Thursday, 19 July 2012

Fteam Fummer Fail

I was going to write a post about how rubbish the Steam Summer Sale was this year, then I realised I'd already spent a bunch of money on it. Ho hum. I'll write it anyway.

The Steam Summer Sale was late, really late. No one in England noticed because we're not having a summer this year, but the rest of the world was up in arms. There was a whole lot of speculation and detective work going on to try and work out when it was going to happen. People were excited; they wanted to throw their money at Valve. And then it happened. And it was rubbish. Perhaps we've been spoilt recently, but the last few Steam sales have been excellent. They involved achievements being hidden in games, which when earned gave you bigger discounts/freebies. I'm not so stupid that I don't recognise that as blatantly trying to get more money out of me, but at least it made it enjoyable. Turn the sale itself into a game - it's a brilliant idea, and it was very successful. It also made me try out those random games I'd bought in past sales and never played, and it was one of the reasons why I started this blog. It made me want to play PC games again.

This year, there's nothing. I guess it must be a lot of hard work to organise something like that, but still...rubbish. To make it worse, the sale itself doesn't even seem that great. It seems that sellers have really bought into that whole "Set a massively high initial price, then heavily discount it" thing that other shops have been doing for years. I work in an industry where we sell things online, so I know all about the need for companies to stick falsely high RRPs on products because you know how much Amazon is going to discount that by. It's a rubbish process where no-one really wins. Hopefully soon buyers will realise that big discount does not mean good value and we can return to some semblance of normalcy. I know it's been going on for quite a while now, but it really feels like it's come to a head on Steam at the moment. Publishers know that there'll be a 75% Steam discount, so they whack another 50% on the RRP. Case in point, Super Meat Boy. It currently has a 75% Steam discount, so it costs...2.99. That means the RRP is 11.99. 11.99 for Super Meat Boy!??!?! Surely absolutely no-one in their right minds would pay that? I picked it up in one of the many, many indie bundles that it's featured in. I think I paid about 2 pounds for 5 games. That's the kind of price it's been for at least a year. Even the discounted price of 2.99 seems really high for it.

Anyway, I'm going off on a rant, so I'll stop. My main point was really that the sale prices this year seem much higher than they have been in recent years, and from my point of view as a purchaser, that's rubbish. As I say, though, it still hasn't stopped me buying. I set myself a limit of no more than 2 pounds per game, but I still managed to find a few games at that price hidden away from the main sale, which I snapped up.

As far as game progress goes, I've made some headway in Uplink. I've done three of the main storyline missions, but I'm stuck on the fourth. I'm in a LAN for the first time, and no matter what I do, I keep getting caught by the sysadmin. I think it's because I had to come in through a modem line, and that modem is only one link away from the mainframe so the sysadmin only has to move one hop and he's got me. I can't find a way around it at the moment, but I'll have another go at lunch today. The game's feeling a bit stale for me at the moment, so if I can't make progress soon I may just call it a day and move on (especially now I've added another bundle of games to the list!).

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