Steam price rant

How we justify all that high-dollar hardware.

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Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:24 pm

Yeah so I just received in the mail a new in box, shrink wrapped copy of FEAR 3 bought on ebay buy it now. I paid 21.27 (shipping included) for it which is roughly what the game is selling for on ebay buy it now auctions. I'm actually about to activate the game on steam because I believe they will accept the key. However, to buy the game from steam, I'd have to fork over 49.99. This is not an uncommon occurence in my history with steam. In fact I also just received a copy of gothic 4 NIB which I bought for 9.99 and on steam is also selling for 49.99

I am amazingly blown away how steam's prices are so outrageous. Again, people claim that since you get a persistent backup of all your games because steam and their servers will never go down, the prices are justified but I call to question that fact. I will point out that right now with my home PC, I have things setup to where even if I'm in australia or new zealand I can still login with pretty much any laptop or desktop and download files from my home PC. To add a few game exes to what I already have access to is nothing. In fact, the addition of said exes is pretty much an automatic process. What I'm saying is, Steam is essentially offering with a handful of game files what I already do with 99% of my files. Now there's always the threat that I may have a hard drive fail, but really not. I mean, between my HD and my laptop, I already have duplicates of pretty much every file I own and to add a second HD to backup my home PC HD would be cheaper than the cost of gothic 4 on steam. I would think that a tech savvy crowd like here on this forum would appreciate this notion. We rip microsoft for charging for windows and office what you can get with linux and freeoffice, and we rip apple for charging for macbooks and ipads what we can get with cheaper alternatives, but this forum is nothing but love for a game distributor that charges fairly outrageous prices for games and services you can get for much much cheaper (and even better efficacy a lot of times. To get a game off my HD is way way faster than to get it off a steam server).

I really am not sold on the Steam love. I'm saying I hate steam (valve's L4d2 is only available on steam and gee I have like 700hours in that game), but man 99% of the time I only buy a game on it if I absolutely absolutely have to because 99% of the time, they are absolutely killed on the price.

Just some thoughts. Discuss as you like.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:11 pm

I didn't know people actually payed full price for games on steam. I thought everyone just waited for the sales...
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:17 pm

Steam price gouging is a total pain in the ass, I was going to buy a dawn of war 2 bundle on steam , but when I saw that the $99.99 bundle sells for $59.99 in the US via steam, I decided you know what, screw that I don't even need that game. I pay $40 extra just because I am in New Zealand? I could understand $5-10 difference, but $40 is just plain gouging and steam can kiss my ass.

And it's not like this is pricing just for one game, this is the general trend for pricing on steam. Screw you valve, your games are over rated too.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:18 pm

I see a lot of stuff in retail reduced in price cheaper than steam. But then there are steam deals as well. Your pick.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:25 pm

Some of the games I bought for the Steam account my brother and I share:
    Audiosurf, $2.99, down from $9.99
    Borderlands GOTY for $29.99 (it went on sale two days later), compared to $24 at the time for a DVD from Amazon or $35 for a download from Amazon
    Bioshock, free as a gift from a friend.
    Bioshock 2, bought at launch, at the same price as everywhere else ($49.99?). And it came with a free copy of Bioshock for someone else.
    Civilization V, bought for $12.50 on Saturday, $40 or more everywhere else.
And so on.

The US prices really aren't bad on new games, and if you want a game that isn't new, just wait for it to go on sale. It'll still not be a new game then.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:52 pm

Seconded on the sales. I don't buy until they're under $10. For example, I got GT4 and Batman:AA for $7.50 each.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:01 pm

Steam is a business. Steam needs to make money. When they have their massive 75% off deals, they need to offset that by having higher prices regularly.

A lot of businesses due something similar to this.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:17 pm

Sargent Duck wrote:Steam is a business. Steam needs to make money. When they have their massive 75% off deals, they need to offset that by having higher prices regularly.

A lot of businesses due something similar to this.


This. Also, there are plenty of other options out there, including the brick & mortar stores. Indeed, even some other online distributors sometimes sell Steamworks games lower than steam does (e.g. GamersGate).

Personally, I shop at a number of places including: steam, gog.com, amazon.com, newegg.com, and (up until they closed) gogamer.com. I go wherever there are good deals (and low DRM), and now I have such a large backlog of games that I'm not even considering anything recently released.

Shop cheaply, my friends! :D
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:31 pm

Well I know in Australia that Steam's prices are pretty much in line with the retail stores (ie overpriced) because when steam was first making its way into the Australian market, the retail stores took the matter to the authorities claiming unfair competition. Even worse, the retailers somehow blocked Australians' access to the US based Steam site, effectively breaking our free trade rules with the US.
So now we're stuck with Steam that charges the same rip-off price as everyone else except in sales.
Theoretically we (consumers) could contest the breach of the free trade agreement but we'd need quite a few people to give it any weight.
Any other Australians here interested?
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:35 pm

Steam makes its money from those who must have the game within 5 seconds of official release. If you can wait a few weeks you can get the Steam game for the same low price as the B&M stores.

Practice a bit of delayed gratification and your gaming will be cheaper.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:40 pm

Steam is a business. Steam needs to make money. When they have their massive 75% off deals, they need to offset that by having higher prices regularly.

Yeah but their 75% off sales only involve games that already reached the 20-29.99 area. Then for like 2 days they mark it down to what other retailers are consistently selling the game and are applauded with fanfare! Steam is having a massive sale! They are doing so much good to the world! It really makes me sick. For example, when I bought darksiders on steam it was marked down 50% from 19.99 (even at this point intime darksiders is still 19.99). However, quickly I checked on amazon downloads and the price of the steam sale was the standard amazon price of 9.99 (that price is now 14.99 for some reason, but retail darksiders is like 9.99). I went with steam because for the same price I could have the small services they offer, but I assure you had I bought the game 1 day before or after the sale, I would have gone with amazon without hesistation. It was merely the perfect timing where I felt like I shopped around for darksiders, it happened to be on sale on steam and the price happened to equal that of market value, a perfect storm that is to rare an occurrence.


Other retailers show 2 really important things: 1) the prices of game steadily trend down, and 2) prices are always reflective of actual market value. Why should I applaud steam for teporarily reaching the true value of a game? They are praised for great sales (ie batman arkham asylum for 7.95) but if you shop elsewhere you can have had that game for a similar price long before the sale! I boggles my mind as steam has the advantage of not having to pay a massive labor force, operate warehouses and storefronts, pay shipping, etc etc yet their prices are so amazingly noncompetitive. I just cannot sing their praises at this time. I can't! I won't!
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:45 pm

OK, if you're crabbing about 5 bucks, we're not talking to each other. A fin ceased being an important unit of wealth for me about 3 decades ago.

Really? You're all up in arms over a fin or, for that matter, a sawbuck?

EDIT: And there's no value in Steam delivery vs having to trudge to the store and play the installation game? From my POV Steam is the greatest gaming thing since sliced bread (or shareware DOOM). It's backed-up. I don't have to think about it, it auto-updates. Even if I've got $100 more in my Steam portfolio than I would with pure physical media, I'm still a happy camper.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:45 pm

Well, to the gamer's advantage, the event of Steamworks-enabled games makes for brisk trading of game keys in eBay and friends. Basically, from what I can gather, people just buy a ton of retail copies in certain countries, then sell the keys. That's how I got Civ 5 and Deus Ex at launch for less than half price.

As for your initial point, Capt. Ned put it best: the outrageous launch prices are for those that really have to have the game the second it's launched. And judging from Steam's top 10 sales chart, there's more than enough buyers to go around.

A related issue is the stunt that Eidos nearly pulled of with DXHR. The game was slated to be region-locked because a lot of people do something I also do, which is order games from Amazon.co.uk. A brand-new boxed preorder tends to come for 32€ or under. Dunno what's the deal with games in the UK, but I ain't complainin'.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:20 pm

Cry more, n00b.

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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:30 pm

This just in: different retailers have different prices on the same product at the same time, and sometimes run their sales concurrently or independently. Consumers should shop around to find the best price. More at 11:00!!
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:53 pm

Cap'n, a 5 or 10 here and there adds up if you buy games regularly.

That said yeah, Steam sales are your friend. probably 3/4 of my Steam portfolio was purchased during their huge sales. Plants vs Zombies for 2.50? Yes please. Battlefield Bad Company for 6.50? Sure.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:07 pm

paulWTAMU wrote:Cap'n, a 5 or 10 here and there adds up if you buy games regularly.

I should know better, but it's a standard forum failing to assume that those you correspond with are similarly situated.

I keep forgetting that $5 to $10 in my life is a pittance compared to the vast majority of gerbils who are at least 25 (and more likely 30 or more) years younger than me and with much more dubious income opportunities. Not sure I'll ever really wrap my head around that one, and I apologize. OK, I'm a crusty old fart.

That said, if you can wait until week 3 or 4 of the Steam release the "gotta have it now" crowd is gone and the Steam price will have specials at the B&M price and most usually with some extra content.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:24 pm

Steam is fine if you are in USA, that's not a surprise to see. But they gouge the hell out of anyone else they possibly can for some reason that I don't understand, because I always thought that valve wanted to be a community oriented company. So apparently you're part of the community as long as you aren't outside USA.

even "on sale" items they still gouge, as in the price i said above was "on sale" dawn of war bundle $99 in NZ via steam, same thing on sale $59.99 in USA. At the USA price it was an OK deal for what you got, but for $99 they are just taking the piss.

Thats not just a one off example either, basically their pricing policy is if you aren't in the US you get to take it up the ass. no thx valve, you can kiss mine.

p.s. screw you valve, you deserve all the hate you get. you earned it.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:35 pm

What nerdy tech stuff isn't more expensive where you are? Don't you look at Newegg prices and just think 'Damn, I *wish* I could get those prices here?' True, digital distribution is not the same as physical products, but from a general cost of living view the idea applies. (And it may not even be up to Valve. Publisher distribution rights and pricing vary all over the world, it's just so much more obvious now with the internet.)
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:36 pm

OK, if you're crabbing about 5 bucks, we're not talking to each other. A fin ceased being an important unit of wealth for me about 3 decades ago.

I have one major gripe about steam sales where games are 5 dollars and its this. How is waiting to buy BF2 at 6.75 during a steam sale a bargain when it could have been bought at the same price on amazon for 5 months before? I'm not saying steam is screwing people by charging 6.75 during a sale. I'm curious why people are so thrilled to finally have the game at 6.75 when its been 6.75 pretty much everywhere else with just the quickest of looks. Its like being thrilled that your grocery store is only charging 3.99 for a gallon of milk for one day because for the last year they've been charging $20. Why should you be thrilled that for one day its 3.99?

The only reason I bring up this thread is that hey I just got fear 3 in the mail today and hey it requires steam activation, support, backup, etc, yet if I were to avoid the actual shipping process and buy directly from steam I'd have to pay 1.5x as much!
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:46 pm

It appears that you've stumbled over Steam's business model.

EDIT: This belief that if one source is selling game X for $Y, all sellers selling for $Y + Z should immediately reprice to eliminate Z and match the lowest price belies a complete and utter lack of knowledge of economics. In the real world it means that gamers believe themselves entitled to the lowest world-wide price even if that price is not offered in their country.

And you all wonder why development resources move to platform games?
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:52 pm

I don't think that Steam has full control over prices. I think the publisher gets to decide when to have sales and price drops. Sometimes publishers try to keep prices high and other times they will drop the price to a reasonable level. Blame the greedy execs or something like that.

Personally, I am not really interested in paying more than $5 or $10 for games anymore.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:24 pm

ShadowTiger wrote:I don't think that Steam has full control over prices. I think the publisher gets to decide when to have sales and price drops.


This right here. Valve (i.e. Steam) don't control the prices for these games, the publishers do.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:08 am

Oh hallelujah, it's not valves fault it's those rotten publishers! Thats a lovely little scapegoat and valve still get's to take their over-inflated cut. Publishers have absolutely no way to justify a 67% markup, 5-10% maybe, 67% is just saying 'we are going to gouge you and you're going to like it'. Please, are you next going to tell me that valve has no say over pricing in a digital distribution market they virtually control a monopoly over?

All people want is a fair price, the games can be had cheaper through retail in a lot of cases so you can't even entirely blame the publishers for the price gouging. There is a big difference in charging $65-70 'taking a cut' and outright gouging $99, when the cost in US is $59.99.

It's quite laughable really that people will apologise for this type of blatant gouging, if we were to replace valve with Apple would people still defend their pricing practices? Some probably would, but I don't imagine it would be the same people who defend valve.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:36 am

The "not leaving your chair" premium is a price I am all too often willing to pay. And then you get the winter and summer sales where stuff is so cheap you end up buying like 10 games, and then realise you don't have to time or inclination to play half of them. :lol:
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:47 am

blitzy wrote:Oh hallelujah, it's not valves fault it's those rotten publishers! Thats a lovely little scapegoat and valve still get's to take their over-inflated cut. Publishers have absolutely no way to justify a 67% markup, 5-10% maybe, 67% is just saying 'we are going to gouge you and you're going to like it'. Please, are you next going to tell me that valve has no say over pricing in a digital distribution market they virtually control a monopoly over?

All people want is a fair price, the games can be had cheaper through retail in a lot of cases so you can't even entirely blame the publishers for the price gouging. There is a big difference in charging $65-70 'taking a cut' and outright gouging $99, when the cost in US is $59.99.

It's quite laughable really that people will apologise for this type of blatant gouging, if we were to replace valve with Apple would people still defend their pricing practices? Some probably would, but I don't imagine it would be the same people who defend valve.


Just buy elsewhere then, jeez, and stop crying like you're entitled to something here. It's just video games after all.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:13 am

No kidding, you're throwing a tantrum like a little kid. Wait until there's a sale, child. Nobody owes you anything.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:22 am

blitzy wrote:All people want is a fair price, the games can be had cheaper through retail in a lot of cases so you can't even entirely blame the publishers for the price gouging. There is a big difference in charging $65-70 'taking a cut' and outright gouging $99, when the cost in US is $59.99.

$70 NZ is less money than $60 US. If $70 USD is arbitrarily "fair", $70 being 17% markup, then after the exchange rate, even ignoring market conditions, we have NZ$84, which is really not that different from $99.
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:10 am

Now, if we want to turn this discussion into how much Steam (and possibly publishers) decide to gouge us poor Europeans... :)
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Re: Steam price rant

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:18 am

blitzy wrote:Publishers have absolutely no way to justify a 67% markup, 5-10% maybe, 67% is just saying 'we are going to gouge you and you're going to like it'.


Grantmeaname kinda of already hit this, but by claiming a 67% markup you've completely destroyed any sort of complaint you had.

Why?

Because 67% markup is predicated on parity between USD and NZD. And....

http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=NZDU ... X;range=2y

Yeah. Not parity. NZD is currently worth ~.825 USD, with the two year high being ~8.75 and the low being ~.675

And, depending on when that bundle was initially priced, it might just be a 10% markup above parity.

blitzy wrote:All people want is a fair price, the games can be had cheaper through retail in a lot of cases so you can't even entirely blame the publishers for the price gouging. There is a big difference in charging $65-70 'taking a cut' and outright gouging $99, when the cost in US is $59.99.


Um... yeah...

Right now, charging 65-70 NZD means "taking a cut" of either -2 or -7 USD. :roll:
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