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Steam Sales Are Hurting Your Wallet – And Developers’ Profits

With Steam Sales and bargain deals leading gamers to hoard more and more titles that they will barely – if ever – play, Natasha Bissett argues that our innate appetite for a good deal is actually wasting us money, and negatively impacting on indie developers.

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wallis1202d ago (Edited 1202d ago )

Eurgh I hate these arguments.

A) I wouldn't buy most steam titles if they weren't on sale, so either I never play a game or I play it after buying it on a discount. Raising prices won't magically make my income larger so this whole 'damaging devs' argument kind of falls flat. They get £0 or £3-4, they can pick.

B) the reason most steam titles are unplayed is simply because of bundles. Not because people hog shit at a ridiculous rate. I have loads of titles that I haven't played like Duke3D and Doom that I bought as part of bundles, and have played the living shit out of when they came out. It's just nice to know they're represented in my digital library should I ever feel the need to return. The real games I wanted were things like Doom 3.

C) I spend more money parking my car than I do buying most Steam games so I'm sure my income will survive the odd bit of impulse buying when the most expensive item will rarely go above £7.

Will everyone please stop politicizing sales. This is a good thing - it exposes developers to new audiences and audiences to new developers.

aliengmr1202d ago

Steam sales weren't the reason Square Enix's game didn't see a profit over a long period of time. They vastly over estimated the figures for those games. How you link Steam sales with that, I don't know. Besides those were multi-plats that really didn't depend Steam for sales numbers in the first place.

That Ars Technica study left out a lot of the context and some numbers they themselves admit that they couldn't apply to the study. Interesting? Sure. Solid evidence one can draw absolute conclusions from? Not so much.

If gamers only wait for games to go on sale, then why is Watch Dogs sitting at number 6 on the "top sellers" list? That is almost always the case with preorders on Steam. Gamers still buy day one and even preorder all the time.

IMO an argument could be made in favor of waiting to purchase games.

When it comes to Steam sale and/or the "back log" there are more factors to actually consider that aren't represented IMO.

Jdoki1202d ago

This article is pretty poor. Basing the whole 'developers suffer' stance on one persons experience is not conclusive.

Many developers on iOS have showed evidence that reducing the price of their title causes massive sales.

The problem with the opinion of Jason Rohrer is that he complains he only sells things during Steam Sales... Well there's a couple of reasons for this, and they have nothing to do with Steam Sales robbing him of full price sales... 1) The game isn't good enough for people to want to buy at the original price. 2) The Sale price actually reflects the price people are willing to pay for what has been produced, 3) The marketing of the game was poor, which resulted in low initial sales as no one knew about the game. 4) A good game will sell on Day 1, few people think 'Wow, there's a game I must play, but I'll wait just in case it does get included in a Steam sale'.

To use the same sort of baseless anecdotal evidence as the author... Me, and most of the gamers I know, buy a lot of games we would NEVER buy at full price when they appear in Steam Sales. So Jason Rohrer has not lost a full price sale, he's gained a customer who may never have bought his title otherwise.

Most games do the majority of sales in the first few days / month of release. It's a fast blast of purchases, and then a quick trail off. Look at Call of Duty. It spikes in the first month, then sinks fairly quickly.

I have no idea how the author managed to tie the long time it took Tomb Raider to become profitable to Steam Sales!