The holidays are over and with that comes the end of related in-game events along with one sales event, the Steam Winter Sale.
As has been noted many times over the last few years, the “special” nature of such sales has long since evaporated.
Which isn’t to say I didn’t log in. I did, every day, and voted on the various vague awards categories and went through my queues, and collected my event cards and even managed to craft the level 1 badge for the holidays. I think that all earned me a few more points towards leveling up my Steam level. After all these years I am still level 13, so I am clearly not taking that very seriously.
I was interested to see my queue stats after the sale shut down. I generally only use the queue during such sales for the above reasons.
I have “looked” at over two thousand games now. I seem somewhat reluctant to flag things “not interested” as I pass through titles. Generally I only flag stuff I know I will never play, like horrible JRPGs, VR titles, or ancient games that I have no interest in revisiting. An example of the latter as the Unreal series of shooters, all of which seemed to turn up in my queue this year.
I also seem unlikely to put things on my wish list. Maybe I just don’t want to get a mile long email about things on my wishlist being on sale for every Summer and Winter event.
Steam also released their Best of 2017 lists, which I took the time to go through. I found the list for the Platinum category of Top Sellers, the best of the best, interesting.
On it are:
- Grand Theft Auto V – released 2015 on PC
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – released 2012
- DOTA 2 – released 2013
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands – released 2017
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – released 2017
- Divinity: Original Sin II – released 2017
- Rocket League – released 2015
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege – released 2015
- The Witcher III: Wild Hunt – released 2015
- ARK: Survival Evolved – “released” in 2017, available since 2015
- Warframe – released 2013
- H1Z1 – never “released,” available since 2016
The sort order of that list is arbitrary. Steam randomizes the sort in each category, re-arranging them when you refresh the page, so they are not ranked.
That list has a lot of old stuff on it… and if it isn’t old, it is likely a sequel of some sort. I think PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is the only legitimate “new” title on the list. But that is the reality of things now for video games. If they are expensive to make then studios want to get the most out of them by selling DLC, loot boxes, and whatever, or by cranking out sequels.
Oh, and multiplayer is clearly a thing, as only one title out of a dozen, The Witcher III, is single player only.
Things even out further down the categories, though old games do persist. I see The Sims 3 down in the Bronze section.
So I spent time doing all of that. What I did not spend time doing was purchasing anything.
I have the usual excuses, the weight of un-played or under-played titles already in my Steam library, my satisfaction with what I am currently playing, and the general sense that if I don’t buy something on sale on my wishlist today that it will come back around on sale again soon enough.
The day after the sale ended an email popped up in my inbox with items from my wishlist that were on sale, including GTA V, which was still 60% off list, the same discount from the big sale.
For me, in the end, the big Steam sales was really about me collecting some virtual cards to up my meaningless score in an online store where I didn’t purchase anything at all. How was the sale for you?