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:
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.
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.
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.