The Steam Holiday Sale went live on Tuesday with the usual sudden surge of excitement and the occasional error.
There were a few items discounted into negative territory. The best I saw was Quake, which Steam was apparently prepared to pay you $9.85 if you would download it.
To borrow another Tweet, Van Hemlock had a good summary.
But once that settled down and prices got adjusted and discount math was correctly calculated, the sales event seemed to be happily under way. Nearly everything on my wishlist is on sale, and I am once again tempted by Cities: Skylines and Project CARS.
Of course, all of those other unplayed, or underplayed, games in my Steam library are giving me baleful stares. Their mere presence inhibits my ability to buy anything new. And when combined with the knowledge that there will just be another Steam sale later if I don’t buy anything this time around, any sense of urgency is lost. That one time emotional response of, “I’d better buy this now, I might want to play it some day!” has been replaced by the feeling that unless I want to play the game RIGHT NOW, I can wait until a later date.
So yeah, another “tired gamer in a malaise” story here at TAGN.
The odd bit is that even Valve seems a bit less into the whole Steam Sale too.
Gone are the events. You get holiday Steam cards for just browsing games. The daily deals and flash sales, ever the bane of the OCD in people obsessed with getting the best deal, are gone. There is no need to keep checking back every few hours. The price cut on the title you are interested in is going to be the same throughout the Holiday Sale. That old flow chart about when to buy is history. (So many versions of it out there.)
So no rush. You can sit an consider your purchase or make lists of games people should buy or otherwise reflect on the sale in peace, without anybody nudging you to get on with it because it all might be different in an hour or three.
All of which is something of a relief. A new normal has emerged. And though I kind of miss the special nature that a Steam sale used to have, you cannot recreate that forever.