Winter’s Steam sales approacheth on these dates

Pun Crime

Octemberweenmas is the most magical time of the year, filled with skeletons, imported turkeys and jolly fat men in chimneys. For us videogame-appreciating sorts, it’s also the season for dark forces to align and savagely maul our wallets until there is nothing left but tattered receipts, regrets and a swelling backlog of games to play.

At least this year we’ve been forewarned. Through a combination of dates leaked on reddit and journalists poking developers, we now have dates for Steam’s upcoming Halloween, Black Friday/Thanksgiving and Winter Holiday sales.

You should probably brace yourself (and make sure you’re well stocked with funds) on the following dates:

  • October 26th to November 1st – Steam Halloween Sale
  • November 22nd to November 28th – Steam Black Friday Sale
  • December 21st to January 4th – Steam Winter Sale

There’s no rush to dive on deals this year. As with recent Steam events, discounts are active for the full length of the sale now, with no flash sales to maintain engagement, or whatever marketing people call it nowadays.

Keep in mind that many other sites such as Humble and GOG will be running their own sales either near or in parallel to Steam’s, and often undercut Valve’s titanic storefront. I use IsThereAnyDeal.com to help track and compare prices. Shop smart, and most of us should survive this.

Remember, if any Lord of the Rings games go on sale over Christmas, it’s fair game to buy them just so to annoy friends with ‘This is the winter of our discount Ent’ puns.

24 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Wahey, a chance to add even more to my backlog!

    • Konservenknilch says:

      There’s so much stuff in my steam and gog backlogs which I don’t even remember buying. Must have been bundles or freebies or something.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I’ve managed to trade away several games, so that I “only” have 16 games left on my tradelist. My backlog of games has thus grown, but my “don’t want to play, don’t want to just give away”-list has decreased even more. I feel irritated when bundles don’t have anything interesting, but also relieved.

        • pantocreator says:

          Hah who do you tell this, my bag of unplayed games contents a felt zillion of noodles. BTW how do you trade back??!?!

  2. Kefren says:

    I try to hold back from these now – because Steam will only refund a game that doesn’t work if you ask within two weeks, buying games that you won’t play until a future date is a bit riskier. Obviously if it is a bargain bargain then it may be worth the risk, but I have always had a huge backlog of games, so by the time I played any it was beyond two weeks. In fact, it was better in Steam before (in some ways) – if a game didn’t work you might get a refund. The new policy added a time limit, and made it easier within that limit, but harder outside of it. GOG is more likely to refund a game that doesn’t work, regardless of how long you have had it. Still, I’ll probably pick something up in one of the Steam sales, maybe something for VR (which I am more likely to try out sooner).

    • cornelius_ says:

      Why not testing them for a couple of minutes to make sure they’re functional?

      • Kefren says:

        That would work for a small game, but some games are 40GB of download and take all day! Then my hard drive is clogged up with loads of games I might not play for years. Also – I like to play the game for the first time when I am in the right mood. The whole experience, knowing nothing about it, seeing the intro for the first time etc. It’s the same way I might save a horror game for Halloween. Running all the games as a test takes something away from the ceremony and anticipation of it.

        • mac4 says:

          Then my hard drive is clogged up with loads of games I might not play for years.

          That’s where you uninstall after testing ;)

          But, sure. To each their own.

    • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

      Yeah, in a funny way the refund rules have cut down on my impulse buying. Basically if I don’t want to play a game straight away, as soon as it’s downloaded, I don’t buy it.

  3. Vilos Cohaagen says:

    These days I am far more interested in GOG sales for a whole number of reasons. Steam & Valve have definitely lost their lustre for me. I lump them in with all big corporations these days.

    • Kollega says:

      I’m also more interested in what GOG might offer. I have something like nine games on my Steam wishlist – but there was only one, X-Morph Defense, that I wanted to get with no ifs, ands, or buts. And I bought it full-price today to support the developer. Buying it at less than its standing price of twelve and a half bucks seemed like ripping off the dev, especially seeing how I literally wanted it since the day it was announced – and how fun it turned out to be for me.

      It’s also notable that GOG often offers much better deals than Steam. In the simple financial sense as well as no-DRM-and-extra-goodies sense. So nowadays I’m more inclined to buy there. And… if any devs are reading this; please, put your game on GOG as well as on Steam! I’m more likely to pick it up there, no matter the price, simply because Valve’s company practices look less and less appealing these days.

    • Kefren says:

      Same here. A few devs told me their games were turned down by GOG (which is a shame), because that’s my first choice; Oculus Store or Steam are joint seconds.

    • Billtvm says:

      I see this(your) sentiment regards steam aired online quite frequently. The only thing I say for that: For someone like me from a poor third world country only Steam makes sense, because they have quite affordable region specific pricing. Unless GOG can match that, GOG will not be attractive to millions of gamers from the Third World.

      And also Steam’s no-questions-asked refund policy, that is something GOG inherently cannot do.

      • Vacuity729 says:

        While I’m not in a particularly poor country, compared to the US or most of the EU my income is quite low and the region-specific pricing helps enormously, as well as the fact Steam accepts payment in the currency I get paid in, rather than the $US that pretty much every other store expects (and which I have to pay fees and an unfavourable rate of exchange to pay in). The result is that while I do look at other sites’ sales with interest, Steam generally does offer a much better price than places like GOG.

      • Kollega says:

        Pardon me, but doesn’t GOG have its own strengths in the third world? It sells games that run on low-end hardware, for very low prices unless we’re talking about the freshest and biggest new releases (which aren’t many on that platform), and does offer payment options in different currencies (as well as regional pricing – I don’t know if that holds universally, but I think some of the games on GOG do feature regional pricing).

        I’m not from the “first world” myself, and neither are GOG proprietors, strictly speaking (both my country and GOG’s homeland are in what used to be “second world”) – so frankly, this argument rings a bit odd. I never noticed GOG prices being outrageously high, despite not having tons of dollars or euros to throw around myself. And Steam doesn’t allow me to buy in local currency, either, so I don’t know what are the countries that are talked about where Steam offers local currency payment and GOG doesn’t.

        • Hedgeclipper says:

          While Poland was part of the “Second World” if we’re going to be pedantic about the definitions they joined the “First World” 18 years ago :)

          • DEspresso says:

            Well they are (were?) part of Steams’ EU2 Region.

          • Kollega says:

            If we’re going to be really pedantic, Poland has embraced the “first world” politically as soon as it could, but it was a somewhat slower journey in terms of monetary wealth, and this is part of the reason why GOG offers games for lower prices – because CD Projekt Red know from experience they’d need to be competitive in low-income countries too. But like I’ve said, this really is an extremely pedantic elaboration :P

        • Billtvm says:

          Countries where Steam makes sense than GOG: India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal may be Pakistan and Russia. So this list includes five of the most populous countries in the world.

      • Kefren says:

        “And also Steam’s no-questions-asked refund policy, that is something GOG inherently cannot do.”

        To be fair, Steam do ask questions, the main ones being “how long have you played the game for?” and “how long ago did you buy it?” and they automatically reject requests that are outside their narrow bands. GOG have offered me refunds on games that I bought over a year ago, and on games that I had completed – I was surprised at their generosity, which was a much better experience than I had with Steam. Just to balance things out a bit!

        • Billtvm says:

          As per the infoin steam, the two weeks, two hours restriction is for granting automatic refund. If that criteria is exausted Steam may still refund, after examining the case as is done by GOG.

          GOG offers refunds only in case of technical issues with running games. Steam gives its two weeks, two hours automatic refund, with no such rider. In effect you can demo any game in steam catalog for two hours for free. I think that is something GOG perhaps never shall offer.

        • thenevernow says:

          What made you ask a refund for a game you had completed?

      • simontifik says:

        We have the opposite situation down here in Australia. Steam still doesn’t sell games in $AUD while GOG does as do many other publisher storefronts.

        Steam is the last place I’ll buy a game. Brick and mortar retailers are generally cheapest here, picked up Destiny 2 in store for $59 while it’s $89 on Battle.net.

  4. Maxheadroom says:

    Shame we don’t know which games will be discounted. I’ve been on the fence about picking up that Battlestar Galactica Deadlock for a couple of weeks now but £30 does seem a wee bit steep, but if its going to be 25-50% off next week or next month….

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>