Home > Opinion > RS: Steam Sale: Justification for PC gaming or just a waste of money?

RS: Steam Sale: Justification for PC gaming or just a waste of money?

Recharged Shields features the opinions of Casually Addicted’s very own Craig Shields. Each time a different topic will be in his sights as he attempts to bring some interesting discussion to the world of gaming.

I’ve never truly understood why everyone gets so excited about sales. It’s just a bunch of items that were too expensive to begin with that nobody bought. In a way it’s a bit like the discarded partner in a relationship, lonely, insecure and gathering dust at an alarming rate.

A wander in the UK this past Saturday morning and you would’ve seen an almighty queue outside Next stores (a retail fashion outlet) all over the country. Possibly thousands of women and a few disgruntled husbands huddled outside waiting for the doors to open and the stampede over shop staff to ensue – for this reason alone I’m glad I’m currently single.

[quote_right]”this mythical Steam sale….adorns the internet like a Miss World sash”[/quote_right]

In a similar fashion over the past few days my PC gaming brethren have informed me that the Steam sale is underway and it’s seemingly an important day in the Steam calendar – possibly the Steam equivalent of Christmas. It’s at this point where Gabe Newell reveals himself to be the father of sales and delivers all the games you could ever hope to play in exchange for a few numbers of your credit card.

It’s been fascinating watching PC gamers of all ages buy games that really and truly they had next to no interest of ever buying but they’ve bought them anyway. “Dear Sir, is that game that I had no interest in playing being sold for $4? Put it on my tab.”


It’s great for publishers and developers as they receive a nice financial bump on products that weren’t pulling their weight at the normal RRP. It’s fantastic advertising for Steam and Valve as talk of this mythical Steam sale where everything is sold for pennies currently adorns the internet like a Miss World sash and it’s great for gamers who like wasting money.

Of course if you’re reading this as a shrewd Steam sale customer who hasn’t been sullied by the neon lights of cheap games and only pulled the trigger on games you’ll actually play then I applaud you.

As a console gamer I feel the Steam sale is nothing more than a way for PC gamers to keep on justifying the price of upgrading every few years. Yes you pay thousands of dollars, pounds or euro’s but just look how many dollars you’re saving on Tomb Raider this week. It’s clearly worth it in the long run isn’t it?

No it’s not. The Steam sale is fantastic for people who have an unlimited amount of time to play all this stuff, the problem here is that people with unlimited time are usually millionaires and could afford the original RRP anyway. The other excuse you use to justify buying game number five is that this money will go towards the making of Half-Life 3. It won’t. You keep trying to justify the next purchase and the next but the sad thing is that you know you’ll never play most of these games – yet you buy it anyway.

I spoke to a gentleman at one of the Next stores who informed me that the sale had gone so well they had run out of bags for customers. How many of those who purchased more than a few things at the sale will soon be needing bigger wardrobes or cupboards? Incidentally, is your hard drive big enough for all those games? It’s time to upgrade again.

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6 Responses

  1. Anubis

    I believe most sales are like this, people see something for cheap and they decide to try it out. It’s not only the steam sale. Most people talk about the steam sale because there are really good sales, for example I got a game I wanted for 2.50. Sure I could have went and bought it on Xbox for $15 but why would I spend more for something less? Also why do you think people need to “justify” having a PC? You act like consoles are superior when in reality it’s all a matter of opinion. For example a pc is better for me so I can play high quality games and use the same laptop for Adobe products. Why should I buy a nice laptop for Adobe programs, then buy a console and pay full prices and monthly fees? PC is clearly better for me. Other people may have a big family with younger people who want something simpler to use then a PC. A console would be perfect for them. Also There is no law that states only millionaires can play games on a PC. Cars cost way more, and do you only see millionaires driving those? What I’m trying to say is try to be more open minded. Everyone has there own opinions and reasons and the world does not revolve around a single person. Have a good day.

    1. Craig John Shields

      Hey, thanks for the comment.

      Honestly this was a tongue-in-cheek article and in a way taking a jealous approach to all my PC gaming friends enjoying the Steam Sale. I don’t believe either consoles or PC’s are superior, each depends on the individual. For me I can’t justify purchasing a gaming PC so I stick with consoles.

      In fact it’s slightly ironic that I need to upgrade my PS3 hard drive as I buy too many games that I never play :-(

      1. Anubis

        Hey, sorry I didnt notice I was pretty tired I thought you were being 100% serious. Well good news for you, new consoles are coming out so soon you will probably be able to get a new ps3 hard drive for cheap. Also I think a lot of people are that way. Look up an article called “confessions of a steam sale addict”, the guy has this issue pretty bad and the article is funny.

        1. Taizun

          There’s no such thing as a “PS3″-harddrive. The new generation that is about to be released, has no influence on the price of HDDs. The HDDs for PS3 are the normal 2,5” HDDs you usually buy for a laptop 😉

  2. Taizun

    I’m by far one of those people who buy games, in bulk, and never play them. And I have no real way of justifying it either.

    To me, this has grown into more than just purchasing a game. I’m genuinely collecting digital games, to sit on a list. And in the end, I gain nothing but a bit of bragging rights here and there.

    Sometimes, I’ve had to stop myself, because I was spending more than what would otherwise seem reasonable and responsible. I used to buy games all of the time, not just during sales.

    My library of games on Steam has now grown so big, that the annual summersale (And christmas sale), no longer increase my list of games as much as it used to.

    Over the past year or so, I’ve persistently been on the hunt for cheap bundles as well. Bundles where you “Pay What You Want”(Usually going for the average amount), or pay a very low set price. And in return, I receive anywhere between 3 and 15 games in these bundles, where most of them also give you a key for Steam.

    Over the past 2 months, this has spun into a frantic and – to some people – insane amount of games – we’re talking more than 150 games.

    In the end, people with disposable income, or otherwise “loose” cash, don’t often find any issue in spending a lot of money on these things. But I must admit, it has at times felt like a problem.
    A few years ago, I kept thinking to myself, that I should stop buying this many games. I had so many games, and no proper PC to play them on, except for a low-end laptop.
    1½ year ago, I finally got my stuff together, stopped buying games for half a year, and saved up roughly $2800 out of all my disposable income through those 6 months. I spent it all on building a high-end PC, and now I’m actually able to play most of what I bought through the years.

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