The annual Steam Winter/Holiday sale is here again and, true to form, the usual bits of comedy were present as it kicked off at 10am yesterday. Past years have seem sim-applied discounts yield negative prices on the opening day. This year Steam thought they would try something different.
Even if I searched for games under five dollars, Steam seemed unwilling to go that low.
This years shtick is a set of game award for various categories. Earlier in the year Steam asked for nominations, now we get to vote on the top five to choose the winner. Or, you can try and vote. It didn’t seem to want to register mine.
But I still got my Steam Holiday trading card for trying to vote, and that was the important bit, right? I collect the cards. I am not sure why, but I do, so I also went through to recommendation queues in order to get two more cards.
Then it was time to get down to what a big Steam sale really means to me. We have grown so used to them that the idea of deep discounts really doesn’t trigger any sort of binge buying need within me. Instead, it has become a test for my Steam wish list. I put things on the wish list that I think I might want to get some day… but not today… with the assumption that if they get marked down, that will make the decision for me.
When we get to the big sale and I see some of those titles marked down as much as 75%… and if I still don’t buy them then, I have to figure they don’t really belong on my wish list. So I am staring at Doom, which has been marked down to under $20 and wondering if I really want it.
On the flip side of that there are items on my wish list I know I will buy, but only when they get a serious discount. 10% off Civilization VI just isn’t going to get me there.
I am playing other games right now, I don’t NEED to devote hours and hours to a new Civ title just yet. Also, I remember the last real Civ title I bought going 25% off in a Steam sale just two weeks after I bought it at full price. I demand a better discount!
Also, I am not sure Steam needed to send me an individual email notification for a bunch of items on my with list to say they were on sale. A single “Steam Winter Sale Time!” email would have been good enough.
Then again, those email messages might stand me in good stead, seeing that I cannot even log into Steam this morning. The independent Steam Services Status page shows the whole thing to be down right now, so there is no getting online right now. Offline mode is all I can do, and you don’t get any Steam Sale items that way.
I will have to check in again later… have to get those trading cards. And I am still pondering a couple of items on my wish list. I may yet buy something this season.
Addendum: The Steam Sevices Status page has a new graphic up for the situation: