Are Steam Sales & Bundles Bad for Gaming? | Game/Show | PBS Digital Studios

Are Steam Sales & Bundles Bad for Gaming? | Game/Show | PBS Digital Studios


Are game sales and
discounts bad for games? [MUSIC PLAYING] Whenever I leave for a trip,
I try to pick out something to play for the long
flight, and that simple task is completely overwhelming
for one reason. Video game backlogs, that
particular tendency amongst people who play games to horde
mountainous stacks of titles that we intend to get
around to playing someday. And the reason is because you
and I are incapable of saying no to a game on sale, but
it’s not completely our fault. These days almost
every game is on sale. There’s Black Friday door
busters, BOGO sales at retails, weekly Steam sales, amazing
holiday sales, humble bundles, not to mention
PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo digital sales. Should I just pay you now, or
how are we going to do this? Of course, I don’t necessarily
need the remake of Shadowgate when I’ve got copies Dragon
Age, Bayonetta 2, and Tales From Borderlands
to dive into it. But I buy it anyway because
it’s a steal at half the price. [MUSIC PLAYING] So what’s going on here
when a savvy, intelligent, and attractive audience,
like game shows, cannot resist the lure
of sweet, cheap games? And more importantly, are
deep discounts costing us and the medium more
in the long run? First, let’s look at how game
discounts actually hook us. Consumer research
psychology points the way. The much lauded Steam
sales, for instance, use a number of techniques
that encourage splurging. For starters, look at the price. Steam has the old price crossed
out above the sale price, and the new price tends to
end in the number 9, which you wouldn’t think
would work anymore but still has a very powerful
effect on our thinking. These factors,
according to research that I’ll link to
in the description, are a lethal combination
for price tags, subconsciously encouraging
you to say shut up and take my money. Another strategy used to great
effect is creating scarcity. There’s a reason those
amazing Steam sales expire after a limited time. When sign in and see
you only have 20 minutes left to buy Crusader
Kings 2 at half price, you’re much more likely to make
a rash decisions rather than calmly and rationally
thinking about whether or not you’ll ever actually play it. Of course you will. All right. Next up, bundles,
those enticing deals where you get an assortment of
games for one the low price. These are great
if you’re already in the market for Sega Bass
Fishing, and Space Channel 5, and a bunch of other
old Sega titles, but I’m guessing you’re not. When we spoke to Dan Ariely,
phenomenal Duke University psychology professor and author
of “Predictably Irrational,” he told us that bundles
are a clever trap. They prey on your
irrationality by getting you to pull the trigger
on the whole collection when the odds are there’s
only one game you really want. Next, there’s the deceptively
innocuous deals where you get to name your own price. Even better, some of the
proceeds go to charity. I’m looking at
you, Humble Bundle. But seriously, what
could go wrong? Believe it or not, these sales
can take advantage of your kind heart to maximize profits. A marketing professor
at UC San Diego ran a number of pricing
experiments selling souvenir photos at a theme park. He gave customers that same
option, to pick their price and donate some percentage
of that price to charity. As it turns out, profits soared. Of course, the
elephant in the room is that for you, the
customer, there’s a huge upside for all of these
manipulative gaming deals, namely that you get more
games for less money. Who cares if you’re occasionally
buying games that you don’t want, or need, or will play? Like, ever? But just for a large,
let’s entertain an alternate scenario. What if the excessive game sales
are actually devaluing games? You’re probably saying, no way. After paying for new
consoles, and graphics cards, and those authentic racing
wheels, and this crazy gaming chair, gaming can
get pretty expensive. I’m getting
outstanding value here with all these cheap games. And that’s true, but
there are multiple ways to determine value. Whether or not we get our
money’s worth is one way, but another way is how much we
care about what we’re buying. Could it be that Steam sales and
other types of game discounts are making games disposable? Hear me out. The philosopher Adam
Smith’s paradox of value says that the more
plentiful something is, the less we value it. He used the example
of how diamonds are more desirable and
more expensive than water because they’re less plentiful,
even though without water you die. So when we have an abundance
of games available so cheaply, we can forget how much work
and vision went into creating each individual game. And even worse, we could
start unconsciously disparaging specific
games and the medium as a whole because of
the bargain bin prices. This phenomenon is already
well-documented in physical retail. During JC Penney’s
low price campaign, customers came to
believe that they were buying inferior
stuff because it was so cheap all of the time. This mentality is crazy in a
way because The Wolf Among Us is the same great game whether
you’re paying $1 or full price, but that’s not how
our minds work. On a philosophical
level, I think all this purchasing could
be negatively affecting our opinion of games themselves. As Georgia Tech scholar
Ian Bogost has argued, players are confused
about whether or not they should treat a $0.99
game as a disposable piece of ephemera or as
a potentially rich and life changing experience. Instead of judging
games artistic merits, people start to think of them
in terms of pure economics, like this guy on Game
Facts who instead of making a critical assessment
of Captain Toad refuses to buy it on the
grounds that he won’t get one hour of play per
dollar, which is clearly the foreign exchange
rate for game time trading on the public markets. Duh. Am I saying that you
shouldn’t partake in all of the amazing
game sales going on? Of course not. But we should stop and think
if we want games to ultimately be consumer products,
or forms of art, or some strange
combination of the two. And I admit it’s a
very difficult call. Low prices make games widely
available to a broader audience who otherwise
couldn’t afford them. And that’s great,
as we’ve talked about before in our
episode on whether or not video games
should be free. But all these game
discounts could make us think of games
as disposable, trite, or even worse, unnecessary. So what do you think? Are game discounts
trivializing the medium, or do they just give you
more bang for the buck? Hash it out in the comments,
and if you like we saw, please subscribe. I’ll see you next week. Last week we talked
about why you and I still play Smash Brothers. Let’s see that you had to say. So I was actually joking about
not knowing where Sonic lives, but as it turns out,
even among Sonic fans there’s some ambiguity about
where his home locale actually is. Commenter Daniel
Bentley points out that Sonic lives
on Mobius– that’s an allusion to the Mobius
strip, that single surface that goes on forever– but
some other commenters pointed out that Sonic
has lived on planet Earth and also on planet Freedom
depending on your country and in what medium you are
watching or playing Sonic. So, yeah, I didn’t
realize I’d opened up a whole can of worms here. Commentar Dominitri is upset
about the number of characters that are in the new Smash
Brothers– there’s over 50 at this point– and points
out that there’s an over reliance on Pokemon and
Fire Emblem characters, and there’s a whole
universe of other Nintendo affiliated characters,
whether it’s Bayonetta, who could make
their way into Smash Brothers. And it speaks to, I think,
this core tension that Nintendo both wants to introduce new
characters into the canon, but they also want to
sort of pay allusion to all these old
characters, since Nintendo has this long history
making video games. So, yeah, I don’t know. It’ll be interesting
to see in future years whether they’re actually
going to have to start kicking characters out. Or maybe they’ll do what
they do in English football where you just have some sort
of like relegation league, where like top tier
characters stay in, and then there’s like a lower
tier, or something like that. I know know. We’ll see. Garet Rooks shares my love
of the character Game & Watch who comes from, I guess, the
original Nintendo handheld. He’s a little character,
and he’s got a frying pan, and he can make bacon. He does all– he basically
has a special tact that changes every single time,
and it’s more or less random. I think it speaks
to, again, what I was talking about
in the episode, is that Nintendo
deliberately introduces these chaotic elements to
just add a sense of craziness and a sense of
unpredictability to the game. I think Game & Watch is an
excellent example of that. So in the episode,
I talked a lot about balance and about how
Nintendo doesn’t balance Smash Brothers the way
that other franchises or titles like Legal Legends
or other online games do. And commenter Ddiaboloer
and a couple others pointed out that there is a
difference in Smash Brothers Melee, specifically that
the PAL version, which is a video standard
that’s used by Europe and pretty much the
rest of the world, was a rebalanced version
of Melee that came out on NTSEC, which is the standard
that’s used for the United States, South Korea, and Japan. So Nintendo stepped in. It made a change from one
region to another region. Regardless, my larger
point still stands. Older versions of
Smash Brothers, which were pre-internet
connected versions, weren’t necessarily updated,
so even if Nintendo rebalanced one version from one
region to another, it doesn’t mean that they
were actively patching it. And regardless, Nintendo
doesn’t have the same kind of active patching and
balancing ethos that, you know, that other online games,
like say League Of Legends, might have. And frankly, as I
said in the episode, I think that’s a
really good thing. It allows for spontaneity,
unpredictability, and for characters
to become these, you know, diamonds in
the rough over time. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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100 thoughts on “Are Steam Sales & Bundles Bad for Gaming? | Game/Show | PBS Digital Studios”

  • As a kid who's still leaching off their parents income, I wanted to make the money that my parents let me spend on games as scarce as possible because of the fact that I was an exclusive console gamer who wasn't able to connect to the online store and as a result of that, the only games available to me were full priced games I could find at the store. All of which I'd have to research about, look up reviews and really think about to make sure what I was buying was worth all 300dhs and worrying about this kinda made me stop playing. But now that I've got a PC I can play games on, buying games online and having access to free games is my window back into video games! With sales on Steam being cranked out all the time, conversion rates making the games cheaper anyway and not wanting to nag my dad about his paypal account details, I can probably get most of my wishlist  by the time the summer sale rolls up! I think the sales are GREAT for people who feel that paying for it might be a problem, so I say buy away! My only issue is how disposable games can come when people stop appreciating what they've payed for. But then again, when you payed less than a dollar for it, fair game.

  • Cheaper games means more gamers. More gamers mean more sales and more money for developers despite the cheaper price. More money for developers means they can make more games and incentives for more developers to make games.

    So really, Steam sales aren't hurting the industry. Closed-platform consoles and console exclusives are hurting the industry. Licensing fees, devkit costs, and strict curation all prevent developers from making more games for their customers and prevent customers from being able to even afford or play games. Closed platforms are a thing of the 80s, and need to die off. PC's and Steam Machines are the future, and have always fostered greater creativity, freedom, and better/cheaper games.

  • I did just recently buy Arma 3 for 50% off and I am really loving the game every time I play I have fun and sometimes I just stop moving and look around just to be happy that I bought it

  • While all your arguments are sound, I can't help but feel a little bit of "first world problems". Having grown up in Brazil in the 80s and 90s, playing videogame games from an early age to today, I've seem very polar opposites realities on gaming prices and I have no doubt in my mind Steam is the best thing EVAAAAH with its discount prices. Hear me out:
    Due to the economic conditions of the country in the 80s and 90s, games were very espensive – as much as they were in the USA, but more due to taxes, fees, importing costs and all that. So if you were 12 like me, getting a Genesis game was your birthday present and that's it. You could trade with friends and rent one or another for the weekend, but you're not likely to run out of time before playing everything you had at your disposal. Then comes the P word – pirated SNES and Genesis games were not really rare, but they weren't that cheap compared to the originals.

    Then when the original Playstation came along, it all changed. CDs are much easier to manufacture than cartridges so the Brazilian market was flooded with pirated games. The consoles were bought already modded to play the pirated CDs, which were sold at ridiculous low prices – I remember a single disk game in 1998 would cost R$8, while the originals would go way beyond R$100 and Sony had no official presence in Brazil, meaning there was no warranty or translated games anyway – no incentive to be legal. Even for a teenager, R$8 or R$10 was a price I could easily pay whenever I wanted something new. When the PS2 came the DVD-R drives got cheap and many players would just copy eachother games and torrent them. I remember during time only one of my friends had a unmodded Playstation 2 – and he had only 2 or 3 games for it, while we had binders and cases loaded with them. So much that no one gave much thought to them. People would play 4, 5 games at "the same time", going from one level in one to the other in another one. But it was better to have many options than almost no options, like that one friend that couldn't even trade games with us because ours wouldn't work in his system.

    When the PS3 came it all changed because it had no piracy at first. Also, the sizes were much bigger and our internet speed hadn't caught up yet, not to mention pirating would mean no online play.  Well, official Sony support would only begin with baby steps in 2009 (for the Playstation 2) and original games were still quite expensive, but at least everybody was in the same boat so we trade our very few and inbetween bought original games. But we were older now, had incomes and jobs and we could get afford it without asking for our parents to buy them for us in our birthdays. Nowadays Sony is actually trying to get our money (finally) and prices are reasonable. Until I got into Steam and I simply can't see myself spending so much money in console games anymore. What a crazy ride. Now with Steam we have our "legal" piracy, quicker, faster and more numerous than a pirate stand could even dream – and I would NEVER trade it for having to dish out a small fortune in a AAA game. 

  • Well, I have a couple of very good reasons to buy games almost exclusively when they go on sale. First, I can't afford constantly upgrading my computer to something that can keep up with new releases, so I spend a lot of time playing older games, which are usually sold at lower prices.

    And second, it's easy to forget that not everyone in the whole wide world earns as much money as an average American, Japanese, or German gamer. In my country the minimum wage is around 400$. I, like millions of other gamers in this part of the world, don't make much more than that. Millions more have even less. And Steam doesn't adjust the pricetag based on your country of residence, it's 60$ for everyone, even if that amount of money represents a quarter of your monthly budget. So before anyone starts complaining about entitled gamers ruining the industry by driving the prices into the ground, imagine that you have to spend 15%-25% of your salary on a single title. Would you? I seriously doubt it.

    So those sales are the only way (other than piracy) for a MAJORITY of the world's population to even have a chance to participate in this part of our culture. Anyone who says the games should always be sold at full, fair price, should realize they're effectively telling literally billions of people in Sout-East Asia, South America, Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe that gaming is not for them.

  • If it wasn't for sales I would pirate every game and get very few console games. Since there are sales I pay for games when they are on sale (even if I pirated it on release day). That's why I have many more pc games than console games, it's much easier to obtain them when I have little money! Since pc has sales more often I have many more pc games and only get console games when they are years old and used!

  • I too am a victim to a surplus of games, and you're absolutely right, the fact that a percentage goes to charity just makes it so much easier to buy a bundle. When it comes to value of the games, i don't treat them any different than any other entertaintment. I often talked with people who says i'm pouring money down the drain by purchasing pixels, I then try to compare a game to the closest thing i can think of entertainment wise which is a movie. I only like to watch a movie once, and the same goes for video games, so i guess it's a kind of consumable that way. If you then compare the hours entertained per dollar spent, i very often find myself seeing games have more entertainment value. This example is flawed though since games are much more complex than just the binary form of "entertained or not entertained", such as will I be playing with friends? which is usually more fun is it a multiplayer game? if so what is the learning curve? etc. Some of these factors also applies for movies, but in my opinion in a different scale.

  • Your argument falls apart about bundles when you realize that some bundles are so cheap that even getting 1-2 games you want is usually better than paying for them individually on steam since you not only get them at a discount over even the lowest sales price of the game, but also receive drm free copies, something that will be very valuable if some day steam goes kerplunk somehow.

  • Coming from the @PBS Idea Channel I have to put the speed on this video at 1.25x xD It feels so much more natural this way!

  • Sales might cause consumers to devalue games, but the reason for sales is that the creators actually devalue them. They have the data that shows that after a certain number of months, a game has made the vast majority of its lifetime profit. After that, it only makes sense to discount it heavily to extract as much additional revenue from it as possible. Ironically, though, it seems they don’t simply drop the price to the minimal amount they could and hold it there. Imagine what the perception of the value of games would be if they did that. It seems to me that sales are completely designed to make such “lame duck” games appear more valuable to customers than they actually are.

  • Personaly. seeing as there are to many good games out there today compared to 10 years ago, its the only way i would have played many of my favorite games. i wouldnt have bought many of the games i have if they werent so cheap.

  • There's a lot more to determining a game's value than just how many hours of play you get. 

    If you go by hours, then the most value for your buck is Call of Duty and other FPS titles. Why? The average campaign may only be 10-15 hours… sure that's roughly $4/hr. But when you consider how people play online for hours on end, that brings a sliding scale to CoD. Now you have a 10-15 hour campaign plus the 20+ hours most COD players play online. At this point, we're looking at $1.71/hr of entertainment. 

    Then look at RPG's. There are 2 types. The Final Fantasy-style RPG usually has a story that runs 40+ hours right out of the box. ($1.50/hr) Side Quests can add another 20 hours. ($1/hr) So, assuming you complete everything in the RPG, you're up to $1/hr of fun. 

    But, lets look at open world RPG's like Elder Scolls. The campaign is usually a meager 20hrs. But the side quests, getting lost, and miriad of stuff to do brings the game to well over 100 hours. In this case, you're paying only $0.60/hr of entertainment. 

    This now begs the question. Are you paying for the total amount of enjoyment of the game or the enjoyment you get out of the game? 

    Take Bloody Roar 4. For me, it's a game I've purchased 4 times, but also played the heck out of. Bloody Roar 4 has run me a total of $30 (across all 4 purchases). That said, I've played through Arcade as each character, career mode as 2 characters, and several hours of VS against friends. I've put over 200 hours into the game. For me, I paid roughly $0.15/hr of enjoyment out of Bloody Roar 4. 

    But, now look at Remember Me. I bought the game for $10 and only played 10 hours. Sure that's a $1/hr match. But I didn't finish the game. By the time I was 10 hours into Remember Me, there were other games that distracted me. At this point, I wanted to move on and get to the next title. 

    Finally, lets look at Castlevania Lament of Innocence. I have the game. I paid $10 for it. I haven't played it. It's in my backlog of titles to play. So, I've paid $10 for 0 hours of enjoyment. At this point, I'm losing money on Lament of Innocence. 

    So, what players should really consider before buying games is whether you will or won't play the game. I've turned down several Humble Bundles and Steam Sales purely because I didn't anticipate having the time to play said games. 

    Ultimately, a wise gamer will know his/her limits. If you have too many games in the queue, you should start considering carefully which titles you want to play. Perhaps rank them to be sure that it's actually a game you want versus just a game you're curious about. 

  • While it's interesting to think that game sales might be decreasing the perceived value of video games, I feel that PIRACY is something we should consider, too. 

    After all, thanks to the internet and torrents, piracy is now easier than it's ever been. So, gamers actively choosing to pay for their games (whether it's full price or sale price) means that video games still do have a fair amount of perceived value.
    (Also, the fact that people choose to contribute to Kickstarters and support Early Access games, show that not many gamers are taking their games for granted)

  • See, it makes total sense to me for it to be cheap, because every individual copy of each game costs them nothing. See, no matter how little a cost they give, it's a profit still, they just make a huge investment at the start

  • I don't usually give much credence to games that cost less than $5 normally. I will also rarely spend more than $20 on a game. Sales get me to buy the more expensive games. But they also make me tend to wait for games to go on sale before buying them.

  • The problem there is it all depends on the individual. Maybe instead we should focus on teaching people to differentiate between good sales and those taking advantage of you.

  • For me it's knowing what I buy. When I bought Destiny for 80+ dollars I expected a MMORPGFPS Space Epic. What I got was a pile of shit. I recently got Transistor for 20 bucks. I knew what I was getting and enjoyed it immensely. If I could get a refund, a proper refund I could have gotten Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5….. *sobs of despair *

  • Console gamers have used, yet refurbished games. That's arguably worse for developers. PC gamers are the good guys and gals.

  • Short answer, no.

    Long answer, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

  • I kind of see what that guy was thinking when he said i want one hour of play for every dollar i spend. I find myself guilty of underplaying certain games and overplaying certain games. (228 hours on Garrys mod, 184 on Civ 5, in contrast to only 8 hours played on papers please(God what am i doing with my life)).

  • Games or any other purchasable goods, one should always think about the need for the offered goods

    when you buy something worth $100 on 50% sale and then you don't use it (play it)
    you didn't save $50.. you wasted $50

    you wouldn't believe the great deals I get on perfect clothes and still get better prices/quality over what some of my friends buy "on sale"

  • I think the low prices encourage people to buy games that they normally wouldn't have, and in general, if the experience of the game is rich enough, that experience will completely overshadow the price of the game and you won't care how much you've spent on it.

    In terms of thinking of games a rubbish, tosh, garbage, whichever you use, I think that the fact is that lots of games ARE tosh. There are a lot of really poorly made, dull, badly designed games and the fact that people are recognizing that is a good thing. It means that studios and publishers won't be able to easily get away with shipping an awful product that grandparents buy because they don't know any better. I don't think that mentality will EVER take over resulting in us thinking gaming is useless because the core experience of a good game, what it gives you, is so much more than the reward your brain gets for buying something cheap.

  • meh, i always just compare games to movies, and i mean buying the movie not going to the theater, although that comparison does kinda work for new games.

    if i can dump 10 bucks on a 2 year old game and get 20+ hours of entertainment out of it i'm pretty sure i got a steal. if i dump $69.99 on a game and get over a hundred hours out of it in a single playthrough, with multiple options to make a second playthrough pretty different i'm pretty sure it was priced fairly. if i dump 20 bucks on a game and have an annoying unenjoyable time slogging through 2 hours of gameplay i'm pretty sure i just got screwed.

  • Now that it made me think. I bought NFSHP on discount, Bioshock bundle, and guess what. I stopped playing NFSHP after finishing it. And Bioshock, I only played 2 hours on da 1st one, boom the other 2 left alone.

  • well relating to one of my favorite past times, yu-gi-oh (laugh now) they reprint once valuable cards in tins and other packs as guaranteed grabs and that causes the value of the card in question to go down drastically, but the original print will always be a little more valuable. its kind of the same thing with games, if you release high end and desirable games for cheap digitally the demand for the game period goes down because there are more copies of the game period, but if it stays in demand the disc will be a little more valuable, and I have seen this happen with resident evil (the original release) the disc version is still fairly desired yet I managed to get all three of the first games for like $30, while the disc version of RE1 on its own was twice in some places.

  • Wow so many thought.
    I have to point out that simply from a money standpoint there sales don't always make sense,  sure deadspace may be half off now but if I'm not going to actually get around to playing it for a year or two chances are that it would be cheaper If I waited until I was going to buy it.
    That said steam sales and bundles are a great way to get old games that aren't ever going to drop below the 9.99 mark, final fantasy 7 for example.
    And that brings up another point and what is a bigger problem for me which is me rebuying games I already own because they are so cheap,  yes I have FF8 on disc somewhere but if I can get it for 2 bucks than maybe I should buy it just because steam is so easy to use.

  • They are good for the developer and gamer alike (more in the favor of developers though) sales have resulted in more wasted money on my part than I would like to admit, but I've also gotten plenty of great games at a much more reasonable price.

    The developers get large numbers of sales that they wouldn't have gotten otherwise resulting in more profits and more games developed (in theory at least).

  • I think that all it takes is being aware of the phenomena. If you understand that it can happen you can keep an eye out for it, and you can then avoid it. It's sort of like fallacies.

  • I've never really understood the whole "I bought a game on steam sales that I will never play". I have a wish list on steam that I build, after seeing trailers, reviews, releases, etc. I keep em in the wish list until they go on sale, which is when I can personally afford such game and buy it. I never have been someone to buy into the " it's on sale better buy it and maybe play it" maybe I'm just picky with my games, but I don't really ever buy games unless I'm definitely set on. Maybe this comes from me not being in the workforce yet, so I don't have a steady income and when I do finally have the money for one game it's rare and I spend it wisely.

  • The influx of low game prices stems from a few things:

    1) The prevalence of indie titles.
    2) The prevalence of Free 2 Play.
    3) The storefront competition for PC titles.
    4) The sharp drop in demand after it's been on the market for a month or 2.
    5) The competition with piracy.

    I'm fine with all of these. Too many games is a better problem to have than too expensive games. I've played games that were free or dirt cheap that I had more fun with than full $60+ dollar games. Maybe some people may see the perceived quality of the game is low if the price is low, but that isn't always the case.

  • abount abundance, i've bought some games (full price) for my ps3 i have like 10- 12 games but i end up playing the same 2 -3 games (GTA V) every time the rest aren't bad games, the whole MGS saga but i can't get to play them as i religiously should

  • After I noticed, I didn't even installed 60% of my game library, I decided that I only buy a new one if I played at least 2 from intro to end credits. Sales are no excuse. I only buy games I always wanted to play and by this, I will… eventually.

  • It's simple, look at the game, if it interests you dig a little more, check it out on youtube and other places. Then buy the game or don't. You have a brain for such reasoning use it, it's the difference between humans and sheep. Steam doesn't do quality control, it's buyer beware don't grab things like a moron.

  • There is not anything stopping cheap and widely available things from being art. In fact, a lot of art started that way. Ukiyo-e was produced in large scale and no one would consider that not art. Charles Dickens sold his novels in serial formats that poor people bought and he is certainly an important figure in literature. When movies first came out, they were considered a fad and we have lost a significant amount of early films because of that. If video games really want to be art, they can be with time. They don't need to be something for the elite to be memorialized as art.

  • compare sales to other mediums. do movies suffer from having discounted dvd/blu ray releasees? nope. Do car sales tremendiously suffer even though you can buy it later for cheaper? nope.  People will pay to have access to these games ealier the percentage of people going out of there way for a lower price is relatively small.

  • I really don't find it bad or wrong! It's a strategy for LEGAL distributors to get more money and makes the gamer happy since they bought it for a cheap price. Piracy…I used to do it, but I realized supporting game developers are a great thing, it's like a fundraiser for the next installment of the franchise or game. (Still waiting for Half-life 3.:D ) Imagine them giving it for a cheap price for the full game and you still pirate it?!??! With lots of more requirements than just hitting download like drag and drop and not much features as the original game. Well, if you want paying the full price ok then, but we are not forcing the game developers to put it on sale, it's a strategy. #SalesBetterThanPiracy

  • this time last year, i had 4 games in steam. then i found humble bundle. now, i have 61. i can't stop spending "juuuuuuust a little more money"

  • The thing is, we the people who buy games, don't actually mean we have all the time the world to play all of them. People have job's education and plenty of priorities to fill in our lives…… games, art or not….. is a hobby, even artworks are hobbies. People buy 25 million dollar artwork does not mean he valued it, he/she merely show how much money he can throw on a picture with fancy frames in it. 

    We live in a capitalist world, where competitiveness is all round the clock! So no way I could play everything I buy. Even with GTA V for the Online, I bought at full price, but I play till I could afford my first 500000 dollar apartment and complete 2 heist, I am happy….. cause I know even though I could not complete the entire game. I already got the experience of what is like being a criminal in a virtual world!

  • Pirating gets people into games, lets them know if they like it or not. In fact, piracy inflates the percentage on sales.

  • There's definitely degradation of value when we have a lot of everything. Case in point: piracy. Years ago I pirated all the games for PSP and Nintendo DS but I never played any of them because I was always on the hunt for the games I was missing.

    Contrast that to when I was younger and could only afford one or two games. I played those games until the cartridges were calling apart.

    My piracy days are over but Steam sales still have that same pull that made piracy so attractive. I buy games because they're cheap and I want play them one day, but I never do with some exceptions; mainly the 'event' games that are required playing to keep in the know.

  • I like good games. I play a lot of free games, some of which are good. Sometimes, I become aware of a game that I'm sure I will really like, and I have to pay for it. Most of the time, these are the best games. I guess what I'm saying is that if the game is good, whether I pay for it and how much doesn't really matter.

  • Whoever doesn't play the games they buy shouldn't buy them! I have like 20 games and I play them all because I payed for them and I'm gettin' my money's worth. I will personally invest 100+ hours into a super cheap game. Whoever has 300 games doesn't deserve to have them, so GIVE THEM TO ME!

  • the .99 is one of the best inventions ever (depends on which site you stand).

    sometimes i want to go back when i had only one or two consoles (like the wii and nintendo ds) and i had this limitation. now with a pc, ps4, wiiU, 3ds… i mostly play sc2 and have tons of games for my consoles i will play…someday.

  • I wouldn't have a library of nearly a hundred Steam items if not for the sales and the Humble Bundles.  But the thing that I found out a few months ago strongly devalues my library in my eyes.

    And I realize it's a way the system is set up now, but it made me really mad when I realized it.  And even madder when people tried to explain how to work around the system, because the workaround is worse.

    I can make use of more than one of my games/programs at once, should I somehow find a way to do so; there is no coded limit on how many I can make use of.

    I can lend my games to another person for them to use as much as they like, and they likewise can use as many of my games at a time as they like.

    However, I can only do one or the other, and I cannot lend games to more than one person at a time.  So, although I own almost a hundred games, only one person can make use of that entire library at any given time.  You'd think the problem they're trying to prevent would be two people playing the same program at the same time, but no, it's the same library at the same time.

    I figured this out when I had three squabbling nephews and nieces fighting over two computers here and only a single Steam library with all the games I had bought on it.  If I had bought my games in ANY other way than Steam, I'd be handing over a game disc to one or just saying "play the game installed on that computer" and they'd be off and away while the other kid got to play other games I'd bought and I'd only have to entertain the one extra kid (unless one of the games was split-screen, in which case I wouldn't even have to do that).

    The way Steam is set up, I can't have one kid playing Lego Marvel Super Heroes while the other kid plays Lego Harry Potter — even though I own both games.

    I can't have one kid playing a game while the other kid plays the educational games that teach science and math and such.

    I can't have one kid playing a game while I use my professional software to create games or music or comic book pages.

    In other words, my library of nearly a hundred games (and several pieces of non-game software) gets bottlenecked through two restrictions: I can only make effective use of one program at a time (even though the technical limitation is supposedly as many games as I'd like to use all at the same time), and only one person can be playing my entire library at any given time.

    It's infuriating because I bought maybe a third of these games figuring that I wouldn't play them but the kids would enjoy them.  And I'd be glad to have the kids play the big-name games while I, unable to play the specific game they're playing, use the other computer to do work (via my Steam software) or play some games I don't tend to play because the big-name games are more enjoyable when they're available.

    I can't split my account library; I can't move the games to a different account.  I don't know if the refund process is likely to get me anywhere or just be a hassle for nothing, and even if it worked I'd probably have to either do without that game for a while or pick it up for full price instead of the sale I got it at (in other words, buying it way in advance of when I'd actually be able to make use of it, thinking someday the kids will be over and they'll want to play it).

    What has this whole fiasco led to?  Well, before, I picked up games whenever I saw a decent-looking game at a good price, and I was fairly indiscriminate about the kind of games I bought.  Now I don't buy anywhere near as many, I'm very stingy and suspicious about whether anyone's actually going to make use of it, so Steam is getting less of my game budget than they used to.  And I buy almost all games in gift mode, just because I'm not sure I'm going to want it on my account.

    Some people on the forums told me the workaround goes like this: Make a ton of different accounts, and tie each game to a specific account, like BobsLegoStarWarsAccount.  Not only does this work only on games I haven't already bought (doesn't touch my current library), the whole idea offends my sensibilities at a very deep level.  Because there's a way to bypass the restriction, it just leads to insanity and account juggling and irritation and I'm not going down that road.

    Wish Steam would find a way to let me make, oh, five distinct sub-libraries, and stick games in them that I couldn't play while they were in those libraries, but I could lend the libraries out to other people.  That would solve pretty much all my problems, and we still would never be overlapping use of the same program.  Little lending libraries would be awesome, and I'd be much happier to start snapping up tons of games again, no longer worried about whether anyone's going to want to play it more than they want to play the eight or twelve big-name games I might hap

  • The average playtime to cost ratio of games is $2 per hour and you shouldn't gate games because they cost $3 an hour either.

  • Guess what? If your only incentive to finish a game is that you spent a copious amount of money on it then you don't like games. Find a different hobby.

  • Finally! Thank you for articulating my thoughts. I was just talking about this exact thing with my friend. We kept talking about how we were bored with most games, yet we had libraries of 150+ games. I think we have over-saturated ourselves to the point where games just are less exciting overall. We are trying to reverse this by simply enjoying what we have rather than adding anymore games to our backlog.

  • You got a good point on some bundles. You might have a bundle of say 10 games but there might be only 1 or 2 games that you really want. I might still buy them and then test the other games to see if maybe some of them might be fun but I tend to focus on the game or games that I really wanted.

  • I see where the devaluation happens in some people's minds, but it still isn't a good enough argument to continually charge unnecessarily higher prices. Imagine if there was a new law that enforced higher prices on free masterpieces in the public domain – would that suddenly make Shakespeare and Moby Dick more valued in the long run? Or a better comparison, will Robinson Crusoe always be seen as an inferior book to some licensed novelization of Cast Away because one is a free PDF download and the other is six bucks? The good stuff will always continue to shine through over time; people will still be playing Super Meat Boy and getting great enjoyment out of it even though they will be purchasing it for $3 in a summer Steam sale (like I did this summer) and they will also continue getting a sick feeling in their stomach when they see that a so-so game they paid $50 for three years ago (and played right away out of priority because of how valued it must be) is now $8 on Amazon.

  • I think used games are way worse for gaming than sales. Think about it, a game goes on sale for 50% off digitally, and they'll make a decent amount of money, but used games might as well be pirated. Thanks to devs not seeing a cent of the 2nd hand sale.

  • I bought Evil Quest for 1$ and I still love that game and waiting for second part. I buy humblebunlde for 1 game and the rest either I trade for or give it to my friends.

  • After my library has grown far beyond what I could reasonably play the next years I redefined myself as a collector. Problem solved. I catch myself spending at least halve of my valuable gaming time with the same games over and over again anyway.

  • if people buy a game and never play it, how is that in any way bad for games? it does absolutely nothing to the game and the devs get some money. would the person have ever even bought it at the higher price? probably not. would they be any more likely to play it if it was a higher price, maybe, but still, whether a person plays a game does nothing to games. if anything, sales are bad for frivolous peoples bank accounts.

  • Honestly i grew up in a house where I didn't even get to play a game until 2-3 years after it came out because it would be discounted low enough that we could afford it. I judge any game I play on the same standard, indie games, or triple A games. Funnily enough indie tends to be better nowadays than triple A.

  • I pirate almost all of my games(Because I'm broke, not because I don't support the great and powerful devs) and it kinda does this but at the same time, not. Since there's no upfront thing telling me what games I can get and how much I'm saving, I instead only get games I know I want, ignoring "bargain bin" mentality all together. "This game is cool so I will get it". At the same time, since I've no worries about running out of money(in this context), I have a HUGE backlog. I've had Fallout 4 since the day it came out but I've barely touched it since I got Transistor and The Witcher 3 and liked those a lot better.

  • Half-price? Only if you care about fresh releases. Depending on the genre, there are so many games out that you can wait for a 90% cut for everything. I spend the same amount of money for a quarter-hour bus ride as for two adventure games that were sold full price just a couple years ago and will occupy me for 20 hours or something.

  • there is one big up side to this. when you dont know if it is your type of game, say that you have newer try the genre or that you don't know what the game is about which makes you unsure about how much it is worth to you

  • Of course you will play CK2. I mean, its basically game of thrones simulator with thousands of characters at any given time that act on their randomly generated (or assigned) personality !

    And if you play the Game of thrones mod it is literally a game of thrones simulator.

  • My strategy is to make a list of game is want then buy them when on special not letting myself choose games when there on sale. That way sales wont make me buy games I don't really want

  • Your premise neglects the fact that digital media can practically be replicated infinitely, at basically no cost. Infinite supply, finite demand. Zero monetary value. The fact that someone still pays for a digital anything is a cultural relic. The future will not be so kind. If you want to make money on your game, movie, book, etc, offer a hard copy special edition, with a collectible item like a coffee table art book, or statuette, or somesuch, because IP is meaningless in a post-scarcity state.

  • I don't think that sales matter as much as abundance. I think gamers judge a game based on the time dedicated in its development. On the development side, I think the only thing that matters in the end is the size of the money pool they're competing in.

  • old video, new comer 😉
    here's a nice idea for you: what if steam sales extend the time a game makes money for its creators (and ofc steam in proxy)? many games on sale are 1/2 years old and don't sell quite as much anymore.

    P.S. disclaimer – i am posting this during the steam summer sale. guess who spent money on new games!