Steam Summer Sale Redux: All Of The Indies

By Nathan Grayson on August 1st, 2012 at 8:00 am.

And hey, only eight more where that came from.

Welp, I guess that’s it, then. We can’t escape it. The Steam Summer Sale’s returned, but honestly, can you remember a single moment before it began? Was there ever a moment before it began? Maybe we’re trapped in some infinite, Groundhog-Day-style loop of spending, obligation, and guilt. Maybe we’ll never escape. Maybe this is the least threatening eternal hell loop ever conceived. But oh well, because look at all of the savings!

Indie Bundle Madness, as this week’s Steam midweek madness sale is known, contains all 11 indie bundles from Steam’s Summer Sale. They are not, however, being sold collectively as one giant bundle of bundles – which strikes me as a tremendous missed opportunity. Even so, this is still yet another chance to take advantage of absurd discounts on the likes of Lone Survivor, Botanicula, Superbrothers: Swords and Sworcery, Splice, World of Goo, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Darwinia, Dungeons of Dredmor, Jamestown, VVVVVV, Zeno Clash, Machinarium, and roughly 27 trillion more.

As with all midweek madness deals, this one wraps up on Thursday at 4PM PST/Friday at 12AM BST. Of course, this could lead one to wonder if more Summer Sale items will make their way into Steam’s weekly rotation. And to that, I say quit it. That’s dangerous thinking, and it could give certain powerful people ideas.

 

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43 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge kregg says:

    This sale reminds me of the Potato Sack indie bundle, as in they kept the offer going, but gradually increasing the price.

    I hope they don’t do any of that ARG stuff in these indie games. I think I’ve had enough ARGs from Valve. :(

    • Premium User Badge RobF says:

      The price on the Potato Sack was the same all the way through (unless you count getting a discount for owning Portal 2) and these are the same as they were in the Summer Sale.

  2. Flukie says:

    The problem with these now is that since the rise of Bundle fever, everyone owns all these games.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Pretty much it, yes.

    • Leaufai says:

      Haven’t seen Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet anywhere before. That’d be enough to get that bundle as ITSP is normally 13,99.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        There were daily and flash deals for Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet during the summer sale.

    • Stromko says:

      It wouldn’t be a problem if I owned all these games, it’s a problem that I own MOST of these games. There’s one game in each bundle that I’d actually like to pick up, then four others that I either own or couldn’t care less about.

      Though at the heart of it, that’s the point of bundling products from the vendor’s perspective. To sell us things we wouldn’t buy on our own, in order to get us to pay a little more than we otherwise would for the bits we want.

      • ShrikeMalakim says:

        This is just another offer for the Bundles themselves. During the Steam Summer Sale, almost all the bundled games were available individually for the same huge discount. I picked up the few I was interested in that I didn’t have yet that way.

        • grundus says:

          I’m pretty sure most were ‘only’ 33% off. Not a ‘huge’ discount but pretty good going, some were of course much cheaper than that; Wings of Prey was 75% off for the duration of the sale.

      • Shuck says:

        Yeah, I already had games from all the bundles, and a few that I didn’t (and wanted) weren’t on individual sale. I think I ended up buying one game from all those bundles. Many of the games I already had I had, of course, previously picked up in bundle sales.
        This can’t be good for indie game sales, and I suspect that most indie developers are having a harder time of it than I previously thought. Since the AAA portion of the industry is having serious problems and everything in the middle was always having a hard time, I despair for the industry in general.

    • Bobka says:

      We’ve passed peak indie games.

      This actually reminds me of an evolutionary simulation I coded a while ago. Each step in the simulation saw a fixed amount of food being added to the simulation; at first, while the population of the animals was low, much of the food wasn’t being eaten, so the amount of food grew each step, and the population grew in response, reaching staggering heights (analogous to the number and frequency of indie bundle deals we’ve seen over the last, what, 18 months?).

      After a while, though, a point came when there were the animals in the simulation had eaten all the food from the past that nobody had gotten around to eating yet; the food supply collapsed and the population plummeted, with only a small population of survivors being sustained by the constant influx of food. It eventually stabilized at a relatively low level – and I’d expect bundle deals to do the same, since the indie community does produce a slow but steady stream of games.

      Of course, this is all uneducated conjecture.

      • PopeJamal says:

        So what you’re saying is: cannibals. Indie Cannibals!

      • caddyB says:

        Still very interesting though.

      • Caenorhabditis says:

        You’re absolutely right of course, but how is this an evolutionary simulation?

      • Shuck says:

        Yeah, I think this already happened in the game space. The AAA portion of the industry is in continuous decline because the increase in audience over the years has now been dwarfed by the increase in development costs. The indie portion is still exploding as the tools for making games have improved while at the same time the “gate keepers” in publishing have been rendered obsolete; but the audience hasn’t grown enough to keep up with the increased number of games, even at hugely reduced prices. You’re going to see a lot of developers leaving the industry as they realize they can’t make a living at it.

    • Zeewolf says:

      I think the real issue is that Steam has been releasing too few indie games during the last year.

      So instead of having fresh games for these bundles, they have to rely on games that have been out for a while and often in many bundles already.

      I guess this is what happens when the release schedule gets filled with DLC and F2P-games.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I think Greenlight is supposed to ameliorate that problem. Steam has passed on a few good games in the past, and I think they want to fix that now. It’s worth pointing out that they did specifically seek out Jeff Vogel and ask him to get on Steam, not the other way around, so I think they’re aware of this.

        Personally I just think there hasn’t been a huge indie hit in a while. The closest would be Botanicula, and that had a release humble bundle.

    • Atrak says:

      Couldn’t agree more, what they should be doing is letting you pick and choose a bundle of your own design.
      That way they might get sales from people who already had most of these from other places like the Humble bundle etc.

  3. groovychainsaw says:

    Err, anyone know if you buy a bundle and already own 1/2 the games (as I do with… pretty much all of them), you can gift the others, or are they all tied together as one bundle? Because I might get a couple if I could gift things, but otherwise probably won’t.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      You can’t. You can gift entire bundles, but not individual games. Thank the speculators that lurk in the Steam Trade forum for that.

  4. SkittleDiddler says:

    The value on these is completely minimized if they’re not bothering to offer the games in the bundles at a discount per title.

    As others have already pointed out, pretty much everyone with an internet connection already owns most of these game anyway, and Steam doesn’t do additional keys for titles we’ve already got in our libraries. A bit of a pointless sale for 90% of Steam’s user base, IMO.

  5. Desmolas says:

    I already have at least one game in 10 of the 11 bundles. How did they DO that. Im sure there is something to be said for that?

    • Shuck says:

      Same here – a lot of these games have been in previous Steam (and other) bundles, or were sold at hugely reduced prices more than once. (In fact, some of these games I’ve already bought multiple times.) I wonder if this is the only way to make these sorts of low prices sustainable – sell people the same game over and over again.

  6. The First Door says:

    I’m confused! Does anyone know what happened to Oil Rush? I’m sure it was in one of the bundles during the sales, because I remember missing it. Have they swapped some titles or am I just going a bit mad? Or both, I suppose.

  7. D3xter says:

    Isn’t the new Steam Subscriber Agreement trying to prevent people from suing them (following in the steps of SONY and EA) worth an article?: http://kotaku.com/5930705/now-valve-is-trying-to-stop-people-suing-them-too

    As well as their change for the EU, founding “Valve S.a.r.l.” in Luxembourg and everyone residing in the EU now being a customer to them and what that entails?

    And the many other changes to the Subscriber and Privacy Agreement?

    e.g. in response to the new EU ruling, likely:
    “nor may you sell, charge others for the right to use, or transfer any Subscriptions other than if and as expressly permitted by this Agreement (including any Subscription Terms or Rules of Use).”

    and in response to people demanding refunds based on EU/UK laws:
    “ALL CHARGES INCURRED ON STEAM, AND ALL PURCHASES MADE WITH THE STEAM WALLET, ARE PAYABLE IN ADVANCE AND ARE NOT REFUNDABLE IN WHOLE OR IN PART, REGARDLESS OF THE PAYMENT METHOD, EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN THIS AGREEMENT.

    IF YOU ARE AN EU SUBSCRIBER YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO WITHDRAW FROM A PURCHASE TRANSACTION FOR DIGITAL CONTENT WITHOUT CHARGE AND WITHOUT GIVING ANY REASON UNTIL DELIVERY OF SUCH CONTENT HAS STARTED OR PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICE HAS COMMENCED. YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO WITHDRAW FROM A TRANSACTION OR OBTAIN A REFUND ONCE DELIVERY OF THE CONTENT HAS STARTED OR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICE HAS COMMENCED, AT WHICH POINT YOUR TRANSACTION IS FINAL. YOU AGREE THAT DELIVERY OF DIGITAL CONTENT, AND THE ASSOCIATED SUBSCRIPTION, AND/OR PERFORMANCE OF THE ASSOCIATED SERVICE, COMMENCES AT THE MOMENT THE DIGITAL CONTENT IS ADDED TO YOUR ACCOUNT OR INVENTORY OR OTHERWISE MADE ACCESSIBLE TO YOU FOR DOWNLOAD OR USE.”

    A new change in regards to VPN/Proxies…
    “You agree that you will not use IP proxying or other methods to disguise the place of your residence, whether to circumvent geographical restrictions on game content, to purchase at pricing not applicable to your geography, or for any other purpose. If you do this, we may terminate your access to your Account.”

    A clarification of their rights in TERMS AND TERMINATION and more:
    “Valve may cancel your Account or any particular Subscription(s) at any time. In the event that your Account or a particular Subscription is terminated or cancelled by Valve for a violation of this Agreement or improper or illegal activity, no refund, including of any Subscription fees, will be granted.”

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      RPS, get cracking on this. Please.

    • Jac says:

      Thought this was always the case. Buying on steam is effectively a one off payment up front for an “infinite” subscription to a game. There is and never has been ownership with steam, which always makes me surprised why everyone lauds it as such a great thing.

    • KDR_11k says:

      e.g. in response to the new EU ruling, likely:
      “nor may you sell, charge others for the right to use, or transfer any Subscriptions other than if and as expressly permitted by this Agreement (including any Subscription Terms or Rules of Use).”

      Won’t help, the court explicitly stated that the seller is not allowed to oppose such sales. EULAs often include lies, using the severability clause to get away with that. Most of an EULA isn’t enforceable but without a lawyer you won’t know which parts are and a layperson will be unnecessarily confused by that bullshit. That’s why I think the severability clause should be banned.

  8. princec says:

    A couple of comments along the lines of “pretty much everyone already owns all these games” – well, I can tell you that there are 40 meeeeelion actual paying customers on Steam and only 390,432 of them own Revenge of the Titans, which means just under 1%. I think there’s room for a few more sales there :)

    Cas :)

    • Premium User Badge RobF says:

      Yup, most people don’t buy all the bundles, all the flavours of bundles. Be it Hundle, Steam or any of the others.

  9. brulleks says:

    To be honest, I’d have thought The Void at £1.99 was of far more interest than a bunch of bundles of which the majority of gamesplayers will already have bought most of the games they want separately ; )

  10. Flint says:

    Wish there was a pick-and-mix bundle. Make your own bundle from choosing x titles from a selection of y.

    • Strazz says:

      Yeah, it would be awesome if you could pick 4 or 5 games out of those 55 to make your own bundle.

      • princec says:

        Er, that’s called “choosing the games you want and buying them”. As they already cost feck all … you know … what’s to lose here? I think you’ve completely missed the point of a bundle.

        Cas :)

        • Strazz says:

          Then I guess Groupees missed the point of bundles as well when they released Build a Bundle and Build a Bundle 2? If I wanted Wings of Prey, Ticket to Ride and Star Ruler, I’d have to pay AT LEAST €27,97. Other people might be willing to pay that much for those games, but I think I’ll wait.

          • Premium User Badge RobF says:

            Probably not missed the point but partially why they ended up with mainly a bag of shite in them.

  11. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    too bad they replaced Oil Rush with Lunar Flight in Bundle II, as that was the only bundle that seemed interesting to me/of which I didn’t already own 3/5 of the games.

    • The First Door says:

      Oh! Is that what happened? I was looking for Oil Rush as I missed the bundle the first time around and couldn’t find it. Cheers for clearing that up!

      • KDR_11k says:

        Don’t worry, it’s pretty much Galcon with a bit of complication added. The biggest flaw is that movement isn’t limited, you can always go from any node to any other node so e.g. the AI will constantly deepstrike your oil platforms (which cannot hold static defenses, mobile units are heavily capped). Especially infuriating in a “keep this unit alive” mission in the campaign where you simply CANNOT prevent the AI from attacking the unit’s position since it can always move straight to the unit without taking any fire from defenses before being in firing range.

  12. Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Mundle Badness!

  13. Bobtree says:

    Why is there not a meta-bundle of all these bundles?