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Steam Sales and Devaluation

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Elton 2nd August 2012, 00:51 Quote
After a bit more thought, it occurred to me that I honestly don't make many game purchases at all. Thanks to digital distribution, there really is no need to make purchases in case they go out of print. That and honestly, by the time I'm done with one game about 50 more have come out. I just don't simply have the time.
unafraid 2nd August 2012, 00:53 Quote
I spent almost £50 on games in the Steam Summer Sale entirely on games that I would never have bought otherwise, how's that devaluation?
1398342003 2nd August 2012, 02:27 Quote
Super sales are, IMHO good for the industry, for a number of reasons.

They discourage price motivated piracy. If a person can't afford a game, they won't buy it. If it takes 2 years for the price to drop to a more affordable level (say about 50%) the game will already be off the customers radar. That's a sale lost to piracy.

It allows experimentation. I can try a new genre or publisher that I wouldn't have considered at $20, because $5 doesn't feel like real money. If I like it, I will be more likely to buy more of their games.

The sales bring in new users. Hearing about a great sale at a local store will bring in new customers, and some of them will become return customers. This is even bigger with steam, as the product is the store.

The sales act as advertising. If I like the new game I bought on sale, I'll tell my friends about it, they now have exposure to that game. And if my friends have a game I'll need to get it to play with them. I read somewhere that this is a big factor in steam sales. Sales go up during the sale, and stay higher for some time after the sale ends.
sparkyboy22 2nd August 2012, 08:19 Quote
I now pretty much wait for the steam sales to buy games but only because thats about the only time they are a similar price to buying a disk version from amazon.
If they were always similarly priced to the physical media then there would be no need to wait until the sales.
chemo 2nd August 2012, 08:58 Quote
it may devalue a game per unit but the amount of sales of the game will likely far outweigh the discount. I also agree that most sales during these steam sales are very likely to be from people who wouldn't have bought the games at full price. And also, most games are not all that new so every sale they get must be a bonus, especially if the amount of sales gets high.

I dont see how these sales can ever devalue and not turn a profit for dev's during the sales or they simply would not include them.
CardJoe 2nd August 2012, 09:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by N17 dizzi
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
This is why I love you guys.

I loved how, at the pub quiz, people were able to guess which articles were by me with 100 per cent accuracy in the Quotes round. :p

At least you take a bit of banter on the chin ;)

"All our critics should be our friends if they can show us our faults" ;)
DaBigDog 2nd August 2012, 10:34 Quote
As ever I'm really impressed with the level of well thought out and reasoned arguments in regards this topic, but the real issue is why we feel the need to defend how we spend OUR money to greed mongers like EA, Activision and the others (you know who you are).
They have no interest in us more than our potential as a mobile wallet, the contempt with which we are treated by "some" publishers and developers would make me laugh if it wasn't for people spending hard earned money on their products.

Never mind what your problems are, listen to MY problems because I'm the CUSTOMER.
1/ I don't want to pay the same or MORE for digital products, they cost you LESS
2/ I'm not interested in paying a slice for the marketing fund, I look for and research my games purchases so why should I pay for your marketing ? (better discounts for pre-orders please)
3/ Speaking of marketing, stop over egging **** games to try and get people to buy them - it's immoral, if it turns out ****, bin it and do something else or release it cheap. (and YES, you do know it's ****)
4/ Cut out all this release DLC - if it's available on release it should be IN THE GAME!!

Let's try this approach - instead of the relentless race for as much money as possible for as little product as possible - let's try releasing great games that work, with good support - we're gamers, we'll buy them..... if you doubt me, you might have noticed that the videogames industry is now worth more than movies....
Elton 2nd August 2012, 11:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBigDog
As ever I'm really impressed with the level of well thought out and reasoned arguments in regards this topic, but the real issue is why we feel the need to defend how we spend OUR money to greed mongers like EA, Activision and the others (you know who you are).
They have no interest in us more than our potential as a mobile wallet, the contempt with which we are treated by "some" publishers and developers would make me laugh if it wasn't for people spending hard earned money on their products.

Never mind what your problems are, listen to MY problems because I'm the CUSTOMER.
1/ I don't want to pay the same or MORE for digital products, they cost you LESS
2/ I'm not interested in paying a slice for the marketing fund, I look for and research my games purchases so why should I pay for your marketing ? (better discounts for pre-orders please)
3/ Speaking of marketing, stop over egging **** games to try and get people to buy them - it's immoral, if it turns out ****, bin it and do something else or release it cheap. (and YES, you do know it's ****)
4/ Cut out all this release DLC - if it's available on release it should be IN THE GAME!!

Let's try this approach - instead of the relentless race for as much money as possible for as little product as possible - let's try releasing great games that work, with good support - we're gamers, we'll buy them..... if you doubt me, you might have noticed that the videogames industry is now worth more than movies....

Once again, as I've mentioned in countless other threads, what we have to realize is that the Gaming industry is just that. An industry. And because it is, it will seek out and obtain the maximum profit while sustaining the least loss. Hence why there are such money mongering tactics. Although I do agree there should be less advertising. That would give them less of an excuse to say a game cost too much.
javaman 2nd August 2012, 14:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elton
Once again, as I've mentioned in countless other threads, what we have to realize is that the Gaming industry is just that. An industry. And because it is, it will seek out and obtain the maximum profit while sustaining the least loss. Hence why there are such money mongering tactics. Although I do agree there should be less advertising. That would give them less of an excuse to say a game cost too much.

Then the industry has to realise that it can't **** on people otherwise they will turn to piracy out of spite. People vote with their money and just because it the store puts a high price tag on the game and says £X-million was pumped into development, doesn't automatically mean its worth that price. Fifa, COD all could be kept going with DLC or updates, even charging half the price rather than repackaging and charging £40 for the latest "update". Worse part is Fifa pretty much disappears with each update maintaining its high price tag. Why buy COD well after release especially if only for multiplayer since everyone will be so good at it. Its a game I would only get on release (basically forced to) if I wasn't boycotting Activision (That's how much I value their games). The market has moved to far towards milking franchises, rather than producing any form of measurable quality. Valve and I would say Bethsaida are arguably the only big companies that try to give people what they want which is reflected in the quality of their games.
Elton 2nd August 2012, 19:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by javaman
Then the industry has to realise that it can't **** on people otherwise they will turn to piracy out of spite. People vote with their money and just because it the store puts a high price tag on the game and says £X-million was pumped into development, doesn't automatically mean its worth that price. Fifa, COD all could be kept going with DLC or updates, even charging half the price rather than repackaging and charging £40 for the latest "update". Worse part is Fifa pretty much disappears with each update maintaining its high price tag. Why buy COD well after release especially if only for multiplayer since everyone will be so good at it. Its a game I would only get on release (basically forced to) if I wasn't boycotting Activision (That's how much I value their games). The market has moved to far towards milking franchises, rather than producing any form of measurable quality. Valve and I would say Bethsaida are arguably the only big companies that try to give people what they want which is reflected in the quality of their games.

But that's a subjective stance (as is the stance they have on the valuation of their own games). The thing is what we have to realize as gamers is that the industry has to survive on these prices, they're not pricing it based on content, they're pricing it in relation to developmental costs. I'm not trying to justify the costs of video games but there's a large difference in perceived value for the gamers and for the stockholders. But in the end it's the stockholders who decide how much things cost and how long things stay in development.
samratpatil 3rd August 2012, 04:17 Quote
What you're forgetting is that, because of this pricing startegy, a lot of people are at least buying the games, and many of us who wouldn't have bought them otherwise in the first place.
I'm absolutely 'for' steam. EA just couldn't cook it up for themselves.
Akin RIAA, they're fighting for a market that doesn't exist at the price at which they want to sell.
d_stilgar 3rd August 2012, 04:47 Quote
I have never, and never expect to, pay $60 for a video game. $50 has been my personal limit for over a decade for a release date game. Now, more than ever though, I wait for games to go on some major sale. I'll often wait over a year for certain games. Here's why:

1. Developers sell games for $60, which is insane. I'm the sort of person who doesn't have 20, or even 10 hours a week to play games. If a game takes 60+ hours to beat (including sidequests, etc.), I become fairly disinterested and won't ever buy it anyway. I just don't have the time to invest.

2. DLC. DLC is out of control. Not only am I paying $60 for a game on launch day, which is too much, I'm not even getting the entire game. There are plenty of examples (Mass Effect 3) of games that already have that extra content completed (and often on the disk already), but aren't accessible unless you dish out more money. I'd rather just wait for some "Game of the Year Edition" to be on sale for under $50 that includes everything.

3. Free to Play. This may be a bit off subject, but there are plenty of free-to-play games out there that are pretty darn fun to play. FTP games are varied in their play styles from game to game enough that a person can easily find something that they like.

I will make a few complaints, however, FTP games vastly over-value themselves and make it hard for true fans to become invested in them. Take Super Monday Night Combat for instance. I like the game quite a bit and would like to have purchased it if it weren't FTP. The problem comes from the fact that in order to get (pretty much) everything in game I would have to spend $150 on a bundle of items and "pros." No game has ever been or will ever be worth $150.

This is worse with TF2. I would have to spend $700+ if I wanted to buy all the items in game. That doesn't even include a $100 ring I could buy. I remember at one point I felt like I actually owned TF2. It came with the Orange box and I didn't have to work, trade, or spend money to get the rest of the game.

Now, I love TF2 and SMNC and play them both when I have the time, but it would be nice if I could spend some money (I would spend more than $50 even) and know that whenever a new item came out I would get it automatically. Valve even wrote a lot about how new updates always brought new spikes in sales. I know that (obviously) FTP has turned out to be very profitable for them, but it leaves many fans feeling disenfranchised.

Still, how much more de-valued can games get than free?

4. I would look at most of these sales as normal game depreciation. People will buy games at (or near) full price for maybe a month. The market is saturated enough that new titles are being released constantly. In order to entice people to your aging three month old game you might need to lower the price a bit. Most anyone who would have paid full price already has. Time to go after your poorer or wiser market.

5. EA is the company that started this whole mess, but they have a history of being one of the worst companies to work at, they have the worst DRM, and their games stay at higher prices on Steam longer than any other company's games. I wanted to buy the Spore complete pack, but wanted a decent price on it. It sits on Steam right now at $60. What the heck? The game is 4 years old already. I saw it finally go on sale a couple months ago for $30. I passed. Too much time had passed. Two years after release I would have been all over that deal. Now, I'm over it. The community is probably dead, and there are newer games that look more interesting.

This whole de-valuing of games through sales is just EA complaining that they don't put their games in the sales and don't get the big jump in revenue. They want all the other companies to go along with them and never lower their prices.
gosh 3rd August 2012, 05:04 Quote
£20-25 is good for a game pre-order on something i really want at retail - spent £20 on witcher 2 (barely past prologue), £25 on BF3 (barely touched campaign, not put a tenth on my hours of BF:BC2 into bf3 MP), £25 for masseffect3 (great game and keeps getting better, ending excepted for both those points, many hours spent MP). next pre-order is borderlands 2 and i'm after the £20 mark.

last steam sale picked up lots of older stuff to add to my 300+ steam games but about all i can remember is max payne 3 (not played), walking dead (incredible but not very replayable) and (and i had to look this up) saints row 3 and dead island.

make of that what you will but i have a massive backlog of games, rarely touch my console (and mainly buy cheap/secondhand for that as almost everything hits <£20 in a month) and would never buy a fullprice game unless it's a console AAA release from a supermarket i can trade in a week later for no loss or even net gain (cough MW3 cough).

what am i playing at the moment ? world of tanks, a free to play i've managed to spend less than £50 on (so far) and masseffect 3 multiplayer.

personally i have literally hundreds of games from steam sales i'd have not bought otherwise and though some are gems most remain unplayed - does this indicate good or bad things for t'industry ?

<edit> - no idea where i'm going with this, draw your own conclusions but TBH i'm saturated with cheap games i'd never buy at full price (walking dead excepted) 3/4's i've not even played. too used to massive pricedrops within a month of a new release for consoles and steam sales (yes there are other companies with deals but steam is king) letting me grab 4 games i'd never otherwise own for the retail price of 1.
REMF 3rd August 2012, 09:28 Quote
"As I said at the start, I know many people who've got into a pattern of only buying games during the Steam Summer and Christmas sales."

There are AAA titles that [[[ I ]]] really want to play, and i buy them on Day 1 regardless of the price.

Then there is stuff that I'm curious about.................... which I will buy if its sat there staring at me with a bargain price.

If it wasn't, i probably wouldn't buy it, because after all i only get to play a fraction of the games i now own.

Steam sales are good. Full stop.
Lazarus Dark 5th August 2012, 20:11 Quote
i have a fixed budget. Not all "serious" gamers have unlimited resources for triple sli and every new game that comes out. I have to pick and choose. So, if say I have a yearly budget of $200 for games, Steam gets the same $200 out of me whether I buy 4 games at $50 or 10 games at $20. The publishers also get the same from me, though it may be more evenly split between them if I can buy more games for the same budget.
As far as "devaluation over time", thats how things have worked for quite a while. A car loses value, a tv loses value. Movies in dvd or bluray format lose value, new releases may cost $20+ but eventually they all end up in the discount bin. Thats just how it works, get over it publishers.
Anfield 6th August 2012, 12:07 Quote
Years ago before steam existed I used to buy like one or two games a year tops, the rest I simply obtained in not exactly legal ways, these days though I don't have a single pirated game on any of my pc's, in return I have a three digit number of games on steam, yes, many of them purchased in steam sales, would I have purchased them at full price? most of them no.
VaLkyR-Assassin 6th August 2012, 21:43 Quote
A guy at work just bought a load of games on the Steam sale, but says he very rarely gets round to playing them all. Another mate of mine has also bought a load of games before on Steam cheaply, but nver played the majority. I don't see this as money lost to the industry, I see this as money gained, as alot of times people end up buying stuff they never really needed. I myself don't bother with Steam sales as I prefer a proper disk/box to collect and display. I also only bother buying games I really really want now, rather than experimenting just because a game is ultra cheap, as I often find I only ever finish a game if I've had my mind set on the game in the first place. I never pay full price though, always wait for a game to go down a little bit.
pinback 11th August 2012, 14:02 Quote
>"while that does mean a lot of games are sold, it does also mean less money in the industry as a total."
In my case, being one of the people who would not have bought the game at full price, the discounted price drives sales up considerably - which would INCREASE revenue IMHO - but then again I don't have an MPAA/RIAA business menality. Myself, along with both my kids, have steam accounts and buying for all of us at full price would mean having to sell one one of our automobiles. The steam sales let me keep living my lifestyle AND letting me put $$ into the industry sooner (explained further below)...

>"These are serious gamers, after all, who would've bought games throughout the year at full price in another situation"
In my case, full price means waiting 4+ years after release - for example I recently bought MW2 on amazon for under $20. Apologies to the high-dollar publishers - I do buy a lot of indie games at the $20 or less at the release date, and only rarely would I buy one at $60 (maybe a yearly exception, for my son's birthday for example)...

Same goes for movies (someone mentioned previously), for an entire family it approaches $60+ so that is maybe once every couple of months for us - if it was $20 for us to go, it would be more like once a week. That alone would double sales in $ terms if you leave out the "$ per movie" logic the industry is spouting..
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