Mega-Bargain Bucket: Steam Goes Sales Mad

By Alec Meer on December 23rd, 2009 at 4:10 pm.

Digital distribution’s a funny bugger – it’s growing ever harder to predict and apply patterns to it. One day, a new videogame from Steam et al is more expensive than its boxed-copy counter-part, then a few weeks later it can be selling for next-to-nothing. The Steam Christmas sale is almost unreal in both the amount and extent of its discounts, and it’s going to be having Valve’s competitors howling with despair. Honestly: some of these deals are yer-actual-genuine-proper-mental. Today only: Mirror’s Edge is £3.24, GTA IV is £5. In general over the seasonal shakedown: Braid is £1.74, Medieval II: Total War is £2.50, Ghostbusters is £5, Batman’s £20… And dozens and dozens more. Of course, there are sales on at the other major download services too..


Gamersgate – Highlights include Football Manager 2009 £10 and Bioshock £12
Impulse – Eve for £6, Shadowgrounds for £2.45
http://www.impulsedriven.com/explore/onsale“>Direct2Drive – Torchlight $10, Champions $15
GoG – Fallout $4, Sacrifice $4

Some good stuff, but none of it holds a candle to Steam’s insanity. Honestly, we try not to seem to prefer Steam on RPS, but it’s impossible to not punch the air in delight in the face of this. If you need another way of combing through the huge box of delights (Steam’s rather perversely categorising it by genre), SavyGamer’s gone and turned the whole lot into a giant list with direct links and prices

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314 Comments »

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  1. Bhazor says:

    What a time for my Steam account to be disabled.

  2. The LxR says:

    Also, we finally got The Void on Steam, and it costs only 9.99 during the christmas sale. :o)
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/37000 – Nya.

    • Walruss says:

      @ The LxR:

      Bough it a week ago:\

    • invisiblejesus says:

      @Walruss: Same here. Oh well, GTA4, Mirror’s Edge and Foreign Legion: Buckets of Blood for super cheap. I can’t complain.

    • Arsewisely says:

      @ The LxR – Bought just now. “I wonder if The Void’s been discounted…” thought I. And lo it were!

    • Damien Stark says:

      !!!
      The cup runneth over.
      I’m sure this question has been asked many times, but… is the version being sold to the US via Steam different in any particular way? Censored? Re-voiced or subtitled? Or is it just the same exact software being sold in the UK and Europe?

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      @Walruss: I would’ve waited for the discount to end, if I hadn’t already bought the game. I think supporting Ice-Pick Lodge is worth 20 (insert currency here).

    • Kadayi says:

      Snapped that up, the latest PoP (to check out the graphics) & Indigo Prophesy which I’m hoping will run on my W7 machine.

    • The LxR says:

      @ pkt-zer0: Why waste money? They could just buy two versions now, and give one away as a gift. :o)

    • PleasingFungus says:

      Noticed when the Void went on Steam, was sternly tempted to buy it. Managed to resist. Glad now that I did! (Bought it for the sale-price about five minutes ago.)

    • Mac says:

      Is the Void any good – seems to get mixed reviews?

    • Premium User Badge

      luminosity says:

      It’s amazing. Hard, hard to play, and amazing. My personal GOTY.

  3. Tyheam says:

    Yay, I got The Void and Time Gentlemen, Please! for cheap.

  4. Vinraith says:

    Gamersgate has both latter-day King’s Bounty games (The Legend and Armored Princess) at 50% off today, for those interested.

    I’m not much of a Steam fan (I find the client obnoxious, and lament the brokenness of offline mode) but have to admit that they have the best sales. Frankly, their sales are the only reason I own any non-Valve games on the system. Unreliable access to a game necessitates a $5-$10 price point, max.

    • Senethro says:

      You’d have to be beyond the reach of an internet connection for Steam to be an unreliable system. Frankly, what kind of rude savage does that include these days?

    • Vinraith says:

      @Senethro

      People in the midst of a power outage or an internet outage and people gaming on laptops outside of a wifi hotspot, off the top of my head. And then there are those times when Steam jams up due to excess traffic and won’t let you download (or in one memorable instance even start) any of your Steam games. Oh, and of course there’s the “if my wife is playing PvZ on my laptop on Steam I can’t play anything from Steam on my desktop,” and the ever present “we can ban you from your own games whenever we feel like it” threat. Steam has a fairly hefty pile of drawbacks, “cheap” and “convenient” are all it really has going for it. It’s basically the Wal-Mart of digital game distribution.

    • Bhazor says:

      Well I’ve been locked out of Steam for a week now for being accused of fraud because I complained about paying for a game without Steam actually giving me it. My confidence in Steam has taken a big hit from all this.

      https://support.steampowered.com/view.php?ticketref=3870-DZIM-3869

    • frymaster says:

      your link only works if we know your support username/password
      care to summarise it for us?

    • Senethro says:

      Vinraith: I’m pretty sure most electronic video games don’t work in a power outage. I’ve literally never had a Steam outage problem despite owning over 50 games on it, so I’ve always been a little puzzled by those who claim it happens regularly. Multiple instances is the same thing as a CD-check and so is standard business practice, not a unique feature of Steam.

      I’ll happily accept the wireless hotspot problem for the low prices and convenience otherwise.

      Bhazor: Apparently I don’t have permission to view that. I’d hope that you’ve done nothing more than trip some kind of automatic switch that freezes your account and flags it for review and that one of the Tech support minions will get to you quickly. Tell us if its something more malicious/lazy though.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Senethro

      “I’m pretty sure most electronic video games don’t work in a power outage.”

      Good lord, that would suck if it were true. Fortunately, they have these things called batteries, and they do a marvelous job of letting you continue to use your laptop even when the power is out (damned midwestern ice storms).

      “I’ve literally never had a Steam outage problem”

      You’re a very lucky person, and have presumably been otherwise occupied on several of these “free weekend” jags of theirs. The first UT3 free weekend is legendary, in this respect.

      “Multiple instances is the same thing as a CD-check”

      True, but it’s not a problem with any other digital distribution service.

      By all means, do whatever you like, but Steam’s certainly got its drawbacks. That’s to say nothing of horror stories like Bhazor’s, which are far more common than I’m comfortable with.

    • Bhazor says:

      Well essentially Paypal crashed just after the payment was sent so I didn’t get the “Open My Games Tab to install” screen and the game (Medieval 2 for £2.49) didn’t appear on my list. Lodged complaint with paypal about not recieving the goods and so the transaction was flagged. Fair enough a silly mistake by companies that take hundreds of transactions a day but the bit that pissed me off came later.

      First, they didn’t disable my account for a fortnight after my transaction was flagged so if it was fraud then the bastard would have had great fun running up a bill. Secondly they didn’t tell me why my account was disabled and I had to email them to find out. Then they told me to close the dispute with paypal which I did but then they said it was still marked as a charge back and I should contact paypal which I did. Paypal then told me they can’t do anything about a closed dispute and told me to contact Steam. Who told me to contact Paypal. Who told me to contact Steam.

      To be fair Steams responses have been prompt, about 6 hours to 2 days in fact, just a shame all their advice was crap. I mean surely a digital download store should how Paypal handle payments.

      As I was typing this I got a response from Steam essentially saying that the back and forth is still going but they’ve essentially cut me out so they’re now emailing each other. So at least I’ve brought people together at Christmas.

    • jonfitt says:

      @ Vinraith For those who have a wife using their Steam account on other PCs, I recommend sticking their computer in Offline mode. It seems to work for me. I switch her to online mode to install games and validate them, then once they’ve been run once, stick her back in offline.
      It’s not even as if we’re trying to play the same games simultaneously, she’ll be playing Puzzle Quest, while I need an active connection to play TF2.

      Although at the moment she’s on Dragon Age, and I’m glad it’s on Impulse since it seems to have online hooks up the ying yang.

    • Vinraith says:

      @JonFitt

      Yup, when one of us is playing something that doesn’t require net access that’s definitely the way to go. I’ve not had problems with offline mode in cases where it’s been set in advance and hasn’t been left that way for too long, so for single sessions with no internet outages it works fine.

    • user@example.com says:

      £10 less on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/sub/2520/

    • Vinraith says:

      user@example.com: Only if you don’t already own one. Steam’s package deal is cheaper than buying them individually at Gamersgate, but Gamersgate’s price on Armored Princess alone is better that Steam’s price on Armored Princess alone.

    • Bhazor says:

      You can get the original King’s Bounty for £5.25 (£7.18 with postage) from Amazon.

    • Kadayi says:

      More nebulous moaning? No surprise

    • Lilliput King says:

      That’s truly awful, Bhazor. I feel for you, as someone caught up in the sticky, dangerous and glacial web of customer support far too many times.

    • Urthman says:

      Steam is the only DRM that has ever kept me from playing a game I’d paid for when I wanted to play it.

      Whether it’s “Sorry, you have to wait for a mandatory update to download” (even when I was certain I’d selected “Don’t update this game” in the properties menu), or “Sorry, Steam is too busy to log in right now,” I’ve had more problems with Steam than any other DRM. And yea, offline mode is great, but you have to log in successfully to switch to offline mode, so that only works if you’re not having any problems.

      Unless you’re in offline mode, Steam requires you to check in with Valve every single time you want to play a game. I remember when people went Banana Ape Berserk becuase Bioshock wanted to check in once.

    • Blather Blob says:

      @user: The sad thing is GamersGate’s “sale” price is the same as Steam’s everyday, pre-sale price. And on Steam it’s published by Paradox… who own GamersGate.

      @Bhazor: Steam are actually sounding much more responsive to you than they usually do in these sorts of stories about them. My impression has always been that they’re pretty steadfast with their “if you talk to your credit card company about us, you’re banned for life” rule.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      But Valve can do no wrong! They are the Jesus Christ of gaming, and will save us all. To criticise them is beyond un-American; it’s cauliflower and ketchup bananas!

      More nebulous moaning? No surprise.

      In case that wasn’t irony: I’m glad to see that having an opinion is still considered lame on the Internet.

    • Baris says:

      Blather Blob: My impression has always been that they’re pretty steadfast with their “if you talk to your credit card company about us, you’re banned for life” rule.

      Jesus christ, that’s the worst Valve-related thing I’ve ever heard! I mean, I know it’s sort of legal because technically you don’t own anything, but wouldn’t that create insane amounts of badwill? I know if they did that to me I’d devote the rest of my life to figuring out who the 52 most prominent people at Valve are, photoshopping their faces on to a deck of cards and hunting them down in a film noir atmosphere. Possibly saying insightful one liners about Half-Life 3 and stocking more strategy games at each death.

  5. Vinraith says:

    Can anyone with a measure of “industry insider” knowledge tell me how a sale like this impacts the developer’s cut for a game like “The Void?” I’d like to get that one, and obviously $10 is a tempting price point even considering the Steam client, but I don’t want to shaft the devs of such a daring and unusual game.

    • Premium User Badge

      cqdemal says:

      I think a 50% price cut is more than worth it if sales go up by, say, 1,000%. Which isn’t exactly impossible given Steam’s track record for crazy sales like this.

    • The LxR says:

      I’d say you go buy it and don’t worry! :o)

    • Vinraith says:

      @cqdemal

      Yes, I suspect the increase in sales offsets the loss, I’m just curious about how my own individual sale breaks down.

    • Vinraith says:

      @The LxR

      Well, you’re the authority. :)

    • frymaster says:

      afaik their %age cut stays the same
      also don’t forget the price is set by the developer i.e. they will have had to agree the price cut – steam can’t initiate these sales unilaterally

    • dadioflex says:

      If you’re THAT worried about the developer cut, just stuff an envelope full of cash and mail it to them. :p

    • Vinraith says:

      With regards to The Void, having given it some more thought, I think this is a case where I’d rather shell out the extra and get a physical copy.

      Edit: Decided to treat the Steam version as a $10 full-featured demo. If I really like the game I’ll still order a physical copy to have it long-term and have a printed manual and whatnot.

  6. PHeMoX says:

    I’m a sucker for free stuff, but this is pretty close for what you get.

    Mirror’s Edge for 3 bucks, GTA:IV for 5 or so, that’s many hours of gaming for nearly free in my book.

    Thanks for the heads-up RPS! This made my day. I guess at days like these Steam is pretty damn cool.

  7. Steve the Imperial Guardsmen says:

    I bought the Zombie Island DLC for Borderlands a couple days ago, just to find out it was on sale for $6.00 yesterday. Only $3.00 less dollars so it wasn’t that big of a deal, but it was the fact that I knew a huge sale was coming and still didn’t wait.

    Also, Empire TW is $25.00, is it worth it?

    • Stromko says:

      If you’re willing to put in a lot of time and work to enjoy it, then Empire: Total War is a quite solid entry in the Total War milieu. Especially if you really like black powder combat. However, it has no modding support (the files are encrypted apparently). This could really put a damper on it. It’s also not the most stable Total War ever, although most of the glitches have been cleared up. AI still won’t do naval invasions AFAIK, though.

  8. Premium User Badge

    cqdemal says:

    Two STALKER games for $6.98 is a totally, mind-blowingly, overwhelmingly, amazingly, fantastically great deal.

  9. Doug F says:

    Vinraith – considering the devs are the second comment in the thread, letting everyone know about the deal, I’d say they’re more than okay with it :)

    • Vinraith says:

      @Doug F

      Point taken, I hadn’t noticed that was LxR’s post. Still, I’d be interested in knowing, generally, who price cuts on Steam is really hitting harder in the wallet.

  10. BobB says:

    This is probably a really naive question (showing my complete lack of business knowledge), but how do Valve knock 50%-90% off most of their games? Have they had to go and negotiate this with each publisher/developer (if so why would the publisher/developer allow themselves to be undercut?) or do Valve take a huge cut normally and for this week they aren’t in order to draw people to Steam? Or is it more complicated that that?

    • Starky says:

      I’d guess (semi-educated guess, but still a guess), that it’s a combination.

      Steam take roughly around 30%, so I’d wager anything with a discount more than 25% will be arranged with the publishers/studios responsible, each sharing the discount – Steam might even drop it’s cut down to make it more attractive to the publisher/studio to go lower.
      While those that refuse to be part of the sale, will get a 10-20% discount that probably comes straight out of steams cut.

      Only an insane company not interested in making money would refuse though. Steam is going to do massive, massive volume this week – and those games with the best discount are going to be the ones topping the sales lists, and the ones that might get special mention – not just on steams front page, or sales list, but on gaming blogs and websites all over.

    • Starky says:

      ***deleted***

  11. syrion says:

    Bastards! I just bought the Void for $20 yesterday!

  12. Starky says:

    @Vin (Great having an edit feature when reply fails)

    Maybe not in this insane “everything must go” sale, but I’ll wager that getting a Steam weekend deal is a great thing for any Indie dev, even if that means a 50% drop in sale price is probably more than worth it in volume sales.

    I don’t think I’ve seen a weekend deal that failed to get in the top 5 on steam, with the vast majority getting number 1 for the whole weekend.

  13. Lars BR says:

    I find these deals beyond crazy, like http://store.steampowered.com/sub/2687/

    First, who the hell has time for all those games? I’d go insane picking the first to install.

    Also, a bazillion games for the price of one? Maybe the “price of one” is set a little high to begin with?

    • dadioflex says:

      I bought that. It equates to Batman AA for 20 quid plus a metric crapload of other games for an extra fifteen. I’m way beyond the point where I’ll ever do justice to every game on my Steam list.

  14. Adam Whitehead says:

    * sees GTA4 for £4.50 *

    * goes to online system checker *

    * cries *

  15. Markoff Chaney says:

    But you can’t take my full color manual from me! Worth every penny at 30$. 10$ seems as surreal as the game itself. Worth a purchase indeed.

  16. raaawwr says:

    Blame yourself for buying right before the anticipated holiday sales.

    Either way, you might be able to get the difference refunded if you contact Steam customer support.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Unlikely. If you choose to buy a game just before or after a sale (regardless of whether you know about it), you thought it worth the price and forked it over. It seems a bit cheap to go “Hey! I actually didn’t want to pay as much as I did for this game!”

      I mean, they’re sales for a reason. A temporary lowering of prices. If they go beyond the announced date they are asking for people to expect the same treatment in similar cases.

  17. Heliocentric says:

    List all games by price ascending. When a game cost less than 50p per 10 metacritic points buy it. When you go broke from sub £5 purchases and steam refuses to load under the strain of the game list mutter under your breath that gabe newell is evil.

  18. Octacon100 says:

    The LxR said:
    Also, we finally got The Void on Steam, and it costs only 9.99 during the christmas sale. :o)
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/37000 – Nya.

    Got it first day it came out. Great game. I’m seriously staying up way too late playing it. You totally got me thinking “What is going to happen next?” ALL THE TIME.

    mmm, quoting someone doesn’t seem to work too well.

  19. Starky says:

    Next time I go to a cash machine (ATM for you yanks), I just KNOW that instead of giving me money it’s going to print out a red banknote to the value of £0 with Gabe Newell’s head replacing the Queens, and a caption of…

    “Computer says no.”

    On the flip side where Darwin should be, is a pic of Gordon Freeman crowbar in hand, oh and of course the watermark, only visable when you hold it to the light will be G-man.

    Damn you steam, damn you and your remembering my credit card details!

  20. Duck says:

    I agree with Vinraith, Steam is certainly not my platform of choice for buying games.

    I have actually been banned from all my steam games before, with no explanation, reason, or ability to appeal, just “we ban you from all your games that you paid for goodbye”. Their policy basically says “we can ban you if we want, without reason or accusation, and if you really didn’t do anything wrong, it’s not our problem”. This is why I will only own Valve games on Steam. I’ve made the mistake of buying other games before, as now there is an inactive account floating on the internet with various non-Valve games on it, that can no longer be used. Good thing I “only” sank $80 into that, eh?

    Right now, the only non-Valve game on my new account is Dirt 2, as it came free (through steam, of course) with my beautiful new Radeon HD 5970.

    However, I’m happy for the Christmas sale, as it means I get to have Team Fortress 2 and Day of Defeat back for cheap!

    • Walsh says:

      No offense but that generally sounds like a load of crap. There is never no reason for something.

    • Starky says:

      I second Walsh
      Valve don’t randomly ban accounts, they’ll tell you why and there is an appeals process.

      I don’t think that Valve actually ban steam accounts at all, they disable them in suspected cases of fraud, or account theft. I could see them disabling an account if it was sold on ebay or something – that isn’t really banning anyone though (the rightful owner sold it, and the buyer was a sucker) but I’ve never once heard of them doing that.

      The worst that can happen is a person gets VAC banned for cheating, but that only effects playing Steam games on VAC enabled servers, single player is fine as is any other 3rd party game…

      If you got VAC banned that’s your own damn fault, either you hacked and earned it, let someone else use your account who hacked, or you were careless with your account information and it got stolen and those people hacked. All of the above are your own responsibility.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Starky: But they can deny access regardless of how they do so. Mistakes happen. Things go wrong. Ask Bhazor.

      Sure, Duck could be witholding information, but I have heard enough stories about certain MMOs and online services that his story doesn’t surprise me.

    • Bhazor says:

      Yep, they didn’t tell me why I was suspended and I had to trawl through customer support to find a contact address. Been a week so far.

      I’m still going to use Steam but only when theres a really hefty discount or it’s my only option. Otherwise I’ll be sticking with Gog for budget games and Amazon/Play for bigger games.

      But that’s pretty much what I was doing anyway (the embuggering transaction was for Medieval Total War 2 at £2.49) so I won’t actually be changing how I shop.

  21. jsutcliffe says:

    Oh my — should I pick Anno 1404, which the missus would enjoy playing with me, or Medieval II which is way cheaper?

    Both! Wheee!

    • Vinraith says:

      @jsutcliffe

      Keep in mind that while the limited install DRM has been removed from box copies of Anno 1404 it has NOT been removed from any of the digital editions.

    • Bhazor says:

      Personally I recommend the ludicrously indulgent collectors edition on Amazon which comes with an Art book, cloth map, brass compass, making of dvd and a bag of almonds all in a leather lined wooden chest. For £30 I’d say it’s a real bargain and as Vinraith says you’ll dodge the extra drm.

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anno-1404-Collectors-PC-DVD

    • jsutcliffe says:

      Would be tempting but for two things

      1) I’m in the US, and there doesn’t seem to be an equivalent for the US version
      2) I’m thinking of getting it as a thing to play over the Xmas break with the missus, so an instant digital purchase is preferable.

      The collector’s edition looks shiny though!

  22. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    None of the EA games. I see an EA store bargain coming…

    Some good stuff in there. All the Telltale games for £35? Yes please, that’s the price of the Monkey Island games alone! Then there’s the Eidos deal which has all their games for £35, that’s the price of Batman: Arkham Asylum alone. Also a good time to pick up the witcher for £7.5 and time gentleman please for close to nothing.

    • jonfitt says:

      Isn’t Mirror’s Edge EA?

    • Damien Stark says:

      That Eidos pack is unreal… Batman alone is nearly worth the price of admission, but they throw in Hitman:Blood Money (and two others), Deus Ex (1 and 2, if you care about IW) Tomb Raider Underworld and Legend, Mini Ninjas…

      Also, if you don’t own it, buy STALKER SOC for $2 right now. Right. Now. Even if you’re not sure you’ll like it, $2 ! 90% off! Give it a try, seriously.

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      Mirror’s edge is indeed EA. But it’s the only EA game. None from Bioware, no C&C games, no FIFA or those other sport games. Nada.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Carra

      Another possibility is that they’re holding some of the big EA and Activision titles for daily sales. I recall Dragon Age being in the “dailies” for the Thanksgiving sale, and wouldn’t be surprised to see it turn up in that context again (though I’m expecting a nice boxed copy for Christmas, myself :)).

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      My boxed copy of Dragon Age was well worth it :)

      Even if I’ve seenit in stores for half the price I paid a month ago (~£15)…

  23. syrion says:

    @raaawwr

    I just saw it yesterday, didn’t even think about it going on sale. I actually don’t mind having paid more for it; I’ll just balance it out by not buying two games at $5 like I probably would have otherwise.

  24. Heliocentric says:

    At the sub £1.50 point i’m genuinely considering getting digital copies of games i already own on disc. For the rainy day after i scratch my stalker, rome total war or whatever discs.

    • Starky says:

      Steam should totally start a service like that, prove you have a legitimate retail copy and you get a steam account version for cheap as chips.

      We know it is possible to backwardly do such because it was done with DoW: Soulstorm prior to the DoW2 release.

      I’d pay £2-3 to get games I already own on steam.

    • Damien Stark says:

      @Starky

      Agreed. Essentially they would just need to coordinate with the publishers to accept non-Steam CD keys, something I’ve long desired. As far as the publisher is concerned, you’ve already bought it from them (though that argument hasn’t worked for blu-ray/DVD/digital copies) but you’d need a buck or two to compensate Steam for their trouble/infrastructure.

      I’d happily toss in $50 to have all my previous game purchases re-downloadable in Steam…

    • leeder_krenon says:

      as awesome and ideal as that sounds, it’ll never happen. because most sane people would sell their physical copy of the game as soon as they reg’d it on steam, thus diddling the manufacturer out of a sale.

  25. 1stGear says:

    I heard the PC port of GTA IV was fairly awful and that the game wasn’t all it was hyped up to be anyway. Worth $5 if I already have Saints Row 2?

    The Void is definitely going in the games list though. Was teetering on the edge before now, but that sends me plunging straight into the gloomy, artistically nude depths.

    • Zyrxil says:

      Compared to Saints Row 2, GTAIV is a masterpiece of PC optimization. Certainly worth $5, even if the plot isn’t anything near as good as all the shiteatting reviewers hyped it up to be.

    • Jakkar says:

      The key problem is that GTAIV lost the sense of fun. In my opinion, it becomes stunningly boring quite quickly – so wrapped up in a dull, grim-but-unexciting crime story of needless misery without stylish extremes..

      I couldn’t bring myself to finish it, and it was becoming a chore to play either the empty sandbox or the annoying missions long before the end.

    • Wulf says:

      I snagged GTA IV for my PS3 back when it was originally released, before I completely lost interest in the consoles and mainstream again (as is my wont) and I became enamoured with the PC and the indie scene all over again (as is also my wont). One of these days I’ll realise that the mainstream is worth shit all in regards to my personal tastes, with perhaps the exception of the odd game on the portables (the Phoenix Wright and Professor Layton series of games will always have my undying love).

      The only interesting things seem to come out for the PC (and on the odd occasion, the portables, as I pointed out), and things that get ported to the PC are usually fairly average and I rarely encounter any jewels that go against that unending flow of shit-brown. GTA was not one of the exceptions, it was one of the games that upholds the rule.

      The most grating thing for me about it though was Bellic’s brother, and how immature the game thought I was, I felt so completely insulted by the whole process.

      “TITTEEZ!” *click!*
      “BRUZZA, TITTEEZ!” *click!*
      “BEEG… AMERICA–” *click!*
      “LEESSEN, LEESSEN BRUZZA, LEESSEN, JES LEESSEN, LEESSEN, TIT–” *click!*
      !BRUZZER, DUN HANG UP ON ME, I HAFF ENTELLIGENZ THINK TA SAY TO YOO, DOES YOO KNOW WAT EET EES BRUZZA? TEETEEEZ!!”, *click!*

      Fuck you, Roman.

    • Wulf says:

      In all fairness though, there are things on my PS3 that I adored. Both LittleBigPlanet and Flower made me smile from ear to ear, dragging me along to some blissful, tranquil place of pure joy that I rarely go to, a place that mostly only little gems like Knytt would have me visit.

      And LittleBigPlanet had Stephen Fry.

      /hugs his copy of LBP.

      I just wish there were more LBP and Flower, and less GTA IV for those plastic bricks, because for every one title of joy and happiness, there seems to be 1,000 mainstream titles that would have me scowling and doubting upon the very worth of the next human, the next human often owning one of those plastic bricks.

      That’s why I often take refuge in PC gaming. But still… Flower and LBP. For those, I can forgive the PS3 many sins.

      [/Tangent]

    • Baris says:

      Hah, well done on capturing Roman’s particular style of speech.

  26. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    I bought:

    GTA IV
    Cogs
    Loom

    Then stopped myself! That’s plenty to add to the unplayed pile.

    I’ll keep an eye out on the changing deals for anything particularly awesome though.

  27. Premium User Badge

    Stense says:

    Thats a lot of discountage. With more to come it seems.

    I weakened and got GTA 4 and Medieval II: Total War. Not sure when I’ll get round to giving them a whirl, but its nice to know I have something new (to me at least) to play when needed.

    • Senethro says:

      I’ve still got about 5 games from various weekends and the Thanksgiving sale that I haven’t even downloaded. I’m sure I’ll buy 5 more this Christmas, probably for under a total of £20, so at least it won’t hurt!

  28. c-Row says:

    I am tempted to buy GTA 4 at that price, but I’ll rather flock out some additional money and get it for my XBox instead. No performance problems, no unnecessary additional software to run.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Stijn says:

    Oh, magical christmas wonderland, where pounds are worth twice as much as euros.

    • Starky says:

      They ARE worth twice as much, what the exchange rate says doesn’t matter.

      We have the Queens head on our money, you don’t, there for ours is more valuable.

      Of course when Prince Charles becomes king the British pound will be worthless, and that is when we’ll jump ship and join the Euro… anything to avoid his massive ears on our currency.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stijn says:

      Hey, us Dutchies also have the Queen’s head on our money!

    • Rinox says:

      And we got our king on it (Belgium)!

      Although mentioning his name in any sort of decent conversation is a joke on itself.

  30. Premium User Badge

    Nero says:

    Bought The Void finally and going to enjoy when I get back after christmas. Tempted to get GTA IV for some other time since my current computer surely can’t play it in any form. I hope there’s a 50% off for L4D2 some day because at that price it’s worth it to me.
    Also might finally pick up STALKER: Clear Sky because for all the shortcomings it can’t be beat at this price. I love Steam for these kind of sales because there aren’t many new games that I would consider buying at full price today.

  31. Heliosicle says:

    Hmm, connection rejected?

    back to my original post:

    Yay witcher, should probably get void and soc and dow2 as well..

  32. Gpig says:

    @Vinraith I wouldn’t have paid $20 for The Void simply because I’ve been in a bad habit of buying games and not playing them(which is why I haven’t bought Left 4 Dead 2 or really anything full price on the pc this fall). I’m interested in it but don’t know when I will have the time for getting into it, but at $10 I ended up buying it. I would have never bought Mirror’s Edge because of the negative press it got, despite anticipating it before release, but at $5 I figure I’d try it because it looks interesting. Once a game that I’m interested in but not sure I’ll find the time to play as much as I feel I should hits a certain price I tend to impulse buy it. (Aquaria is $10 but I’m not in the Metroidvania mood at the moment, if it were $5 I’d snag it anyway)

    The only game that I bought on here that I was about to buy full price was Machinarium, but developers have said in interviews that games still continue to sell after their steam sales end so I wouldn’t really worry about it.

    • Vinraith says:

      @GPig

      Again, I’m not disputing that sales volume can offset discount losses, I’m wondering how these sale prices impact the distribution of funds from an INDIVIDUAL sale.

  33. DarkT says:

    I bought GTA IV, Braid & MoW Red Tide. I told myself that was it, I can’t afford any more.

    Then I saw The Void.

    I’m weak willed… and poor now.

  34. mandrill says:

    I would be making purchases from this veritable cornucopia of cheap gaming, if I could get my paypal account to work. having recently moved country I have had to make a whole new paypal account, and steam won’t accept it without it having a credit/debit card linked to it. I don’t have either which are registered at my current address (because all the one’s I have are linked to my old paypal account).

    It is not paypal that requires my card details, as I have made purchases form other companies through paypal without having to provide them. It must be steam, possibly for an age verification thing, I don’t know. but it now means that I can no longer purchase things from Steam. and will have to find somwhere else to buy my games.

    Sorry for rant but I’ve been jumping through digital hoops trying to get this thing to work all day, purely to take advantage of the stunning deals that are available and am a tad pissed off.

  35. Steve the Imperial Guardsmen says:

    Bought GTA4, installed it, tried to load it up only to get a FATAL ERROR saying I needed Vista SP1…what the fuck?

    PS: I’m using 64-bit Windows 7 and it says GTA4 is compatible with that

    • Drew says:

      Anyone else having this problem? $7.50 is a great price–but only if the game, you know, works.

  36. Drew says:

    According to Jonathan Blow, the developer’s cut remains the same, percentage-wise.

    http://braid-game.com/news/?p=614#comment-7067

    • Drew says:

      Opps. The above was @Vinraith.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Drew

      Thanks, that’s worth knowing.

    • Damien Stark says:

      That still leaves me confused though. Maybe I’m just dense, but “same percentage” sounds like:
      game full-price == good
      game on sale == less
      game as part of giant package deal == very little

      Again, not disputing that the volume makes up for it, nor claiming anyone should feel guilty about buying awesome package deals, but as far as Vinraith’s question, the answer seems to be: yes, you would help the dev much more by waiting ’til the game goes back to full price.

      No?

    • Drew says:

      @Damien Stark

      In terms of pure, immediate profit, yes.

      But in the long run, you might help the developer even more by buying the game cheap and then, if you like it, gifting it to several friends–who in turn might gift it to several friends, and so on. Of course, this is really just the volume argument from another angle. But especially in the case of relatively obscure games, there’s a lot to be said for volume.

    • Damien Stark says:

      @Drew

      Cool, thanks for clarifying. And I definitely intend to take advantage of some of the crazy sales, I’m just curious about the detail. There are some rare edge cases where I’m genuinely just as happy to pay $10 for a gem of a game as to pay $5, and knowing that it helps the dev a little more is a nice encouragement.

      Yes, I suppose in theory I could try to just send them cash, but honestly that might be more trouble for their accounting department than it’s worth. Games need to come with a button on the main menu for “buy devs a round”.
      ; )

    • Chris Park says:

      I can also confirm that the cut is the same with these sorts of deals, with Steam and elsewhere. Digital distributors take a percentage of net profits, so discounts are taken off before that. So, in the case of Steam, that would meant that then the developer/publisher would make less on discounted sales, but so does Steam. However, the loss on any individual sale is generally greatly offset by the huge influx of sales in general that these sort of discounts bring.

      With any digital distributor, having a sale on a given game is going to increase its sales volume 10x or more in my experience with AI War. Sometimes as much as 50x, depending on the day. For AI War, one of these sales can make us several month’s worth of income from a distributor in a single week. That’s why you see this sort of thing so commonly, and why it is becoming even more commonplace. I think that these sorts of sales tend to incite people to buy who might otherwise not, so it’s not even really seeming to cut into longer-term sales at all. On the contrary, on the wake of any given sale, I tend to see a ripple effect of higher sales volume even for a week or so after the game returns to full price.

      I assume that’s people trying the demo while it’s on sale, then not buying it in time, then deciding they like it well enough to buy it at full price. Or something along those lines, anyway — those discounts are essentially marketing costs, is one way you could look at it, given the increase in visibility these sorts of sales bring.

      Anyway, in my opinion there’s no reason you should feel guilty at all for partaking of buying a game on discount, you’re still helping the developer/publisher. If you really want the max money to go to them, you can always wait and buy it at full price, I guess, but I’m always happy to see new customers no matter when they buy it; if I wasn’t cool with the discounted price, I wouldn’t sell it at that discount, you know?

  37. Samson says:

    Pro-tip:

    If considering buying Loom or The Dig or any of the Indy Jones Classic Adventures, it’s better to buy the Lucasarts Adventure Pack for the same price of any one of those games.

    Almost paid 2.49 for The Dig when I could’ve paid that amount for all 4 games.

  38. jsutcliffe says:

    Vinraith said:
    @jsutcliffe

    Keep in mind that while the limited install DRM has been removed from box copies of Anno 1404 it has NOT been removed from any of the digital editions.

    Don’t care.

    I used to get a bee in my bonnet about DRM, but I can’t get the energy up for it now. It’s highly unlikely I’ll run up against the install limit.

    • Vinraith says:

      @jsutcliffe

      Fair enough, I just figured I’d let you know. It’s Tages 3-install, no revocations. On Gamersgate you get unlimited activations because they don’t tolerate that shit, and it’s been removed from the boxed copies, but with Steam it’s 3 installations and you’re done. Also, Steam’s sale price is really nothing extra on Anno 1404, it’s roughly the same as Amazon retail, at least in the US.

    • Oak says:

      @ Vinraith

      You sure about that? I’m seeing it as $25 on Steam.

      @ jsutcliffe

      Medieval II is cheap, but Medieval II + Kingdoms is twenty bucks and you can probably find the gold edition for that much outside of a sale. Meanwhile, I’ve never seen Anno 1404 so cheap and it’s one of the best new games I’ve played this year.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Oak

      My bad, it wasn’t Amazon, it was Gogamer. Gogamer has Anno 1404 for $25, same as Steam, but with no limited installation Tages nonsense:

      http://www.gogamer.com/searchresults.htm?keywords=anno+1404&categoryId=&x=0&y=0

  39. bylch says:

    @steve:
    I happen to know for a fact it runs fine on W7 64-bit, so it’s something else. I’d post this on the forums.

  40. Joe Duck says:

    Well, I’m sorry that I have no insider industry knowledge, but I’d guess the one hurting the most because of this sale is probably GameStop.
    These sales not only sell a lot of games that in normal retail are “dead”, they also train people on the wonders of digital distribution…

  41. CTA says:

    Bought Braid, EQ2 and The Void in sales so far. I was uming and ahing about AI War but decided against it for now. BioShock, Alien Shooter 2, Fuel and Oblivion GOTY Edition are still maybes =P

    I just hope they can put a bargain on Dragon Age that will rival Amazon UK’s £15.

  42. Vinraith says:

    @Damien Stark

    “but as far as Vinraith’s question, the answer seems to be: yes, you would help the dev much more by waiting ’til the game goes back to full price.”

    That’s what I got out of it, yes.

  43. Joe Duck says:

    Oh, and as people is posting their buys, I will jump also.
    GTA4
    Braid
    Indigo Prophecy
    Flatout
    Beyond good and evil

    and holding on for a Borderlands special sale day plus whatever they can think of next.
    I have seriously loved Indigo prophecy’s first 40 mins, btw.

  44. Metal_Circus says:

    GTA4 for 4 quid is absoloutley fucking mental. I’d buy it but I’ve got it. Genuine bargain, that is.

  45. druski says:

    Grand Theft Auto IV (EU) 6,46 EUR
    Mirror’s Edge 3,22 EUR
    Braid 1,93 EUR
    Indigo Prophecy 2,63 EUR
    Trine 6,89 EUR
    Splintercell: Chaos Theory 4,30 EUR
    Zombie Shooter 2 1,93 EUR

    Fuck yeah, merry xmas steam!

  46. Hybrid says:

    So far:
    STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl
    Machinarium
    Braid
    And I’ll be keeping an eye on the “Today Only” deals. Still more to browse through!

  47. Samson says:

    http://www.charliesgames.com/wordpress/?p=471

    Irukandji and Bullet Candy Perfect for whatever you want that’s at least $1. Previously, this promotion was only for Bullet Candy.

    Bullet Candy’s a fun shmup along the lines of Geometry Wars.

    • Blather Blob says:

      Nice deal! Everytime I see Bullet Candy on sale, it reminds me to take advantage of the pay what you want pricing for Bullet Candy Perfect instead, but I never get around to it and now it’s even better! Studio Eres is also having a pay what you want sale on Immortal Defense until Jan 1.

    • Baris says:

      Incase people are on the fence about Immortal Defence: buy it! It really is a great game, you’ll probably play it through once and never go back to it, but that one time is a good few hours long and filled with a very interesting, minimalist story.

  48. Jacques says:

    Just bought the Eidos pack, my Steam game list is growing massive now, especially after getting the THQ deal around American turkey day time.

  49. Muzman says:

    Mirror’s Edge is definitely worth a go for nearly everyone. It’s uniquely designed, adventurous first person PC gaming.
    Can’t really deny the story is meh (and I really don’t know how they could have messed it up, given the premise. Trying too hard from nervousness is my impression.) Combat too. But the running is where it’s at and there’s nothing like it. Time trials are a lot of fun.

    Anyway, how’s steam’s backup facilities working for people? I’m worried about overcommiting to digital distribution for when the inevitable disaster strikes. Ten or so recent games would represent months worth of bandwidth quota for me and I can’t see that changing in the near future.

    • Starky says:

      Steam backup is as easy as pie, forget the backup option in steam there is a much easier way. You literally just copy the whole “steamapps” folder to wherever you like (you could even RAR/7zip it to DVD burnable chunks if you liked). then when you reinstall steam just copy paste it back.

      I just installed windows 7 and it was just a case of copying that folder to my external HD (All 240GB of it), then once steam was installed, closing it and copying it back.
      They come back as “download paused” but then instantly become ready when you click them.

      Given HD space is so cheap now, it’s less than the cost of most new games to get yourself a 500GB to 1TB external HD for backup/archiving.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Muzzman

      The in-client backup tool is slow and awkward. If Starky’s method works (and I’ve no reason to think it doesn’t) then that’s the vastly superior method. I’ll have to give that a try, thanks for the tip, Starky!

    • invisiblejesus says:

      Agreed with Starky and Vinraith both; Steam’s backup feature is a bit crap, but Starky’s method works great. I keep Windows on a separate partition from all my other stuff, and I’d recommend that any gamer do the same. It saves a ton of trouble when you go to reinstall.

    • Muzman says:

      Thanks Starky and others. Actually when I had to move steam from one drive to another, that involved shifting around steamapps intact and some other stuff. So that fits with what Starky’s saying too, now I think about it, and sounds like the way to go.
      Cheers.

    • duffster says:

      @ Starky

      That’s a great tip, thanks!