Tag Archives: Steam Winter Sale

The End of the Steam Winter Sale with 2021 Stats and Awards

The Annual Steam Winter Sale wrapped up about fifteen minutes ago, if this post went live when I scheduled it.  I sometimes mess that up, so one can never be too sure.

The Tradition Continues

As with last year, I ended no new games.  I bought a few things during the summer sale, but when it came to winter I wasn’t able to warm up to anything sufficiently.  I did buy some of the DLC for Stellaris that was discounted, so I didn’t walk away completely empty handed.  But, in the end my current policy of “don’t buy it now if you’re not going to play it now” won out.

So not much of a story to tell there.

But Valve has some stuff for me to talk about.  They did their usual “Best Of” post for 2021 that detailed what did well on the platform over the past year. (The blog has links back to past years if you are interested.)

On top of the revenue chart were the following 12 games, sorted alphabetically because they don’t give you actual numbers by which to sort them:

  • Apex Legends
  • Battlefield 2042
  • CS:GO
  • Dead by Daylight 5
  • Destiny 2
  • Dota 2
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Naraka: Bladepoint
  • New World
  • PUBG Battlegrounds
  • Rainbow Siege 6
  • Valheim

Some of the old familiar Valve titles made it, including Dota 2 and CS:GO, along with the aging champion Grand Theft Auto V, which will seemingly never die.  But it was nice to see 2021’s surprise hit, Valheim, make the cut, as did New World.  Two titles I actually played!

Perennial Platinum finisher Warframe remained in the Gold category for 2021, which still shows it to be a strong game.  Also in Gold were both Forza Horizon 4 and Forza Horizon 5.

When it came to the Most Played category, nine titles managed to exceed the 200K concurrent player count to make it into the Platinum rank for 2021.  They were:

  • Apex Legends
  • CS:GO
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Dota 2
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Halo Infinite
  • New World
  • PUBG Battlegrounds
  • Valheim

Again, it probably helps to be a Steam exclusive, but that category is pretty wide, with some of the titles closing in on a million concurrent at times.

And then there were the Steam Awards for 2021, the categories and winners of which were:

  • Game Of The Year: Resident Evil Village
  • VR Game Of The Year: Cooking Simulator VR
  • Labor Of Love: Terraria
  • Better With Friends: It Takes Two
  • Outstanding Visual Style: Forza Horizon 5
  • Most Innovative Gameplay: Deathloop
  • Best Game You Suck At: Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition
  • Best Soundtrack: Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy
  • Outstanding Story-Rich Game: Cyberpunk 2077
  • Sit Back And Relax: Farming Simulator 22

I voted in the award, though given what I play, it was generally a matter of guessing who would win rather than voting for anything I played.  Valheim was a nominee in a category or two, but did not make the cut.  So the only winner that I played was Forza Horizon 5, which I did indeed vote for.

But I also voted for Cooking Simulator VR and that was just me picking the silliest title on the list of VR options.

Anyway, the sale has come and gone, the records have been declared, and the award have been given out.  Back to whatever passes for normal, at least until we get to the summer sale.

The Steam Winter Sale 2021 Has Begun

The annual holiday tradition of video game discounts has arrive at Steam as they unleash the 2021 version of their Winter Sale.

The Tradition Continues

It seems to be off to as smooth of a start as one could expect.  Often the first hour of the sale is a time to find mid-priced items and other oddities in the mix… not to mention some performance issues as people rush in to find that price typo that will get you a game for a fraction of its intended price.

If you were interested in Forza Horizon 4, which I have been writing about, it is available for $20 again as part of the sale, down from its $60 base price.  Also on the list are New World for $30, Valheim for $15, and a host of other titles marked off at least a bit, even some new-ish titles like Age of Empires IV.

It is a chance to spend some of those Winter Sales tokens you may have saved up or earned on cosmetic items.

It is also your opportunity to vote in the Steam Awards.  The Autumn Sale around Thanksgiving is when you get to nominate games and the Winter Sale is when you get to see who made the cut for inclusion.  It will be a tough choice for Game of the Year for me as Valheim, New World, and Forza Horizon 5 are all on the list, and they all have their merits in my book.

The sale runs from today through January 5th, though you only have until January 2nd to vote as the sale will culminate with the announcement of the winners and all sorts of statistics about which video games did the best on the Steam platform in 2021.

And then it will be 2022 and we will have a whole new year to fret about.

The End of the Steam Winter Sale with 2020 Stats and Awards

The Steam Winter Sale wrapped up earlier today.

Done for 2020

As far as the sale went, I have nothing to report as I did not purchase a single thing.  Given that 2020 was a year of boosted video game sales as we all stayed home, I fell short on my part, at least when it came to Steam, so nothing to write about on that front.  Fortunately, Steam also ends the Winter Sale with some awards and lists.  Those I can go on about.

First, there were the 2020 Steam Awards, which are nominated by and voted for by Steam users.  There were ten categories.

2020 Award Winners

You might not be able to read the actual winners, so here they are listed out:

Not only have I not played a single game on that list, not one of the games I nominated were picked to vote on nor did any game I voted for become the winner.  If I complain about blogging being dead you might remind me that I am so far from what is popular these days that it might just be me.

Anyway, that is all opinion based.  Steam also puts out their lists of best selling and most played titles.  There is a blog post that describes all the categories and what they mean, but only two interest me.  They are:

The Platinum Bracket

There are no numbers here, just a stack ranking so, if you compare with last year’s list, you don’t know if GTA V players spent a lot more or if Warframe players, the 2019 top of the list, spent a lot less.  But the lists are not stack ranked by bracket, so you only know that something in the Platinum category made more than something in the Gold and Silver categories.

It is fun that Among Us made the cut.  It is just $4.99 to buy, though it has some cosmetics for purchase as well.  But that was enough to get it in the pack.

The Steam blog post about this says that 2020 saw such a boost over 2019 that they had to change the brackets.  Last year the brackets were 100K, 50K, 25K, and 50K, but for 2020 they had to boost them to 200K, 100K, 50K, and 30K,.

Steam 2020 – The 200K Bracket

Not a lot of surprised at the top, and certainly some overlap with the revenue chart, while the 100K chart digs up some more familiar titles.

Steam 2020 – The 200K Bracket

For those interested, there is also:

That is a good one if you want to filter out people who are still playing GTA V and Warframe.

Half-Life: Alyx and Beat Sabre are in the top bracket of course, but so is VR Kanojo.  I suppose it says something that one of the highest grossing VR game involves hanging out with a Japanese school girl.

This one is always a bit of an eye-roll for me.  Titles I recognize, like Factorio, made the cut, but then I wonder how long they’ve been hanging out in early access status while still selling.

And then there is the category from which I am totally divorced.  I mean, I have a controller around here somewhere, stuffed in a drawer, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I used it.

Anyway, that is Steam reporting on 2020.  I am almost done with blog posts about that year… almost.

The Steam Winter Sale 2020 has Begun

It is that time of year… though haven’t you bought enough video games this year already?  All the numbers indicate that spending on games has been boosted by the pandemic.  But here is a chance to add I a few more titles to your list.

With the first day of winter, at least here in the northern hemisphere, comes the start of the annual Steam Winter Sale.

Back for 2020

Between now and January 5th the usual range of discounts will be available for many games on your wishlist.  Did you just buy Cyberpunk 2077 last month at full price?  Well, it is already on discount… if you can log in… whoops, no it isn’t.  I logged in and could have sworn I saw it marked off then the server coughed, kicked us all out and it was back to full price again.  But I bet somebody clicked on it in time if my eyes did not deceive me.

It isn’t a real Steam sale if something isn’t broken or mis-priced… usually both.

Server down, come back later

That will settle down soon enough through.

It is also your opportunity to vote in the annual Steam awards.

I am sure I will find the time to log in and vote.  But the great weariness of 2020 has actually made it less likely for me to buy or try something new.  We shall see.

The Passing of the 2019 Steam Winter Sale

The new year has been rung in, we’ve had a day off, and now it is January 2nd and reality has to kick in for some of us.  Not me.  I’m not going back to work until Monday.  But not everybody has that luxury or that much vacation time back logged.

And so it is with Valve.  By the time this posts another Steam Winter Sale will have come and gone.

Holiday 2019 Edition

Lots of things were on sale.  I got the traditional email letting me know that just about everything on my Steam wish list had been marked down.  And yet I got through almost the entire sale without buying a thing.  It looked like another dry year for me.  I didn’t even log on to play the store event game, which seemed pretty dry… dry enough that they had to revise it mid-way through to drum up some interest.  You think Valve would have that nailed down by this point.

The reasons for my lack of interest in buying new games are not much different than most years.  That something is on sale at Steam is no longer reason enough to buy it.  The novelty is gone there.  I have a list of unplayed games in my Steam library which acts as a deterrent.  And I am invested in playing something at the moment.  When I am not logged into WoW Classic I am logged into EverQuest II and playing the new Blood of Luclin expansion.  Expect posts about that to start next week.

So until yesterday it looked like my only purchase was going to be a Steam gift card for my daughter’s boyfriend as a Christmas gift.

And then we binge watched The Witcher, wrapping it up on New Years Eve, which got me to check if the original game was available on Steam.  And, sure enough, there it was, The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, in the store and on sale for $1.49.  So I bought that.

Toss a Coin to Your Witcher

So op success for Steam?  I guess.  I didn’t even end up paying the $1.49.  Because I bought that gift card I ended up with a $5.00 discount, which I applied to the game.

No coins for your Witcher

One more item in my library.  We’ll see if I end up playing it.  But now it is there.

As usual, Steam had its own lists and such to share.  There were the top revenue earners of 2019.

Top Revenue Titles for 2019

The ranking… since there are no numbers… include in-game purchases, which is how the aging Warframe and  Grand Theft Auto V stay up with the newer titles.  Warframe making the top spot is quite a coup.

Then there are the most played games, which has its own ranking structure.  Still, there is some overlap between revenue and being played.

Most played titles for 2019

You can find more such lists on the Steam Blog entry about 2019.

Then there were the Steam Awards, the user nominated and elected “best of…” designations.  It wasn’t a surprise to even me that Beat Sabre won the best VR game, since it is literally the only new VR game I can recall hearing about.  VR isn’t dead, but it is a lot more aspirational than real still.  And Grand Theft Auto V crept into another winning position.  How does that game keep going?  I guess I might know if I played the copy I bought during the Steam Summer Sale.

And so it goes.  I have one new game in my Steam library and six months to go until the summer sale. (I don’t count the spring and autumnal sales, they don’t get nearly as much press.)

The Steam Winter Sale Kicks Off for 2019

With the turning of the seasons comes a sale at Steam.  There is one for spring, summer, and autumn.  But the winter or holiday or whatever sale, that is the original big sale, the one that used to spark excitement and a frenzy of buying titles you never ended up playing.

Back for 2019

No doubt if you have a wish list on Steam you have an email in your inbox this morning telling you that a good portion of it is currently available at a discount.

There is also the usual Steam event with things to do to earn badges and such.  One of the day one actions was to put some items on your wish list, Steam no doubt still stinging from the summer sale when they managed to get people to purge their wish lists, to the chagrin of many an indie dev.

It is also time for the Steam awards voting.  The nominations were last month and now users get to pick from the most nominated titles.  As a crusty old MMORPG player who rarely plays the latest and greatest titles, I haven’t touched many of the nominated titles.  I think I own two of them.  But, like the general public on election day, ignorance never stopped me from voting.  Only laziness can do that, and I am not that lazy yet.

Anyway, it is here.  Time to shop… or browse… or earn a badge or two… or maybe log in and see if your account is still there or look at your game list for some sort of “games of the decade” post.

The Passing of Another Steam Winter Sale

The 2018 Steam Winter Sale has come and gone.

I collected some cards, went through my queue every day, got my Steam level up to 20, and, like SynCaine, bought no games for myself.

I was actually considering buying a couple, but for some reason it was in my head that the sale ended on the 4th rather than the 3rd, so when I logged in on the what I thought was the last day the sales were all done.

Oh well, it isn’t like they won’t be coming back again.  We have long since been trained to wait for sales.  And there wasn’t anything I was considering that I was going to jump on right away.

I think the highlight of the sales for me these days are going through the daily queue of games Steam thinks I might like.

Occasionally it shows me things I might like.  I thought MewnBase, a cats in space base building game, was interesting.

My daughter wanted that, so I bought her a copy.  She played it for a bit and said it was pretty good, if a bit more hard core than she expected.  Your cat is going to run out of oxygen.  But not bad for an early access title.

Mostly though, the queue is for comedy as Steam tries to dredge up 36 titles it hasn’t shown me before based on what its algorithm thinks I like.  This tends to be self-defeating as I will wishlist some of the silliest stuff just to reference later only to have Steam jump on that and show me more of the same.

For example, at one point it showed me the title Seed of the Dead, which was described as a “A heart-pumping fusion of zombie FPS and erotic dating sim!” complete with the usual set of Anime girls either bursting out of their blouse or in a too-small school girl uniform.

I can’t link that on the Steam web site because it is flagged as adult.  But I put it on my wishlist to remember it only to have my next run through the queue filled with Hentai porn puzzle games.  I had not considered that Mine Sweeper could be used as a vehicle for titillation, but if you clear all the mines you get to see it all I guess.

Ignoring a streak of those managed to get me out of that trap.  It was pointed out to me that I could avoid that sort of thing entirely by telling Steam to block all adult content, but then how would I get my quarterly update on what is lurking on the service.

Having slipped the anime porn thread Steam put me on to the Battle Royale trend, which I predicted will hit peak saturation this year as the me-to crowed tries to jump on for an easy win.  We’re still in the point where the ideas have a bit of charm, like Super Animal Royale, where you play as creatures of the forest in a 64 player battle arena death match.

There was also the warning sign games, the ones that indicate that the trend has ballooned dangerously, the games that start on the meta of the genre.  And so I saw Battle Royale Tycoon.

That isn’t to say such a game cannot be good, and BRT has positive response so far, but it is not the only game of that sort out there, a couple of them look just like the cheap attempts to cash-in on a trend that we always see.  I am reminded of all of the BitCoin mining simulators I saw during the summer sale.

And so it goes.  Since Steam has already shown me over 3,000 games in past queues, it remains interesting to see where it will lead me next.

The Steam Winter Sale also saw the Best of 2018 post for the store, which stack ranks the top 100 games in a several categories, including revenue and hours played.  Topping the revenue charts were:

Steam Top Revenue for 2018

As noted in the Steam blog post about these charts, being declared “Platinum” does not signify any particular dollar amount.  For all we know Grand Theft Auto V could have earned as much as everybody else on the list.  Instead, it just means a game is in the top dozen, the the ranks working out as:

  • Platinum: 1st – 12th Top Seller
  • Gold: 13th – 24th Top Seller
  • Silver: 25th – 40th Top Seller
  • Bronze: 41st – 100th Top Seller

Still, it is interesting to see who tops the list… and how many older games do so.  Especially Warframe, about which I hear almost nothing most days, but which has quite a following all the same.  And then there is how the chart changes.  During the summer sale they had the mid-year numbers.  A few of those that made the Platinum ranks in June couldn’t hold on until December it seems.

Top Sellers for 2018 back in June

It is interesting to compare that to the most played chart, which is broken out into groups representing specific number ranges.  The top of the chart for that was games with over 100,000 concurrent players.

Steam most concurrent players

It corresponds reasonably with the revenue chart.  I do think it is interesting that, down the list, you will find Civilization V ahead of Civilization VI for simultaneous players.  I suppose I am not the only one that found the newer title disappointing.

And so it goes.  Since the Steam sales have become seasonal I suppose I will just wait until the coming of spring.

The Steam Winter Sale Returns for 2018

Like anybody doubted it would.

Yes, the holidays are upon us and one of the more recent traditions, the Steam Winter Sale, has returned with them.

As has become the norm, this is the modern, relaxed version of the sale, where the price drops remain throughout the event so nobody will miss any good deals just because they were at work when a flash sale hit.

This years special event is an advent calendar-like daily visit to the Extremely Cozy Cottage.

Along with that are some of the usual activities, besides buying games.  You can vote for the Steam Awards.  The nominations were part of the Autumn sale… a Steam sale for every season is now officially a thing… but nothing I nominated made the cut.

Still, I’ll vote because you get a trading card each time you do and apparently I’ll do about anything for a Steam trading card.  I’ll even look at my queue three times every day.  Seriously, these events are the only time I ever look at my recommendation queue.

But will I buy anything?  I anticipate getting an email from Steam soon telling me that 35 or so games on my wish list are now on sale.  And, while I haven’t been complaining like some about having sooo many unplayed games in my Steam library, I am still well beyond buying things simply because they have been marked down 80%.

I suppose eventually I’ll be posting about how Epic and Discord and Twitch and whoever else seeks to wear the digital games storefront mantle are all having seasonal sales.  Just because they want to differentiate themselves from Steam in some way doesn’t mean they can ignore the trends that Steam has started.

 

The Passing of a Steam Winter Sale

The holidays are over and with that comes the end of related in-game events along with one sales event, the Steam Winter Sale.

Holiday Sales are over…

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.

Queue Activity – January 2018

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.

Top Sellers 2017 – Platinum Category

On it are:

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?

Steam Winter Sale 2017

The Steam Winter Sale is upon us again.  Having kicked off yesterday, it will run through to January 4, 2018.

Holiday Sales are Here Again

I was aware that it was here largely because I got the Paradox winter newsletter in email announcing sale prices, and they pretty consistently put stuff on sale through their direct store to match the prices on Steam.

As with last year you can vote on the Steam Awards, go through your suggestion queues to earn trading cards, and find lots of games on sale.

Naturally, I have my own gripes, though they are mostly about me.

The big sale is here and I am not really looking for a new game.  Last year I actually picked up a few titles and, more surprisingly, I actually played them.  Imagine that!  At some point I decided that there will always be another sale so there is no rush to collect games in my library that I might play some day.

Plus I am in something of a happy spot with gaming right now.  I am in the late expansion groove with WoW Legion, with a little something to do every day plus pet battles and alts to play with when I’ve done a few tasks with my main.

Likewise, in EVE Online there are a few ops a week to go on and not much logistical support needed to keep that up.

So I look at my Steam wishlist and am not burning to buy anything there.  Most of the titles on the list have been there for a year or longer at this point.  What are the odds I am suddenly going to buy GTA V this time around?

And there isn’t anything new out there that has my interest.  I mean, there are plenty of new games on Steam, but the barrier to entry is so low these days that you have to assume everything is crap until proven otherwise.  I suppose everybody is up about PlayerUnknown’s Battleground.  I am mildly interested in that… though it isn’t on sale so I can buy that any time.. but the voice in the back of my head wants to know if I really need another shooter to be bad at.  I bought Doom during a mid-year sale and, while it was an awesome, visceral experience, my badness kept it from being all it could be.

I guess I can always look at my daughter’s Steam wishlist to see if there is anything she wants.

Is there anything new in the Steaming pile I should be keeping an eye on?