Beyond The Bucket: Two Years On


Photo by David Wilbanks

As I mentioned just the other day, today marks two years since I have been rounding up all the best digital distribution discounts every weekend in the Bargain Bucket. A lot can happen in two years, and from where I’m sitting the market for downloadable PC games has radically changed even in just those 24 months. Come with me, on a journey through time and space, beyond the Bargain Bucket, as I look at just how different the market of today is to that of yesteryear, and perhaps provide some thoughts on where things might be heading.

But before we can discuss how things have changed between then and now, I think a bit of origin story is in order. People often ask me “Hey Lewie, how did you manage to trick RPS into letting you write a column for them?”, to which I always reply “Get out of my house”, then phone the police. The truth is not particularly exciting, the hivemind asked (via the twitter) if people were at all interested in a weekly round up of download discounts, and everyone said yes. I wasn’t even on twitter at the time (2009 was a primitive time wasn’t it?), but a friend of a friend was, and they told me that RPS were thinking of encroaching onto my turf. That wouldn’t do, that wouldn’t do at all.

Rather than moan about having some potential new competition in my field, I got in touch offering my services. Following rigorous background checks, a series of swab tests and a staring contest with Kieron, I was approved, and have been doing it ever since.


Photo by Tracy Hunter

Now in those early days, the process of finding 5 discounted games that were worth the attention of you fine folk was the hardest part. Take a look back at the inaugural bucket. I remember struggling to find 5 discounted games at all, and had it not been for that Pop Cap promotion, I’d probably have only had four up there. Compared to today, on any given weekend many major Digital Distribution outlets will have about 5 games on sale on their service alone. I’ve gradually felt the task shift from hunting something scarce towards curating a selection of something readily available. It’s obviously highly subjective, but I think that in general the calibre of discounts is improving over time.

What market factors could cause this increased emphasis on temporary discounts? It’s probably directly attributable to all those pieces of paper with pictures of the queen’s face that businesses like to collect. High profile mega ultra discount initiatives like the humble indie bundle and the sort of pioneering World of Goo PWYW sale gave us some indication of how much game sales can go up, and the amount of money they got from a Steam sale was enough to turn around Introversion‘s fortunes.

If A is full price times number of copies you’d usually sell in a time period, and B is sale price times number of copies you sell when on sale, and if B is more than A, it’s probably a good idea to put your game on sale at some point. Most publishers and developers tend to be secretive about their sales, but Mode7Games passed on this message to me: “on a day when we’re featured in the Bargain Bucket, sales volume is about 1900% higher than a normal day!”, and the biggest discount they’ve done to date is 30% off.

With practically zero overheads, far less people to give a slice of the pie, and the ability to instantly change prices with zero costs attached to it, Digital Distribution is far better suited to temporary price promotions than traditional retail will ever be. There’s also plenty of evidence to suggest lots of people who spend money on games are increasingly wanting to buy their games as downloads. As this shift happens, the potential audience for temporary discounts grows.

Having a look at some of the analytics data from SavyGamer, the amount of people accessing the PC Digital Distribution section has more than tripled from 2009 to 2010, and that’s adjusted for general traffic growth. In the same time period, people accessing the PC Retail section has actually dropped by 40%, and the Digital Distribution section is now more than 6 times more popular than the Physical section. It’s not just my data that indicates this, EA are expecting to sell more PC games digitally than physically this year (although they don’t seem to want to let people know how many games they sell via the EA Store), and 1C predicting an all digital PC games market by the end of the year.

Interestingly, by far the most frequent comments I see on the Bargain Bucket and on SavyGamer for PC games is some variation of this:

Does it register on Steam?

Not only does games having the ability to register on Steam make people more likely to buy it, some people are willing to rebuy games they already own just to have them on their Steam library. In fact, in a recent example, RPS reader Bennus decided to buy Hitman: Blood Money on Steam despite having bought it from Get Games the previous week for the exact same price. I’m not picking on him/her, that’s actually fairly typical. Why this is the case is an interesting discussion in it’s own right, but it’s undeniable that for a lot of PC gamers having a game on Steam is a premium worth paying for above and beyond the price of the game itself.

In the UK, PC retail is in a strange position. Online, prices are generally falling. As the many retailers compete with each other, it seems that the vast majority of PC games are available for between £20 and £25 at release, compared to the £30 typical RRP for downloads at launch. As a general rule, Digital Distribution is always more expensive than retail unless the game in question is on sale, where they will often be far cheaper. I’m not sure how long the current situation will be viable. Either retailers are cutting into their own margins with these discounts, or the publishers are taking the hit.

One thing is for sure though, anyone talking about PC Gaming being dead, or even in decline, is pretty nuts. There’s gold in them there hills, and clearly the people who best understand the intricacies of the market will continue to make money, and those that serve PC gamers poorly will be left behind. More than once I have posited that we’re now in a golden age of PC gaming, and I stand by it. Big budget megagames (with a few exceptions) are cheaper on release than they’ve ever been in my game-buying lifetime, and they get discounted far quicker too, it is far easier to access classics from yesteryear, and the indies are getting better and better and beating big studios at their own game, never mind breaking ground no publishers would touch.


Photo by Rob Walker

Finally, some advice. I’ve spent the last two years telling people about digital games that are cheap, so I think I’ve learnt a fair bit about it.

People trying to sell games:
If you are able to make your game a Steamworks game, in today’s marketplace it will probably help to sell more copies. Ideally, you could opt out of using the Steamworks DRM, so people who want DRM free copies won’t be turned off, and in a hundred years time when Steam has exploded you can still sell your game, but everything I’ve seen indicates that lots more people will buy your game if it is a Steamworks game, and some of them will be willing to pay more.
Do something interesting. Don’t just cut your price, a game dropping in price is nice, but it isn’t an interesting story any more. I remember a time when a game going on sale would have been enough to justify a post on RPS in addition to a mention in the Bargain Bucket. That’s not the case any more and every game goes on sale eventually. Even Pay What You Want isn’t exciting any more. At the very least discounting your game in conjunction with updates is a good idea, but there is so much more you could be doing.
Tell me about your game being discounted. Hell, not just me, tell everyone, but in the two years I have been doing the bargain bucket, I could count the number of times a developer has directly emailed me to tell me about their game going on sale on one hand. What gives? I know I’ll probably find out anyway, that’s what my SavySenses are for, but I am far more likely to include it if you tell me personally. My email address is right there. Especially indies please, you know you’re my favourites.

Gamers:
Patience is the real key to getting the best value out of your gaming budget. With a few exceptions, every single game is available for significantly less than at release eventually. If you do prefer having downloads to physical games, ideally buy the cheaper retail versions of games which activate downloads, and buy direct downloads only when they are on sale.
Friends don’t let friends miss out on deals. You’re probably not always at your PC, and some of the best deals are highly time sensitive. If you and yours have each others backs, you can avoid missing out on some bargains. Ideally, make friends with people from other regions so you can take advantage of international pricing bollocks.
Feel free to hassle me to look for a specific game whenever you want, even if there is no deal on it when you ask, it’s useful for me to have an idea for what titles people might be waiting for discounts on.

That’s your lot. All that’s left to say is keep on bucketing, and thank you for your continued attention on both the Bargain Bucket and on SavyGamer. Also megathanks to the RPS overlords. Being paid to promote my web site to a large group of people who are exactly my core audience is a really cushy gig, and my professional and personal development has been massively boosted by the relationship I have with Rock Paper Shotgun. May you live long and may your children have curly hair.

All images used under Creative Commons Attribution license, thanks internet!

93 Comments

  1. Quintin Smith says:

    Thank /you/, Lewie! May your bucket overfloweth evermore.

    • zbillyboob says:

      Hear hear! May my backlog of unplayed gems bought on the cheap due to your inestimable services continue to grow! Thanks Lewie.

    • Thants says:

      Thlewie

    • Dozer says:

      That made me laugh! Thanks, Thants.

      Ththants.

  2. Navagon says:

    Long may your bucket remain unkicked.

  3. Fumarole says:

    Patience is the real key to getting the best value out of your gaming budget. With a few exceptions, every single game is available for significantly less than at release eventually.

    Amen to that brother.

    • ezekiel2517 says:

      Heh, if only I had waited to buy Mafia 2 on December rather than pre-order.

      RAAAAAAAAAGE

    • Navagon says:

      It seems like you can get a significant decrease in price in just a few months if you shop around. Of course it varies from publisher to publisher, but about the only one of the major ones that likes to keep prices high is ActiviBlizz.

      @ ezekiel2517

      Case point.

    • Baboonanza says:

      One problem with this is with multiplayer games though. Obviously something like TF2 will have a long-lived and diverse multiplayer scene, but what happens if I wait 6 months to by Men of War: Assault Squad? Is there going to be anyone still playing that won’t be able to completely annihilate me with one hand-behind their back?

      But otherwise, yeah. Patience is key.

    • noobnob says:

      Now that seasonal sales are somewhat estabilished among most digital distributors (Holiday/Summer sales, Black Friday) and eventual sales (GamersGate 5-years celebration sale, publisher weeklong sales), the waiting time to buy games in bulk is about 5-6 months long. You don’t need to be patient, you can just spend 100-150 dollars/pounds/euromonies every 6 months and you’ll obtain a large amount of games that should be enough to fill up your time ’till the next huge sale.
      Mileage may vary, but that’s what I’m experiencing as I’m nowhere near close of finishing all the downloadable games I’ve bought over these past two years. Only a couple months away from Summer, but did you finish all those games you bought in last year’s holiday sale?

    • captain fitz says:

      except for anything made by blizzard

    • wu wei says:

      @Baboonanza: generally, though, you won’t be the only new player picking it up on special.

      At least, that’s the impression I got from the non-stop bitching about ‘noobs’ on every goddamn server the first time Battlefield: Bad Company 2 went on sale…

    • sinister agent says:

      @Fumarole

      Seriously. The day that most people finally figure this out is the day that everybody wins.

  4. Heliosicle says:

    I must’ve spent/saved a lot of money in the 2 years this has been going!

  5. Astalano says:

    Long live PC gaming! Quite a few games coming out and I hope you’ll be informing on what is discounted, because I can’t possibly buy them all at full price and don’t want to miss deals!

    Games of 2010-2011 that I think are worth it/will be worth it:

    Risen 2, Torchlight 2, Trine 2, The Witcher 2, Red Orchestra 2, Salem, Crusader Kings 2, Pirates of the Black Cove, King Arthur 2, Mount & Blade: With Fire & Sword, Guild Wars 2, Crysis 2 single player, Shogun 2, Diablo 3, Battlefield 3, Portal 2, Natural Selection 2, RIFT, Deus Ex: Human Evolution, Rock of Ages, Skyrim, Overgrowth, Interstellar Marines, Fallout Online, Magicka, Stalker 2, that Jurassic Park game from Telltale, Stronghold 3, Firefall and *deep breath* Orion: Prelude.

  6. Diziet Sma says:

    Yep it’s been an especially good year of thrifty purchases for me, thanks Lewie for all the tips/tricks.

  7. crummy says:

    That’s a really good point about having international friends – I have several buddies in New Zealand who I “gift” games to, and they repay me via Paypal.

    • Armante says:

      that’s cool – what kind of savings can they make then? I make most of my buys from Steam directly from NZ. Are they not affected by their location when it comes to downloading the games?

  8. icheyne says:

    Good work Lewie!

    Tip for everyone else: Lewie is funny on Twitter too.

  9. Tom Camfield says:

    Everything from the RPS 122 most important games, natch, and if they could be marked with a “122” or some such that would be double damn fine.

    You haven’t just saved me money, you’ve also made money for all the publishers who wouldn’t see a dime from me if no-one mentioned Game X was going for cheap: I try to never pay more than £5 for a game, but will buy an endless amount of them when they reach that level… nyom nyom nyom.

    Thank Lewie.

  10. Frozer says:

    I only recently became aware of this site and Bargain Bucket. But it sure is a nice way to discover games that I would not otherwise have heard of. Especially indie games can be hard to discover with their limited marketing budgets. This service really helps open my eyes to some good indie deals.

  11. foobarfoo says:

    How to Attribute a Creative Commons Licensed Work

    Pictures used in this article:
    Severalls – Bucket (Rob Walker)
    Empty Bucket at Punta Del Este (David Wilbanks)
    Buckets (Tracy Hunter)

    -The Internet
    (Linking back to the original page you got the content from is generally considered to be one of the most important and ‘nice’ things when using a CC-licensed work, especially since the content owners can then track where their content is being used, should they so desire. My apologies for potentially being annoying, but proper attribution is one of the things us folk in the open-source gamedev scene would like people to start doing correctly.. :D)

    • Lewie Procter says:

      Thanks for the heads up, I shall rectify this now.

      Edit: although the creativecommons.org website (where I found those) didn’t really indicate that to be the case, although I’m obviously happy to do it.

    • pepper says:

      With CC you dont really have to. It usually comes down to do with it what you want to do with it.

    • foobarfoo says:

      @Lewie Procter: Yeah, the CC license information is generally vague-ish (even their legal text), and I must admit that I wouldn’t think about posting my previous comment had you not mentioned that the photos were CC-licensed. Still, I think that linking back to the photo pages in question (as you have done now) is generally the best way to attribute (even from a legal standpoint), as it allows the content creators to track usage of their content (Flickr might do this automatically for them) and in the end it might even help them set up a nice portfolio with references, which would result in a win-win situation for both the content creator and the content user! :D

    • Armante says:

      I love the internets :)

  12. McDan says:

    Well done Mr Procter, may your bucket ever overfloweth.
    I do love me pictures of buckets.

  13. x25killa says:

    Thank you for the past 2 years, your services has saved me plenty of money and explored different games that I wouldn’t think of.

  14. Ravenger says:

    I agree that the benefits of waiting until a game goes on sale far outweigh the benefits of buying on launch.

    You get a cheaper game, with the latest patches, DRM and launch issues sorted out, and often some or all of the DLC included.

    The problem is that if we all wait for games to go on sale before we buy them then the PC games market will eventually collapse, as no launch copies will be sold and it’ll cease to be profitable to release games on PC. It’s a dilemma.

    • Kefren says:

      I think the impact would be less focus on hugely wasteful launches and more focus on the long tail and making sure games had longevity and were available for ever. A better situation than we have now. It might even reduce reliance on shitty DRM (one can but dream).

  15. DAdvocate says:

    Until coming across SavyGamer via RPS a while back, I hadn’t realised it was possible to buy games quicker than I could play them. Due only to savygamer, I now have nearly 20 games I haven’t even had time to install.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      I hear that. I’ve got an enviable stack of Microsoft Points on the 360 and can’t find anything to spend them on.

    • 8-bit says:

      only 20? I have actually made a decision to stop buying games now because I am just not getting through them quickly enough, I think the problem is that I haven’t spent more than ten quid on a pc game in nearly two years.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nathan says:

      Only twenty? Surely, sir, you can’t be reading thoroughly enough.

      I only recently got a 360, but I’m having trouble finding things to buy on XBLA after only a modest number of purchases (rebuying BGE for the third time, Rez for the second, Geometry Wars for the second, and Limbo because it failed to appear on PC ever).

    • groovychainsaw says:

      *non pc info!*

      As someone with about 50 games from the xbla, there’s gold in them thar hills. Not mentioned by yourselves, but cracking fun are: Castle crashers, shadow complex, pacman championship edition:dx (seriously – its brillliant!), trials HD (different levels to the PC version, i might add), super meat boy (arguably more suited to a pad?), lara croft:GoL (also probably better on the sofa?), gripshift (old, but good for a stunt car racer type thing), ikaruga (if you like shooters), outrun online (if its still there – i think they were removing that one), carcassonne, ticket to ride, settlers of catan (if you want some digital board games – carcassonne is particularly good with some like-minded friends), castlevania:sotn (super hard platformer), lumines. Thats without indie game, where there’s a few good ones., and also leaves out some which are probably better on the pc.

      *non pc info ends*

  16. pepper says:

    Hail to the bucket!

    Another tip for people, set a upper limit of what you are willing to pay for games and dont exceed it. Mine is 20 euro’s for games that I really want. Else but it only when its discounted 50+%.

    Then again, I may be a cheapskate.

    • Bilbo says:

      Doesn’t sound that cheap to me. There are plenty of commenters who use “I’ll get it once it’s $5” as some kind of universal measuring stick while discussing completely new games. And then subsequently tell us what’s wrong with the game they aren’t going to buy yet, but that’s a story for another day

    • pepper says:

      To be honest, I do buy most of my games around that price. The limit is for those that I really badly want or other people in my gaming group are playing.

  17. Bilbo says:

    “People often ask me “Hey Lewie, how did you manage to trick RPS into letting you write a column for them?”, to which I always reply “Get out of my house”, then phone the police.”

    Except that’s not really true, is it? Because if someone just appears in your house, you aren’t going to say “Get out of my house”, but rather, “How did you get in here? What do you want? Don’t hurt me.” Particularly if it happens often, as you say it does – surely then your response will be not simply “Get out of my house” but a more complex “How do you people keep getting in here? Who are you people that keep appearing in my house? Why won’t you all just leave me in peace?

    Stewart Lee – fucking changed my life, that man

    • Lewie Procter says:

      Aha! I’m glad someone picked up that Stewart Lee reference.

    • Bilbo says:

      :D

    • tossrStu says:

      Come on Lewie, we all know it was actually a Joe Pasquale reference and you’re just trying to save face.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I guess I’m a bit late to the party but

      Come with me, on a journey through time and space

      paying homage to both Stewart Lee & The Boosh in the first 2 paragraphs of an article is nothing short of legendary Mr Proctor! May your bucket overfloweth for many more years!

  18. bascule42 says:

    Thanks to Bargain Bucket and by extension SavyGamer, everytime I have a couple of pennies to spend – it’s straight to SG or the BB, then to Amazon. Everytime. Thanks RPS. ThaPS. Thanks SavyGamer. Thamer.

    EDIT: Strangely though, I spend more on games now than I have ever done. Just goes to show.

  19. MrWeed says:

    Aah, the Bargain Bucket!
    I started reading RPS last year and always read the Bargain Bucket. Before I started to read RPS I always prefered to buy my retail version games at a local games store (That’s still possible in Germany). Never thought much of digital downloads and the whole Steam sales stuff. I always wanted my DVD standing in my shelf. But I remember reading the Bargain Bucket some day last year and there was a deal on Steam I just couldn’t resist. I think it was a Mafia II DLC that was cheaper than a bag of crisps. So I bought my first game via the Steam store. Well, one came to another and now I got so many games… I didn’t even played through half of them…

    Thank you for changing my life, Mr. Procter!

  20. gandrewsan says:

    I’ve been practically bankrupted by the Bargain Bucket (if you already spend too much money as a result of it don’t check out Savygamer like I did or you’ll really be in trouble) and have so many games in my Steam library that I probably don’t need to buy any more for 7.4 years but I’ve loved every bargain-busting minute of it, thanks Lewie!

  21. Kieron Gillen says:

    Hail Lewie!

    KG

  22. KingKrapp says:

    Do I spy a Mighty Boosh reference in the first paragraph?

  23. 8-bit says:

    note to self, need to buy new mop bucket.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      The man has a gift for making people spend money. :)

  24. RagingLion says:

    I appreciated the use of the Boosh too, whatever you try to claim.

    Personally I’ve been on the look out for a really good Assassin’s Creed 2 discount for a while now so could you keep your eye on that one for me please? I was disappointed at the discount at Christmas on Steam for that. I might even prefer retail over download but we’ll see. I’m half expecting there to be a deal when Brotherhood comes out so I’ve already got my eye half on that. £5 would be the sweet spot for me. It’s weird because AC2 was one of my most anticipated games the year it came out (and I’m still hugely looking forward to it) but I haven’t felt I can justify getting it at full price given the backlog of games I’ve had continually since then (and it’s now longer than ever but I’ll make time for it).

  25. MajorManiac says:

    Thanks again for the good work. Your website has radically changed my buying habbits over the last two years.

  26. Mr_Initials says:

    Does this article register on steam?

  27. mbp says:

    Great great article Lewie. I have lived through all of this (we all have) and I guess I already know all of the things you say but seeing them all written down in a single coherent article helps focus the mind wonderfully.

    The fact that retail is cheaper than digital download except during sales.
    The fact that digital download sales discounts have gone completely nuts.
    The fact that every game can be picked up in a sale with a little patience.
    The fact that companies can discount their products away to nothing and still make more money.

    and most importantly of all

    The fact that, contrary to all expectation of a few years ago, we live in a Golden Age of PC gaming.

  28. Carra says:

    Here in Belgium your UK shops offer great value. Games are usually sold at €50 at retail, the same as on steam. But importing them from your UK shops is always cheaper, often going for ~€35.

    In fact, I’m wondering why our retail shops still sell games. Or why the €50 games at steam sell.

    • Phinor says:

      What you said holds true in most €uro-based countries these days. I’m buying most of my games from the UK or from digital stores that allow me to pay with £ instead of €. The typical saving on a pre-order is in the 20-25€ range compared to Steam prices or regular retail prices. From 50-60€ down to 20-25£. I can’t imagine UK retailers selling less PC games than before because literally everyone I know orders their games from the UK including console games where the savings can be even more than on PC games. Movies and books too. On movies the typical saving is pretty huge %-wise. It’s rather weird that shipping the products three thousand kilometers northeast is a lot cheaper for the customer than going to a local store but that’s how it is currently.

      I really don’t buy any games/movies local anymore. I know I probably should but the price difference is too big to ignore. On a typical week I get up to five packages from the UK. I should calculate how much I save per year by using £ instead of € but I’m too lazy to do that.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      I’m in Denmark, but the same holds true. If I buy a game on Steam or locally I can expect to pay about 50€ at release.

      If I buy the game on GamersGate or in the UK and pay in £ I can usually get a new release for 30ish £. That is quite a lot of money to save on a new game, so it follows that in the few instances I want a game on release I don’t turn to Steam or local retail.

      I also buy most of my books in the UK along with DVDs. I recently got the Babylon 5 box set on Amazon for 50ish £. The cheapest I could find it here in Denmark was 185£. So I’d like to thank the UK for saving me a lot of money over the years!

  29. westyfield says:

    Thanks Mr. Procter!

  30. Sarlix says:

    Salutations Lewie! May your bargain bucket continue to be bountiful beyond belief. Bolstering my bank balance and lots of other things beginning with B. Bye!

  31. Sleepymatt says:

    I attribute the fact I’ve just had to order a new 1Tb hard drive directly to Lewie’s weekly prompting, and a good 10% of that will be instafilled by the games I haven’t even downloaded yet. Just…. can’t…. resist! Seriously Mr Procter, are you putting something in the water??!? I’m sure I’m not the only one!

  32. bagga says:

    Just while we’re complimenting Lewie Peeps, I’d like to say that reading Bargain Bucket for the past many yonks was the primary cause of my rehabilitation from habitual dastardly pirate to being a fully-paid up legitimate member of the games community. Cheers! *clink of buckets*

  33. Lavatein says:

    I still have all your old podcasts Lewie from, like, 2007?

  34. markcocjin says:

    Dear Lewie,

    Please have a look out for this most sale-eluding game I know of.

    Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines

    I want to buy it for my Steam and Source Engine collection. The fact that it is owned by Activision has probably got something to do with its rarity. It’s got nothing to do with me being too cheap to get it for 20 dollars. It’s just a matter of principle.

    An old game normally goes on a dropped price. That’s to make up for its oldness. What really makes it a bargain is if it was on a dropped price and went on sale.

    Thank you for pointing out that PC gaming is on its golden age. I attribute that mostly to Steam and for PC gaming being influenced by an independent company who has the best interests of the customer and developer in mind.

    • Navagon says:

      I doubt you’ll be seeing it discounted anywhere before Halloween now.

    • Lewie Procter says:

      It has been on minor sale at D2D most recently, although only by extension of them having a coupon that worked on it, rather than discounting it specifically.

      I will be sure to keep an eye out though.

    • Cael says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who has been waiting for this, I’ve been watching steam for more than a year now for it to go on sale.
      Stand by your principles brother.

    • bill says:

      Best chance is probably the pre-owned section of game stores. Since it got poor reviews on release it tended to dropin price very quickly in physical retail. I got the dvd version for One Pound Fifty in a small independent game story about 5 years ago.

  35. Cael says:

    “Not only does games having the ability to register on Steam make people more likely to buy it, some people are willing to rebuy games they already own just to have them on their Steam library. In fact, in a recent example, RPS reader Bennus decided to buy Hitman: Blood Money on Steam despite having bought it from Get Games the previous week for the exact same price. I’m not picking on him/her, that’s actually fairly typical. Why this is the case is an interesting discussion in it’s own right, but it’s undeniable that for a lot of PC gamers having a game on Steam is a premium worth paying for above and beyond the price of the game itself.”

    Here here!
    I look at steam as a service that actually adds value to a game (even if the offline mode is pretty wonky and almost always breaks when the client wants to update).

  36. Gabe McGrath says:

    Thankyou Lewie, Thankyou FPS.

    You both rock, like igneus.

  37. Moraven says:

    I think one of the major reasons people want it on steam is due to the fact is they use it for their primary online gaming friend list. You could use XFire i suppose but not all friends will have it. Steam is like your Live or PSN friends list. Even if its a single player game, you want to show people you are playing it and track hours played. You can do this easily by adding a shortcut to the game to steam and it does the same thing which leads to the convenience of the service of having the ability to easily always re download it.

    Personally I buy off of Impulse, D2D etc, if the deal is really good and the game is not multi player.

    Also, thanks for bargain bucket! It has lead me to many purchases to games I bet I havent had the chance to play yet. (Damn you starcraft)

  38. drewski says:

    Thanks for your efforts, Lewie.

  39. JB says:

    Thanks for the great work so far Lewie, and here’s to many years more of your bucketry.

    Also, “international pricing bollocks.” would be great as the main RPS page header, no?

  40. Ondrej says:

    RPS and SavyGamer, marriage made in …well, let’s just say they’re a happy couple. And so long as they remain happy, I’m happy as well, although with far too many games that I can play.

    Thanks Lewie and RPS.

  41. sonofsanta says:

    I remember getting Big Money from that first bucket and saving the free code for about 18 months till my wife (Peggle & PvZ addict that she is) got her own laptop, so I could install it for her.

    She played it for about ten minutes in the end, I think.

    Waiting time for cheap games seems to be about 3 months – I know I got ME2 for about £12 in April last year, after it was released in January, and that’s the most I’ve spent on a game in about 2 years. Chiefly thanks to SG, as it happens, so cheers Lewie! I owe you an internet pint.

  42. Valvarexart says:

    I always like to hear about classic RPG’s (or good new ones) on sale! :D

  43. Pani says:

    “Feel free to hassle me to look for a specific game whenever you want, even if there is no deal on it when you ask, it’s useful for me to have an idea for what titles people might be waiting for discounts on.”
    “With a few exceptions, every single game is available for significantly less than at release eventually”

    I know this is a long shot but there’s a few titles that never seem to drop that I’m semi-interested in that I’d only buy if cheap:

    Sims 3 (and before you say, I remember the steam bundle sale a couple of months back but didn’t want the whole lot)
    Starcraft 2
    I’m sure there’s more but cant remember them off the top of my head.

    • Pani says:

      Oh and I’d like a significantly reduced Dragon Age: Origins please too. At least 50% would be nice, maybe 25%. Make it happen please!

  44. bill says:

    Does anyone else find that they end up buying far more games now, but playing less of them? Everytime a great sale pops up it’s really tempting to buy a game, even though i know i have no free time and dozens of other games that i’ve already bought and haven’t played yet.
    It gets to the stage where i buy a game on an amazing $5 offer, and by the time i get around to playing it 2 years later there have been numerous $2.50 and $1 sales in the meantime.

    I remember when i saved up for months to by Tie Fighter Collector’s Edition for 59 quid… and then played it for months.

  45. Hydrogene says:

    Great post Lewie ! Thanks for your many wonderful buckets on RPS and may they breed many bucketlets in the future.

    One game that I’m especially looking for to see on sale is LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga.

  46. zipdrive says:

    Thank you, Lewie!
    Price Information: Conquered!
    Next target: Stupid International Pricing.
    After That: Getting companies to divulge how many copies they’ve sold.

  47. RegisteredUser says:

    I would love to be notified by huge “FINALLY” banners when DOW2:Retribution arrives at below 13 EUR at which point I will be willing to submit replaying the same 2 maps over 9000 times for moar WH40k goodness.

    Also yay Lewie. :)