Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, you’ll be well aware that we’re knee-deep in another Steam Summer Sale. The now yearly tradition that leaves PC gamers with barely enough loose skin to blink and a trail of empty wallets in its path has once again come to claim your soul. And yet, with two days to go, I’ve only picked up one game.
In years gone, I’d have put this down to my somewhat-not-great-but-also-not-living-in-a-cardboard box-bad financial position, but that’s just is not true. Maybe I’d say there wasn’t anything that interested me, or that I had enough games to play already. Both would be untrue. After thinking it through whilst at work, I came to the conclusion that only one thing could be stopping me. How I value games, specifically PC ones.
Let’s take a brief look at what’s on my Steam wishlist:
As you can see, there’s plenty of games I’ve previously set aside as ‘games I want to play’, and yet 11 days into this thing and I’ve still not pulled the plug on any of them. The reason? I think the PC, and the way in which the PC platform as a whole handles game sales has skewed my sense of value.
You look at something like Quantum Break. A game I was interested in picking up for £40 a few months ago and yet didn’t because….’that’ll go cheap eventually’. Well it’s gone cheap. Super cheap, and yet I’m still unwilling to pull the trigger.
What ruins me is this. In my head, I know it’s only going to get cheaper. Indefinitely. A game that costs £45 at launch will inevitably drop to £30 and then £15, and then £9 and then after 3 years, it’ll hit the £4 mark. Now obviously the game is worth an awful lot more than the £4 I’ll likely pay for it, but as a consumer, I’m constantly looking for the best deal.
I think the Steam sales of past years have ruined me. With their insane reductions on top of already impressive reductions and their ability to make me spend money on games I probably don’t plan on playing, they’ve turned me into this horrible shell of a human who’s either too cheap to buy games without waiting for them to hit rock bottom prices, or one that can’t appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into making these games.
Does this make me a bad consumer? Does it make me a bad gamer? Should I even care?