This Steam Summer Sale is exactly why I’m never excited for sales events

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I’m pretty good at finding a decent discount. It’s what I cut my teeth doing here at VideoGamer, no matter how much I try and forget it… Anyway, one thing that you begin to notice when you see an old headset or graphics card with B**** F***** or Prime Day discount is the deja-vu. ‘Wait a second, I’ve written an article on this LG C2 once before, maybe twice, even thrice?’ Maybe you will check back through the articles you’ve written, notice that the ‘discounted’ price is never really that different, and in some cases it’s even more expensive than before. That’s one of the issues that I’m noticing with this year’s Steam Summer Sale. It’s a bit whack, frankly.

The first game I wanted to check out at this year’s Steam Summer Sale was Elden Ring. I’ve got it on my PS5, but I’m a gluttonous fellow and want it for my future Steam Deck (which, I have not bought yet because they sold out in seven minutes). Before the sale, I checked SteamDB. Lowest recorded price, £29.99. The sale began last night, and just as I expected, it was £35. It’s only a five quid difference, but I had really expected more from what should be the biggest gaming sales event of the year. It’s been two years since it released, and the DLC has sold over 5m copies now, surely a bigger discount will encourage even more players, and even more expansion buys. Even further, Elden Ring’s massive success has seen the From Software catalogue rarely dented with discounts. Dark Souls Remastered is still £35 while Dark Souls III is £40.

GTA V’s price history via SteamDB.

GTA V is yonks years old. Pretty much everyone owns it, and I’m not necessarily complaining about this game in particular, just using it as an example. In the last year, it’s hit its current price every two months or so, sometimes sitting there for months on end. £15 is not a new discount, it’s the ‘new’ MSRP.

Bethesda’s suite of games are all priced adequately higher than the previous round of sales, with the recent success of Fallout 4 surely influencing that, while Call of Duty: Black Ops II is still somehow $20, twelve years after it launched. The wool has well and truly been pulled over our eyes.

Deep Discounts was another category that caught my eye. Seeing discounts all above 90% was a thrill while scrolling, until I hit the end of the page. Only 21 games, and the base versions at that. It was a bit of a disappointment, especially considering they mostly all over five years old. I did pick up quite a few, and only spending about £20 here felt good, but I think I could have spent a lot more if it wasn’t the same old games that have been this price for a while.

This isn’t a particularly new complaint. Steam’s own sales have always been lacklustre, whereas specific brand sales typically have a much better offering. Part of my disgruntled musings are based in the fact that it’s always the same cycle of AAA games that see these discounts. Call of Duty, Bethesda games, CD Projekt RED titles, Rocksteady’s Arkham collection, and whatever blockbuster game flopped that year. In this case, Suicide Squad, now 70% off. I still won’t buy it.

There are still plenty of hidden gems in this year’s sale. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is priced at £3.49. Celeste for £1.67 and Monster Hunter World is at £8.24. I’m not saying that there are no special games worth your time, just that this whole event – like many others – is a sham designed to excite you with ‘green flags’ when, in reality, they’re not.

About the Author

Amaar Chowdhury

Amaar loves retro hardware and boring games with more words than action. So, he writes about them daily.

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