Steamy Summer

Just to contradict Bhagpuss, let’s talk about the Steam Summer sale.

Actually, Steam sales are kind of irrelevant these days, as most digital retailers either match or beat even the best discounts most of the time. For example, Steam currently has a bundle up for Prey + Dishonored 2 for $28.33. If you pick up Prey for $15 on Steam individually, then you can buy Dishonored 2 for $13 on DLGamer and save yourself… thirty-three cents.

An actual example would be something like Conan: Exiles. It’s $24 on Steam and several other retailers, like Amazon. Well, I have one of those Amazon credit cards which gives you 5% cash back on purchases. So, we’re back to the big bucks in saving… $1.20.

Hmm. Perhaps we are indeed way past the commodification stage of gaming.

On a somewhat related topic, you might have seen people talking about the new Steam tool which allows you to check your total money spent on the platform from the beginning. Some people have posted their numbers rather guiltily, or celebrating their “low” scores. My own personal spending was around $2100, but I was curious as to how long a time-span that covered.

So, I scrolled and scrolled till I reached bedrock:


That takes me back.

Across eleven years, that comes out to about $16/month in entertainment. Humble Bundles and the like are not counted, of course, but I still feel more thrifty than guilty. During my Magic: Online days, I would routinely drop $10 to enter a Draft tournament that could be over within 30 minutes, to say nothing about what I spent on paper cards over the years. And, of course, most of us have years-long histories of MMO subscriptions behind us instead of, or in addition to, these numbers.

Still, I get the guilt. I have a wishlist of games I’m tracking across various storefronts, despite the fact that my library is filled with unplayed titles. Part of it is “collect them all,” but a larger part is avoiding “I feel like playing X right now, but the game isn’t on sale anymore.” For example, I’m currently on a survival kick and have an insane urge to play State of Decay 2. It’s not on sale though, so I’m looking at all the other games I have and playing those in the (vain) hope that it will scratch the itch. But it doesn’t. Close, but not quite. But I feel rather lucky I already have The Forest, and Subnautica, and a handful of other titles to tide me over until either the target game goes on sale, or the craving subsides.

Anyway, this is the current list of games on my radar:

  • Conan: Exiles ($24)
  • Final Fantasy 15 ($25)
  • State of Decay 2 (no sale, $30)
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 ($36)
  • Far Cry 5 ($45)
  • ARK DLC ($12)
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance ($42)
  • Prey ($15)
  • Dishonored 2 ($13)
  • Metal Gear Survive ($25)

Of those, I’m heavily leaning towards picking up Prey & Dishonored 2. And Final Fantasy 15. And Conan: Exiles. Because reasons. Well, mainly because Subnautica and The Forest aren’t cutting it anymore and I don’t have the hard drive space for ARK and I need to purchase all the things all the time and hoard digital games like pieces of wood to craft a shack in a post-apocalyptic world.

/breathes in a paper bag

Or maybe I do nothing. Play the games I have, let the seasonal sales pass, and reevaluate my options during the next major holiday. Considering Alpha 17 for 7DTD will be coming out in a month or so, and the Fallout 76 Beta will (presumably) happen before November, I could wait it all out.

Or maybe I just buy the fucking game I want and play; get it out of my system and on with my life.

Posted on June 25, 2018, in Commentary and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. The last sentence is how I approach buying games now, really. Internally debating the difference of a few dollars isn’t worth my time anymore, nor is playing game B because I don’t want to spend money on game A. The spending amounts are trivial, compared to other things that I could fuss over (and I generally don’t fuss over those anyway), so I’ve just stopped doing it.

    I find that Isey post funny though. It would have been a better use of money to not have a single Steam game, and instead go on a short, fairly cheap vacation instead? I mean that logical clearly loses in the entertainment/hr cost side of things, but even on the ‘worldly experience’ aspect, that’s still a terrible trade.


    • You’ll be pleased to know that I went out and bought State of Decay 2 right after finishing this post. Microsoft didn’t make it easy though, but at least I’m scratchin’.


      • Ha yea I’m not buying that till its on Steam, for exactly that issue; I ain’t spending time AND money to buy a game. Either put it on the accepted PC platform for sales, or don’t get the sale.


  2. Online shooters may be not your thing judging from this text but how about Tom Clancy’s The Division™? Quite a good game, all the DLCs have been released, public events are regularly held, all the bugs seem to have been fixed, and it is on sale in Steam right now.


    • I was actually quite interested in the Division, although I have read conflicting reports on the fun, e.g. bosses are bullet sponges. I suppose that’s pretty standard in videogames generally, but I do understand how jarring it can get in an otherwise “realistic” setting. Then there is the matter of Division 2 coming out…

      It’s not on the list, but I may put it on there before the summer sale is over.


      • Division 2 will come out in nine months while Division 1 is a fully mature game with quite many DLCs already released and implemented. Bullet sponges indeed happen but, for instance, an Outbreak public event is in progress right now:

        Critical Outbreak—Severe Outbreak behavior, plus headshot-marked enemies are killed instantly by a headshot from another Agent.
        And lots of other fun.

        I quite liked the story, voice acting, and how the lore is implemented into the game.


      • I didn’t get super-far into the Division, but I found it depended a lot on your weapon. If you had a new or up-to-date weapon, combat felt “correct” for shooter game play. If your weapon fell behind, then it began feeling like bullet sponges.

        It’s possible that higher level bosses (which I didn’t get to) have greatly increased health, though.


  3. You should definitely beat Subnautica (if you haven’t) before uninstalling it.


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