, just not yet because it’s nowhere near Halloween.

Doesn’t feel right to play this outside of Halloween, if Steam do a sale then, I’d wager this will be included.

Dead Space 3. This is an interesting one. EA has recently started releasing some of their back catalogue on Steam once again, after many years of trying to exclusively push Origin as its own thing. I guess that isn’t working out as well as they’d thought it would? In the wake of Epic Games’ dodgy exclusives practice last year, EA announced they’d be doing this, sure enough, we can now buy the likes of Sims 4 on Steam. Well, I never.

As for Dead Space, I started streaming the first game a while back, so I’ve just picked up Dead Space 2. A measly £8.99, 50% off the usual price, but hang on, how old is this game? Are you having a laugh EA/Steam?

There’s every chance I might play this, however, because I’ve been really enjoying the first game, so I might stream 2 and 3 immediately after. Will I get there before the inevitable winter sale? Probably. I’m also interested in how EA is managing integration with Steam. I think this might be my first actual purchase so far.

Oh Isaac, you unlucky and overworked space fella. I’ll see you there.

I could go through my entire wish-list here, but I’ll stop!

Sod it, I think Dead Space 3 might be my only purchase throughout the entire sale because it’s the only game I feel likely to play before the next sale.

Everything else I can talk myself out of, either because I don’t think I’ll get round to it soon enough, doesn’t offer a high enough discount etc.

Even the games that are super cheap, once added together, I start convincing myself I don’t need to spend £10 on games I won’t play, then the basket gets emptied once again. I also don’t need to jump into the sale straight away either, those impulse purchases are the killer, the sale is on until 9th July, I’ll hang on for now.

It doesn’t help having just dropped £52 on The Last of Us Part II either, because I don’t usually buy games on release day, but I had to make an exception there.

I’ve started using GOG Galaxy to keep track of all my games, across all platforms, which tells me I have 550 games currently. Most of those are un-played, so maybe that will do?

Where are the Steam sales of old I say though?! Give me those sweet 80-90% discounts so I feel no guilt! Oh, I probably still won’t buy things that cheap any more, but… others might?

Has your wallet or purse been duelling with Valve once again, what have you picked up, or not picked up (and why) this time? Let me know in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Steam Sale Fatigue

  1. I long for the days of Flash sales. Most discounts during sales were between 30 % and 60 %, but during those Flash sales a few select games (and not only the bottom of the Indie barrel) were reduced by up to 95 %! I pretty much lived on Steam to just not miss a bargain.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, flash sales! That’s what I was missing! They rotated every 8 hours or something, serious bargains.

      My theory is that valve already know what games everyone owns and is likely to buy, thanks to data they already have and some fancy machine learning.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think about two or three years ago they had a massive change in how they tackled sales. It might very well be that they implemented algorithms etc. to maximise profit. Ever since most sales have been pretty “meh” for me.
        Nowadays it feels “institutionalised”, almost like a corporate Christmas party. It’s bound to happen eventually, a lot of people are there, but everyone would rather be somewhere else.
        I miss the excitement and energy of the earlier sales. But I think they won’t come back 😦


  2. I keep getting emails about Eastshade being on sale, and I’m tempted each time, but I also have so many damn games I already own and need to play. I was able to resist temptation this year, not that I haven’t picked up a few things here or there. The other issue is there are OTHER summer sales like Nintendo had one as well as Gog, this international game site that sells stuff really cheap. I also just started playing a game I bought like years ago that’s been hanging out on my Switch with so many other titles.


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