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Steam Sale Aftermath: Have We Hit Peak Steam?

Mike, Kat, Jaz, and Bob share what they picked up during the Steam Summer Sale, and whether they've hit "Peak Steam."

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With the Steam Summer Sale now officially finished, we decided to see what everyone picked up. Interestingly, more than one editor admits to being at "Peak Steam." What do they mean? Read on to find out.

Mike Williams

I picked up Shadowrun and its expansion Dragonfall for just under $10. I've heard great things about Shadowrun as an RPG, so I know it's something I'll play in the future. This is one of those typical Steam Sales purchases for me: I'm probably not going to play Shadowrun anytime soon, but for the price I figure I might as well pick it up now. Of course, what ends up happening usually is the price is even lower on the next Steam Sale and I still haven't played the game, so I've basically wasted money by not just waiting. I justify it to myself by saying that the game probably won't be on sale when I want to play it and at least now it’s there in my Steam library waiting for me. Of course, I'm sitting on 260 games with only 31 installed and I've not even played all the games I've installed.

Otherwise I bought Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition. I already owned Borderlands 2, but due to the weirdness of bundles and discounts, it was actually cheaper to buy the GOTY edition than buying all the DLC separately. Does that make any sense? No. Am I going with it regardless? Yes. I liked Borderlands 2 and the team at Gearbox really went all-out with the DLC, so it’s something that I wanted to pick up before it jumped out of reach.

I admit, I am reaching "peak Steam," but that’s not entirely Steam’s fault. There’s four Steam Sales a year, in addition to further sales at Amazon, Green Man Gaming, GOG, and Humble Bundle. At this point there is absolutely no reason to spend full price on any game, because it will always be discounted somewhere. You just have to be willing to look around. I think that’s leading to some fatigue on the part of PC gamers, because we have a ton of games in our libraries that we’ll never get to.

Bob Mackey

Just like Mike, I think I’m also reaching "Peak Steam." To paraphrase what a Twitter friend of mine said, the secret to Steam sales is already owning all of the games, and at this point it feels like I'm pretty close. Okay, that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but after years of sales and review codes thrown my way, I already have enough entertainment for several lifetimes. So I tend to think long and hard about whether or not I'm actually going to play the thing I buy before clicking "add to cart." The skinflint in me has a real problem resisting those AAA darlings when they sink down to $4.99, but so far I've been able to avoid the siren song of Tomb Raider. (Though Bioshock Infinite has been on sale so frequently I imagine we'll all just wake up one day and inexplicably see it occupying space in our Steam accounts.)

That said, I've been able to exhibit some self-control, and I've made a mental note to grab The Walking Dead Season 2 and The Wolf Among Us when both series are complete and cheaper during the Steam holiday sale. I did grab Kentucky Route Zero after playing through the first chapter and loving it at my old writing gig—and I may just wait until it’s all available before jumping back in again. I also grabbed the wonderfully bizarre adventure game Jazzpunk, which managed to suck me in after just 15 minutes (and since I’d like to write more about it soon, I'll leave it at that). Euro Truck Simulator 2 also had a few bucks thrown its way, if only to give me the chance to explore the captivating mundanity of its premise. Last on the list is Defcon, which I bought primarily to play online with an old friend who lives out-of-state.

So yeah, nothing too exciting. I was on the brink of buying the Fallout: New Vegas pack with all of the DLC, but the prospect of starting a new game of that feels very daunting at this point. I do have to keep reminding myself that I’m paying for Final Fantasy XIV every month, regardless of whether or not I play it. I guess the bottom line is that we game journos simply have too much to play, and you should pity us for these horrible circumstances. Scrolling through a nearly endless list of Steam games does an impressive job of reminding you of your own mortality.

Jaz Rignall

I bought... nothing. My problem is that I’ve been tempted way too many times before with cheap-as-dirt Steam games, and I have stacks—most of them unplayed. I buy them with the best of intentions, but then end up focusing on one or two —or something else comes along that sucks up my gaming time, and the others fall by the wayside.

So this time around I looked down the list and promised myself I'd only buy something that I would play right away, and nothing took my fancy. That surprised me, but then if truth be told, I've got plenty of other stuff I'm playing at the moment—the closed beta of an upcoming MMO, and another beta of an upcoming TCG that’s absolutely awesome. I’ll be writing about that in a week or two!

Kat Bailey

I'll admit, my PC isn't really equipped to handle games with heavy requirements (that's what I get for buying a "gaming" laptop), but I ended up getting Witcher 2 anyway. I figure that even if my current PC can't handle it, it's still a good investment for when I eventually do decide to upgrade. And anyway, I need to brush up on my Witcher lore ahead of Witcher 3.

I find it interesting that everyone is kind of hitting "Peak Steam" as it were. It's a sentiment that I've certainly heard elsewhere. I don't think there's such a thing as a saturation point for Steam, but it is interesting to hear people feeling overwhelmed by all of the different summer sales. Maybe Valve needs to scale it back a bit?

In any case, the Steam Summer Sale is now over and we can look forward to digging into our backlog. Feel free to share your own thoughts on the Summer Sale below, as well as what you ended up picking up.

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