"Just wait for the Steam Sale."
When calling the Steam Summer Sale "lackluster," there's a thin line between evaluation and entitlement. Valve did set a precedent with their previous sales that they would obliterate your wallet- a feeling so strong among the gaming populace that Internet memes persist around it. To that end, the Steam Sale failed. There were very few discounts that merited the "this is such a good deal that I have no choice but to buy it" response, and even fewer that were unprecedented.
For someone who above all else just really loves video games, this was a big loss, not for arbitrarily growing my massive Steam library or for saving money, but for discoverability. The example I used when discussing the sale with our own Chris Person was Dead Island. Dead Island has been $5 and even $4 many times in the past 6 months, so where was Dead Island for $1 during this Steam Sale? I'm already going to buy Bioshock: Infinite and Tomb Raider because as a gamer and games journalist, I need to play them. I don't need to play Dead Island, but for $1, I'll buy it, play it, experience it, and have a good time doing so. That's what's special, or was special, about the Steam Sale, not getting the game of the year for 95% off because that's all you're willing to pay, but getting middle tier games you may have otherwise missed for extremely low barriers to entry.
Then there are the unfair expectations. The developers of recent indie hit Rogue Legacy received so many requests for a deeper discount that they felt the need to respond, saying that they simply couldn't do a bigger cut than 20% right now. I like saving money as much as the next guy, I write about it for a living, but I do not condone unfair pressure being put on developers, especially not indies, to discount their games. Not to mention the fact that the game was 33% off in the June 20th Moneysaver.
There were other less-than-ideal quirks to this Steam Sale like fluctuating prices, server woes, huge numbers of repeat deals, and an anticlimactic "encore day" to name a few, but for me the loss of opportunity to "discover" new games, and the failure to put up unprecedented prices were still the core letdowns. In many ways it's silly to complain about the "quality" of a sale, and to be fair to Valve, they're not the big digital fish in a small pond anymore, they're competing with huge companies like Amazon who are offering the same Steam keys that they are. Millions of gamers, developers, and journalists were thrilled by this sale, and they should be, they got countless new games to play at prices they were very happy with.
Stick with the Moneysaver. Not only will you get the best deals, you won't have to wait to buy all your games once a year.
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