Steam Charts: Half Price Edition!

Other sites will bombard you with “facts” and “details” about the top-selling games on Steam, but not us. We won’t patronise you with such things. We know you’re better than that, taller, more attractive than the readers of those sites. We know you know we know you better, and as such reach for higher, smarter, more eloquent brilliance.

Cripes, a refreshingly different Steam Chart yet again, albeit with a few usual suspects. Good work, purchasers of things.

10. Total War: Warhammer II

“It’s okay when I pre-order games because I’ve got a special hat.” No, you don’t have a special hat, and it’s most not okay of all when you do it.

9. XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen

A DLC for XCOM 2 that Alec found so huge, so improved, and so elaborate that he was confused not to see it titled XCOM 3. Which does rather make you wonder what they’ve got planned for that next big step instead.

Then again, it does cost THIRTY-FIVE POUNDS. So, er, crikey. The price of a new game, and you need to already own XCOM 2 (currently 60% off, but back up to £35 itself from Thursday) to be able to play it.

8. Prey

Prey’s 50% off has seen it chart two weeks in a row. And that price re-doubles later today. At a price that barely saw it trouble the charts at all on release, and then come nowhere near them since. It’s almost as if charging £20 for the game makes more money than charging £40! Imagine! But fortunately they’ll say goodbye to all that continued profit by re-raising the cost beyond most people’s means again, just to be safe! Good work, everyone!

7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

Prey’s cousin at Bethesda, Skyrim, also sees a return to selling better than every other game on Steam but six by halving its price. £15, you might think, would be a sensible price for a six year old game, albeit one repackaged as a Special Edition a year ago. But of course the Elder Scrolls series sells like almost nothing else (perhaps even, like nothing else), Skyrim popping in and out of the charts incessantly over the course of its expansive lifetime.

In this case, I’d not be surprised if it were still selling at £30 despite its age. But even so, it appears to make a good deal more profit at half that price. In fact, you know the last time it charted? In May, the last time it was half price. I wonder if anyone will ever figure this out.

6. Quake Champions

And to complete Bethesda’s three-me-do this week, the freshly early accessible multiplayer arena shooter Quake Champions leaps into the charts in its launch week. And guess what! It costs £20 instead of £40! I strongly look forward to everyone informing me my logic here is deeply flawed because of the um erm look over there!

5. F1 2017

Okay, look, this doesn’t exactly help the argument I’ll admit. Thanks F1 2017. Straight into #5 on launch week, despite an eye-watering £45 price tag. Of course, it’s not actually a contradiction, because it’s darned sensible in an Evil Capitalist World to price your game has highly as you think you can in your launch week, as you’ll capture all the players who want it enough to pay whatever it costs.

And when you’re the only official F1 license, that’s going to be a fair number of people. Of course, it won’t ever trouble the charts again at this price, and will make far more money in the coming months if it has the sense to drop the entry fee to something far more people can afford. So there.

4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

This is something Valve well understand. CS:GO launched at $15, and has stayed at $15, and has barely seen a week out of the charts. They absolutely flat-out could have charged £40/$60 for the game, and sold a fair old number. But nowhere near as many, and perhaps more importantly to normal humans, to far fewer people with much less money.

3. The Escapists 2

This is quite the lovely sight, isn’t it? 3! Third place! Ahead of CS:GO! On a week that hadn’t seen a surprise price drop for the ever-present GTA V, this would have been in the top available slot in the Steam Charts, the #2 position! Alec was very taken with it when he previewed it at the end of last month.

It is, he says, more of a reworking of the original game, rather than a sequel that attempts to add vast piles of new gubbins, and for that it is to be celebrated. (Oh, and it released at £20. Jusayin.)

2. Grand Theft Auto V

Yeah, sure, this proves everything I’ve argued this week somewhat wrong. GTA V charts every single sodding week despite still costing a whopping $60/£40. I think we can probably rather successfully argue it an exception, and certainly an exceptional game. And yet it remains true that it’s leapt into the de-facto top spot after just a couple of days at half that price.

I would so love to live in a world where companies were grown up and sensible and shared sales data properly, so we could learn whether 2K could expect to see the far greater profits they’ve witnessed this last week if they halved the price permanently. Something that you might suggest wouldn’t be all too controversial a move what with its being over two years old now.

1. Playerunknown’S Battlegrounds

Oh good Lord, there’s a new Strong Bad Email!

22 Comments

  1. Jaeja says:

    – Don’t underestimate the psychological impact of a limited-time price reduction
    – Most larger publishers are still probably wrestling with pricing demands from retail distributors of console games (and yes, I’d reasonably expect this affect PC game pricing too, even though it “shouldn’t”)

  2. Lars Westergren says:

    > It’s almost as if charging £20 for the game makes more money than charging £40! Imagine!

    If they double the usual sales, plus the costs of additional user support.

    Either way, I’m happy more people are discovering the game, it’s great.

  3. IcyBee says:

    The availability of a demo for Prey probably also made a significant impact. If it had been available at launch, I would probably have been more than willing to pay full price!

  4. Deano2099 says:

    Pretty much every article about Steam sales I have read shows that sales increase hugely during a sale but remain higher than they were before the sale for a decent period of time after the sale ends.

    Plus add in the “limited” length of sales: we all know about huge Steam backlogs, it’s very common for people to have loads of games they never get around to playing. Because they buy them when cheap in the expectation that they will play them in the future, but don’t. If every game was permanently the same cheap price it would always be there would be literally no reason to buy a game until you were going to play it right away. Which is a good thing for the consumer maybe but not for making money.

    Having said all that, I always felt RPS subscriptions were overpriced so I am looking forward to buying one at half price soon!

    • icarussc says:

      Oooh, burn!

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      They used to be half price when you could sell those Horace hats for $30. I think this year I sold it for maybe $12?

  5. jeremyalexander says:

    I love those sales. I never pay full price for a game. Even new, there are sites like GMG, Bundle Stars, Humble Bundle, and CDKeys that give great discounts and I’ve never had a problem with them. And if I’m patient and play my backlog instead of buying something day one, I end up getting the GOTY version with all the DLC for a few bucks. Patience Ladies and Gents.

  6. Blastaz says:

    Is it ok when I preorder games because I have a minimum of five hundred hours in each of the ten preceding games in the series?

    Christ that’s fivethousand hours, maybe I shouldn’t preorder and do something better with my life!

    • Bull0 says:

      Yep, it’s your money, do what you like with it. Particularly if you get a preorder bonus, discount, or save some time preloading. Or if you were going to get it regardless of what people say about it!

      • Cederic says:

        Hmm, no.

        It’s his money but it’s our market he’s distorting. Stop pre-ordering games and supporting market fragmentation via day zero DLC, pre-order bonuses and low quality releases that don’t have to rely on actually working to earn money.

    • Mik'el says:

      yes it is… the author of this article is just trying to be ‘different’… very similar to those who insist on ‘hating’ everything ‘popular’, and telling everyone about it… such as the Twilight haters who go into Twilight Fan Forums.

      Especially when a few of those games, the “preorder” numbers are from “crowdfunding” and the game would fail to exist without crowdfunding. In addition, say preordering the next T.E.S. game encourages Bethesda to come out with more and better content.

      They are companies after’all and exist foremost to make a profit. With said profit, new games happen to be made.

      As for the Author’s comment about Skyrim selling at $15. He is completely missing the fact that “Sales” are when the digital plate’forms make most of their money off games. That is why GoG.com and Steam have those seasonal sales, because their revenue spikes.

      If Bethesda halved the cost to $15? Buyers would still wait until it was on sale for $7.

      And if he is referring to the special weekend sales… Both Steam and GoG.com email us every’time a game on our ‘wishlist’ goes on sale. So why would consumers avoid taking advantage of that and just practicing a bit of thrifty frugality and patience?

      Thinking the opposite is kinda like Soetoro ignoring that the Tali’Ban rejoiced whenever he first came up with his ‘Time Table’ for withdraw from Afghanistan. They just waited a few years until we left..

    • Luckz says:

      If you mean to say you have spent 500 hours in each Football Manager, I can understand. A lot of the recent ones were darn bad though.

      If you refer to something like the F1 or FIFA series (F1 is at what now, nine by Codemasters?), I’d find it mildly troubling because of the wide variety of quality on offer.

  7. Darth Gangrel says:

    Everyone: John Walker, your logic is deeply flawed, because of the um erm look over there!

  8. Film11 says:

    In case you’re interested, the Prey 50% off link points to XCOM 2.

  9. KingFunk says:

    In other Steam news, SOMA is currently down 70% to £6.89. That was enough for me to bite considering all the words on RPS…

    • Blastaz says:

      In other Steam news XCOM 2 War of the Chosen is currently top of the charts ahead of Plunkbat!

  10. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    Senor Cardgage is the best HR character. No probalo.

  11. caff says:

    I hope there’s an Escapists 2 review coming, but maybe a launch review isn’t a great idea given the bugs being reported on the Steam store page…