FLEEE IN TERROR FROM THE HUGE SEAL (STEAM SALE)

By Nathan Grayson on November 19th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

Therrrrrrrrrre is so much a seal could tell you, so much he could bark. Yoouuuuuuuuuuuuuu remain, MY POWER MY PLEASURE MY *COUGH-LIKE BELCHING NOISE*

[Earth-shaking slapping sounds can be heard in the distance, like fresh lard being cannon-fired at an ancient war drum]

Do you hear that?

[A glass of water ripples ominously; a largely decorative Jello mold does the same, but fails to be particularly frightening]

Something’s coming. Something big.

[Dogs whine, horses stomp frantically, one or two people glance up from Western-shootout-caliber staredowns with Facebook on their phones]

It’s… it’s… SEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL.

Oh hey, also Frozenbyte is holding a choose-your-own-Steam-sale thing that it’s calling the Huge Seal right now. What a coincidence!

It works like this: you pick coupons for Steam deals via the Huge Seal website, and for each purchase you make, you get to pick a new coupon. Also, three buys nabs you a ramdom free game from the list, if all of that other stuff didn’t seal the deal [bursts into fit of violent seal-bark laughter or maybe I was just stricken with tuberculosis for that horrific attempt at a joke].

In total, there are 35 games on offer, but standouts include Antichamber at 60 percent off, Tiny and Big at 75 percent off, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams at 80 percent off, The Swapper at 50 percent off, and Trine 2 at 85 percent off.

I’d say it’s a real whale of deal, but that’d be aquatically insensitive. Regardless, you should go check it out. Indie games! Seals! The complete and total inability to exorcise Kiss From A Rose from your brain’s airwaves for days! What’s not to like?

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84 Comments »

  1. desolation0 says:

    Didn’t manage to get one of my A list wishlist items free, but Reus still interests me, so it’s all good. The prices for most of the titles are bang on average for these titles in previous Steam sale, though a couple are cheaper here than they’ve been direct through Steam yet. The random free title for every three purchases is the cherry that makes the deal mostly worth it, as long as you’re interested in enough of the titles that you’ve got a decent shot at one you want.

  2. SquareWheel says:

    Site was already having some trouble keeping up. Hopefully RPS doesn’t crush it.

  3. tossrStu says:

    Wow, Killer sale! Some Crazy discounts there.

  4. amateurviking says:

    Interesting approach, seems a little convoluted though?

  5. JamesTheNumberless says:

    Damn you RPS, I didn’t even have to play the video, the mere mention was enough to get that song stuck.

  6. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    I like this sort of sale. A good pun always fires up the RPS humour glands. And everything is better with humour. Even spending money. But Is the huge seal just an anagram of “sale” or a pun on “huge steal”, help a non-native speaker out!

  7. marlin says:

    Seal? Pah, that’s nothing. By the time you finish reading this sentence, the song ‘It’s the Final Countdown’ by Europe will be playing in your head….forever!

  8. Squirly says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that looks more like a manatee?

  9. Retro says:

    This race to the bottom in regards to game prices can’t be a good thing in the long term. Whoever is going to buy a full-priced (and I’m not talking 60$ OMGAAA but 20$ indie) game any more? IMO that’s just not sustainable.

    • gwathdring says:

      Ask the devs. Some of them say they make as much or more because they reach more people. It’s hard to tell, though, without seeing stats.

      • JamesTheNumberless says:

        Even if you don’t directly make much money a during a sale, the visibility you get from being in a sale can translate into more people buying your game as full price further down the line.

      • cliffski says:

        In some cases yes… but for example Democracy 3 is my best selling game ever and it’s $24.95 with no discount anywhere. The thing is, when a dev like me says this, it gets quickly forgotten, whereas when another dev says ‘I cut my games price by 99% and made loads of money’ it gets repeated ad nauseum.
        It’s understandable, because gamers want cheap games, so they want confirmation-bias on the idea that this isn’t a bad thing for the developers.

        • Kitsunin says:

          Well Democracy 3 has only been out for a month, no? I’m pretty sure everyone thinks it’s stupid when a dev marks a game down by more than 10% within the first couple months after release. Now, if the game’s been out for half a year, and then a big 75% off sale doesn’t give you an overall boost in income, that would be pretty interesting.

          Seriously, I would be interested in hearing about what the time – sales – % off – profit relationship is exactly. I guess things like visibility means there are too many variables to be sure though.

        • JamesTheNumberless says:

          I understand where you’re coming from but disagree. Taking just the Democracy games, earlier titles in the series were released long enough ago that comparisons are difficult to make. Consider how much the landscape of gaming has changed since 2007. I would hazard a guess too that many of the people who bought Demo 3 are big fans of the earlier Democracy games. So charging higher prices makes sense, as many people will automatically value a sequel to a game they loved higher than a game that’s unknown to them or from an unknown developer. However, for an indie developer with one title and no marketing budget, Steam sales can be the only sure way to get any kind of visibility at all.

          I do however agree with you that once people associate something with either quality or rarity they will happily pay more. More so if they’re your “super fans” who played previous games. If you priced Demo 3 at $5.99 nobody would say that it was under-priced. But because you price it as you do, people will justify it as they perceive a higher value game, compared with games that cost $5.99.

          • SillyWizard says:

            And I think this is a big reason why sales can be extremely helpful. Having bought Frozen Synapse at a deep discount for myself, I have since bought several more copies for friends and family (always discounted, but generally at a lesser discount than when I got it for myself). Same thing with SpaceChem.

            Having bought Don’t Starve at maybe 50% off, I’m now buying other Klei games just because, and will be picking up Incognito at full price because I wish I could give them more money for Don’t Starve.

            Some of these are things I wouldn’t have tried without that low sale price, but which have convinced me to make multiple purchases for friends, and or purchase other items from the dev’s catalog.

        • Teyaric says:

          The steam guys have commented on this – I’m not sure if it was Gabe in some interview I read sometime when what said it or who off the toppa my head, but the bit that stuck with me was the spike from those huge steam-sales is downright insane.

          As soon as Redshirt goes on, infact, I’m paying for this beautiful farce. Its good, and I want to support it, but not a full 20 bucks good. Interface has got a lot of jank still left in it, needs some search-by-benefit (Health!) and the Aspiration system is anemically realized at best. There’s also a glaring hole of ‘take action against your enemies’ style social combat, or a sense that you’re racing anything but the clock. Away missions… yeah.

          But DAMN, SON, THAT CLOCK. I have been waiting YEARS for somebody to basically take a game in the style of all these facebook games and make an actual feature complete single player self contained /GAME/ out of the idea. Redshirt is sort of the natural western equivalent to life-manager sims and I REALLY want to see this develop into a proper genre.

        • gwathdring says:

          Thanks for replying! I agree that there’s probably some confirmation bias noise going on, and I always like getting news from the horse itself. :D

          Just musing now. Customers pay what they think a product is worth which is a combination of what they can get away with, what they can afford, and how much they care about the product. Obviously sales will change our conception of value because they affect one of these variables … but sales also allow people with a lower conception of worth to enjoy the game which means more people buying and playing. Your cynicism is reasonable and matches your experience, but I don’t think it discounts the experience of other devs whether their remarks get trumpeted unfairly loudly or not.

          I used Worth and Value differently here so I should explain my parlance. By worth I mean what you’re willing to do to get the game. By value I mean what you think the game is “worth” isolated from your individual state of desire. The conflict between these two ideas is a very important part of artistic commerce. I think many games have a higher value than what I paid for them, but I think it’s worth violating that value a certain amount in order to be able to actually enjoy the games; if I paid too little or stole or pirated the games that would create tension with how much I value the games and I’m not sure that tension would be worth the enjoyment. Not everyone thinks about these things explicitly, but every gamer makes these calculations; I think it’s important to recognize that these calculations are dynamic and ought to be part of a communication between creators and their customers.

          There is no correct price point. No game has a monetary value that has any meaning. But it does have a fuzzier value that, through tension with assessments of worth as described, becomes monetary. There is an understanding in the AAA space that certain prices are standard for certain kinds of things and I think this understanding is somewhat misguided and not sufficiently communicative. One thing I as a customer and a student of such things love is how dynamic the prices in the indie space are. Everyone sets their bar a little differently. There’s back and forth. A (usually silent) discussion about what prices actually work for these games. There is a truer sense of trade and exchange. I think that’s healthy, and I think if sales start becoming unsustainable it’s going to be a lot easier for the non-AAA space to scale back and adjust to that and still survive than for the AAA commercial space where the Price Point is Law.

          I think if anywhere it’s the AAA space where we’re going to see a race to the bottom and a dangerous over-discounting.

    • Kitsunin says:

      I’d say that people give more money overall, but get way more games as well. How many games that you buy at 75% off do you actually play all the way through? I can tell you I own probably a hundred games that I haven’t finished via bundles and compulsion during a sale, and only maybe 5 of those would I have bought at full price.

      On the other hand, if I’m really interested in a game, then I’ll buy it at release for full price! Recently I got Skulls of the Shogun, Skullgirls, and pre-ordered Starbound, all at full price, because I liked them enough I wanted to pay more than necessary for a early get!

      I suspect people usually only wait for a game to go on sale for one of four reasons:
      1. They can’t afford to buy games at full price, period.
      2. They only have so much money, so they would rather be patient and get four games on sale than one at full price.
      3. They hadn’t heard of it before but hey this game that’s on sale sounds pretty good (i.e. publicity because of the sale made them aware of the game in the first place).
      4. They don’t really care about the game enough to pay full price, but at that price why not at least try it?

      Maybe I’m only speaking for myself, maybe there are people who decide to wait for a game they really want to go on sale a few months down the line so they can go get something at Starbucks for their money. I kind of doubt it though.

      • frenchy2k1 says:

        Your reasons are all good, but I would add one more, that specifically affects me:
        as a Dad of 3 and working full time, my time and money come at a premium. I *could* buy a game at full price on release day, however, I have little incentive to do so, as I will be incapable to play it immediately anyway due to time constraints. As I already have a huge backlog of games (I pigged myself on the first few Steam sales and keep my backlog full through Humble Bundles), I can afford to wait. I have few friends that play and would share a game at release with me, so the social effect is nil, however if I can wait a few months, it can be added to my backlog for cheap.

        As a result of sales and bundles, I have enough games to last me months, if not years, most of which I would not have even considered at full price. Why rush to the newest game, when:
        – technically, little has changed
        – a good game will still be good in a year
        – game prices tank extremely fast (25% within 6 weeks for most, 50+% within 6 months)

        A patient gamer is a gamer with more games.
        It is a very similar situation to movies and DVD. You can go to the theater at release and pay $25 for 2 or wait 3 months and get the DVD for the same price or wait 6+ months and get the DVD discounted.

        I am part of the long tail. If you do not discount, you do not get my business. I do not mind buying older games (6+ months). This is the case that was originally covered by the 2nd or GOTY editions (still is on console), where a game would be re-edited at a lower price.

    • melnificent says:

      Depends on the game, and if I’m interested in it or it offers something unique. What’s wrong with buying indie games at full price on release?
      I’ve bought things like Endless Space, FTL, Proteus, Antichamber, DLC Quest, A virus named tom, McPixel on release as they have something about them I like. Proteus and Antichamber are easily top in our house,

      Sale stuff generally includes the other named indie stuff I haven’t had chance to look at and are >3 months old.

      AAA is sale or forget it now, each game is almost identical apart from a single twist on the mechanics.

    • Viroso says:

      Looking at sales data from indie devs that publish them, you get a lot of sales on release, and that’s at no discount. And that lasts maybe a week, but normally less, and then it goes down down down and flattens, when it’s flat they go for these extreme discounts. I think the same happens to big publishers too.

      I don’t think there’s actually a race to the bottom happening, I think we’ve settled at 75-80% and an occasional sale. It’s just that we’re having more people making sales now, and more diversity in how these sales work, instead of just Steam. That just means more sale spikes for developers.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I think you’re making a fundamental error in assuming that the old prices were what was required. Some games need to sell for more that $60 to make a profit (hence DLC). Many do not. In this case the sales are actually significantly more expensive than a bundle, and the average cost is about $3 a game as opposed to the <$1 most bundles offer.

      A significantly different problem is that some developers are becoming successful from the influx of cash without building up a fanbase. When the business does hit a rough spot, they're going to be harshly forced out of the market. I think you can see that right now with Owlchemy and Pixeljam's kickstarters. If the campaigns aren't successful they're either going to lose a lot of work, or finish games that are only moderately popular at best.

      • JamesTheNumberless says:

        The only way to be sure is to hang out in the toilets at the next trade show you visit. Any studio owner you see wearing solid gold underpants, is almost certainly making a profit. It’s the first thing they buy.

  10. jrodman says:

    From the FAQ:

    Q: Does my Steam Profile have to be public for me to get the free random Steam Key and more Coupons?

    A: Yes. It has to be set to public, and recognized by our system as public, before you use any of the Coupons for you to get a free random Steam Key from the list of games and pick more Coupons.

    Others may find this inconsequential. I find it highly tedious. Enough to get me to give up on this seal.

    ———-
    Oh, and meanwhile steam’s content crapengine is serving a truncated copy of prototype-1.7.js at https://store.steampowered.com/public/javascript/prototype-1.7.js?v=3673600171&l=english:4687 The params don’t actually matter, it’s just reliably truncated for me, and with a weird \r or ^M in the file despite it being otherwise unix formatted. So it’s not like I could buy anything anyway. (this is not a local problem, wget –no-proxy gets the same result).

    • KaiFB says:

      Kai Frozenbyte / Huge Seal here. The reason your Steam profile has to be public is so we can track what games have been added to your library, and the system can then give you the free game.

      If you only wish only to get coupons and do not care about the free game, setting your Steam profile to public is not necessary. Sorry for being unclear about this in the FAQ, we’ll change it accordingly.

  11. gwathdring says:

    Hmm. I own everything I want, here. And most of it DRM Free. Yay!

    I finally broke down and bought Antichamber through steam during a daily deal. I wanted to hold out until it was DRM Free as per:

    Will there be a non-Steam version?

    Antichamber will become available on other channels / the game website once it is stable on Steam.

    … but I also wanted to actually play it and there it was playable AND cheaper for about the tenth time …

  12. Kefren says:

    Anyone else think the opening riff from the Seal track is reminiscent of Firelord? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RNGAV7FJ0o

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      Yes, it seems like most of the commentators on that video do.

      • Llewyn says:

        Not quite the same thing though; there’s a big difference between hearing the Firelord theme and thinking it sounds like Seal and hearing Seal and thinking it sounds like the Firelord theme (instead of “Argh! Argh! Make it stop!”) Even as someone who quite liked Firelord at the time I had no recollection of the music at all.

      • Kefren says:

        Ah, hadn’t seen those (I generally ignore the YouTube comments). The tune always stuck in my head and I can recall it any time (I favoured the title screen over the game itself). I tried adding a mention of the similarity to Wikipedia but it was edited out a few minutes later.

  13. Wrth says:

    A random site prompting to sign in with steam credentials claiming a sale and huge discounts? If this wasn’t on RPS I would be so suspicious about the whole thing.

    • Kitsunin says:

      You might note that you do the actual signing in on the Steam webpage. It’s like when sites let you sign in through Facebook or Google, perfectly legit as long as you make sure you are indeed going through the right service :)

      If you’re already logged into Steam on your browser, you don’t even need to enter your credentials, you can just click a button and it will link up.

      • Jonfon says:

        Yep, it’s using OpenID, so your log in & credentials are done via Steam, not this site and once you’ve logged in Steam tells the site “Yes, this person is logged in to me”

        So as Kitsunin says all you need to do is ensure the log in page URL and https certificate are correctly Steam ones.

  14. Deadly Sinner says:

    BTW, the Giana 80% coupon can be used on the full package, making it $3.60.

  15. Solidstate89 says:

    Only game I want from that list is Mark of the Ninja, and I already own it.

    Excellent fucking game though.

  16. morbiusnl says:

    yes give them your steam creditionals, its okay. also put your profile/inventory public, no worries..

    • Kinch says:

      Paranoid much? ;)
      You don’t give anyone your credentials. All you do is log in through Steam. The sites ‘shake their hands’ and Steam says: ‘OK, we know this guy. His name is Bobby and he owns these games.’ Then the seal says (barks?): ‘Alright Bobby, so you already have these games. We’ll tick them off for you, good chap’.

      Also, you don’t need to make your profile public. Mine is private (http://steamcommunity.com/id/Civerneix/) and I’ve been able to use the site normally. Your inventory has separate privacy settings and can be set to private at all times.

      • Durkonkell says:

        SEAL: Who the f&%k are you?

        [Silently hands over a note. The Seal opens it up and regards it for a moment.]

        Seal,
        We know this guy. He’s alright.
        Steam.

        SEAL: Hm. I guess we can deal. My lads’ll show you the coupons. No funny business.

      • Kitsunin says:

        As the guy working for them said, you need to have your profile public in order for them to be able to give you the free game every third purchase, thought.

        • JamesTheNumberless says:

          As a veteran of two Steam integrations, one clean and one messy as f**k through a managed wrapper and some voodoo involving a small cat, my guess is that Seal just have the standard web API to play with. There is no way through the current version of the API to see if someone owns a game/app, unless it’s one you control. This kind of sucks as you’d have thought Steam would have been able to provide something bespoke to Seal for them to check ownership – maybe special extra permissions? – considering what it is that they do and how it’s in the interests of both parties that transactions are smooth. I bet they lose at least 20% of potential customers this way :(

          EDIT: Sorry I mean of course that there’s no way unless the user has make it public.

        • Kinch says:

          Well, crack this nut then. My account is non-public, I’ve bought 4 games, got Rochard free key no problem. ;)

  17. SkittleDiddler says:

    Average sale. It’s a very roundabout way of getting people to use that normally useless Steam Coupon system, and the games being offered up have been cheaper at various times. And they’ve already removed Awesomenauts from the sale because of “issues”.

    • Scumbag says:

      Just noticed that Awesomenauts is on sale in the humble store. Perhaps there was an issue where people were grabbing the voucher and then applying it to the Humble Price (if that can be done).

  18. The Magic says:

    Is that what you do when you get money? train in the art of poledancing?

  19. JamesTheNumberless says:

    That’s only in Russia.

  20. The Random One says:

    Poledancing is the best exercise. Or was it the oldest?

  21. JamesTheNumberless says:

    This… Oh God am I doing the “this” thing now?

  22. SillyWizard says:

    I’ve always liked “+1.” Seems more respectable since it’s math.

    …right?

  23. CookPassBabtridge says:

    5318008
    Turn head upside down to read hurr durr hurr

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