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The plight of a Steam Sale veteran

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The Steam Summer Getaway Sale is my sixth Steam sale. I prepare for each one, gathering a wishlist of games that I’m definitely, maybe, probably going to buy once that discount comes. I wait anxiously like everyone else. Then, when the magic happens and the deals roll in, I’m right there once, maybe even twice, a day to see what I can get. (It depends on whether or not I get an email notification.) Yet now, I’ve hit a wall. There’s nothing left for me to buy.

No, that isn’t exactly true. There are plenty of games I want on Steam, and sure I’ll stop by the Steam Summer Getaway Sale daily. The issue is, my Wishlist has gotten smaller and smaller. I only have 20 games on it. Sure, it sounds like a lot, but about half are new releases or Early Access games, which means their price won’t drop. I doubt Prison Architect will dip below a 10% discount until after it’s released and I’m sure the Civilization V Brave New World expansion isn’t getting any cheaper this sale. I’m not sure about The Walking Dead 400 Days. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, but I’m thinking a deep discount isn’t going to happen. I’ve been around long enough to know what could and couldn’t happen during a Steam Sale.

The rest of my Steam wishlist is filler. I’ll buy these games, sure. Eventually, when the Steam Sumer Getaway Sale or general Steam sale price is right. The catch is, they have to be cheap enough. If there isn’t at least a 66% discount, then I’m out. I’m sure Kentucky Route Zero, Anno 2070 and Don’t Starve are very good, but 25% off, 35% off and 40% off aren’t going to cut it for me. I’ll be the first to admit I have weird taste in games, loving those others would avoid or consider bad, and I don’t want to take a chance on these filler games when I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy them.

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There’s another issue though. It’s one I’ve noticed with the Steam Daily Deals, Flash Sales and Community’s Choice picks so far. All of the games I’m interested in, I already own. I’ve been here. I’ve done that. Civilization V for $7.49? I think that’s what I paid last year. Little Inferno for $2.49? I got it in a Humble Bundle. Saints Row the Third? Got it in a Humble Bundle and as a PlayStation Plus freebie. Alice: Madness Returns? It’s $4 on the PlayStation Store thanks to that summer sale and PlayStation Plus. The same can be said for Scribblenauts Unlimited, Hotline Miami, Toki Tori, The Last Remnant, Dragon Age Origins, Bastion, Terraria, Torchlight II, FTL and more. Past Steam sales and various video game bundles have spoiled me. If there’s something good, something I’ve wanted, I’ve gotten it and, odds are, I’ve already played and beaten it.

And sure, I know there are the badges and trading cards now. If I keep participating, keep voting and stay on Steam, I could get freebies. Except, badges and cards never held any appeal for me. I don’t care about achievements and showing off to my Steam friends. I’m just using the platform to play games and if I did get or earn any of these bonuses, I’d probably never even notice.

So, what to do. I’m thinking, it may be a good time to sit a Steam sale out. Take some time to regroup and allow the wishlist to fill up with games that I want and absolutely need to own. Then, come back and enjoy the offerings.

But not this Steam sale. I can’t sit out this one. I have spare cash in my wallet and have already gotten into the “check every 9-10 hours groove. Next time, definitely.

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