Is it Me, Or is the Steam Summer Sale Boring This Year?

Last year, I couldn't get enough games in the Steam Summer Sale. This time... I'm underwhelmed.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I think everyone who uses Steam long enough eventually reaches a point where they have all the deep discount games they’re interested in and the next-priced tier of games they want to buy aren’t quite discounted enough to really get excited about.

Personally, I reached that point about a year and a half ago during the 2016 winter sale, but it’s a sentiment I’ve heard expressed by others PC gamers over the years.

Edit: Also, the elimination of the Flash Sales and Community Sales where certain games would get HUGE discounts keeps me from checking for the new games on each day.


Steam lost the game aspect of its sale and with it, its excitement. If there isn’t anything enticing on the home page or your wishlist, I can’t imagine the Steam sale being of much interest. That’s probably good. There’s no pressure to buy more, more, more, but I kind of miss it? I liked checking out the front page every day to see the new deals. Sometimes a game would emerge from the deepest depths of Steam’s library and pique my interest.

Yep, end of flash/voted deep discounts means you can look at your wishlist on day 1 and realise you’re going to buy a couple of things but nothing else is really cheaper than they’ve been in weekly/weekend/midweek sales for the last few months.

Add in greater competition from other sites (GMG, Humble store etc who ultimately end up with Steam or uPlay or Origin keys; GOG etc) who are also running sales and aggressive pricing and you’ll often see most games in these sales for more than they’ve been in the past. And the tracking sites will tell you very clearly if you’re not actually being given the best deal on a title.

But none of this is new this year, the Steam sales haven’t been that good ever since the flash sales vanished a couple of years ago.

I’ve got a bunch of stuff on my wish list that’s on sale so that is at least theoretically exciting but I am also currently entirely broke so it is only theoretically exciting. also it might just mean I maybe need to prune my steam wishlist some.

Honestly, I like the structure of Steam sales more than ever. The flash sales just meant that I never touched the sales until the last day just in case. My feeling is that my apathy about it arises from this:

Perhaps it is the overwhelming amount of greyed-out titles in my library that has me so disillusioned

There’s a lot of games in my Steam library! Quite a lot of them are total duds. I’ve been in a weird position for the last few hours (student who doesn’t take their PC back and forth to college with them) which means I’m not playing PC games all year round. It makes getting excited for them harder. I feel like there’s a library size at which the excitement and special glimmer of the purchase fades away. An exciting new option becomes another line in the backlog.


Part of this feeling for me is the realization that most of these games are more of a time commitment than a financial one. The solution for me was largely found in playing hobbyist games that don’t tend to last longer than necessary and still provide the novelty of an interesting aesthetic or premise.


The peak of the Steam sales for me was getting rewarded for that one Summer Sale Clicker game hack with a Steam badge. Those were good times! I wouldn’t necessarily call this year boring, but I do think I’m past my Steam sale peak.

4 years ago I got Fall Out New Vegas and System Shock 2 for under 5 dollars. I’ve been searching for a deal that good ever since. I’m closest to getting Enter the Gungeon for 7.50 but I’m so far up Dead Cell’s hole that I think I’m good for indie rogue-lites.

Also remember that “game” they had running on the Steam store page a couple years back? Did that not get well received cause I kind of had fun with that.

@Gary_of_Nivea I think what happened to you is what happened to me. I more or less have all of the older games that I want, and all of the new one’s aren’t nearly discounted enough. The rule I always give myself is that I won’t get a game unless the discount is more than 50% off.

That true that the sale doesn’t have the impact it once had since many of us had gotten the game we wanted at low cost. There is the fact that by having bought so many games it ends up being overwhelming how your library is so full of games you haven’t played. That said I just dropped $100+ on both old and new games and I’m pretty happy with what I got. I use these sales to get the games I feel I wanted to take a chance on at a lower price.

As someone that’s very, very rarely used Steam (my one and only Steam purchase was Poker Night at the Inventory), the absolute zeal that a lot of folks have shown for Steam sales has always baffled me. I hear these tales of people that have bought hundreds and hundreds of games for ridiculously low prices, dozens of games in a single sale, all the while fully admitting that they’ll never have the time to play all of them.

What in the heck?

It’s absolutely baffling honestly. I am someone with a LOT of Steam games I haven’t played, but that’s only because they were like. The one or two games in a Humble Bundle I wasn’t too into

The thought of buying a game just because it’s cheap even if you don’t want to play it is… Absurd. Like. Hey. I’m broke. If you don’t want your money maybe send a bit my way

I enjoyed the sales because it encouraged me to try games I normally wouldn’t. Like, I’d never think I would like Borderlands 2 but I’ll try it for 7.99! I hate stealth games but I’ll give Dishonored a spin for 4.99. I ended up loving both those games!

It was a way for me to step outside my comfort zone - which I will do, for less than ten dollars. It doesn’t seem like many games I might be interested in in that way drop that low, and usually hover around $20-30 which, eh. I suspect some people might fall into that’s category.

Steam sales used to have a sense of adventure. (But buying more than a couple games per sale sounds bonkers to me.)

As somebody who was a little grossed out by Valve’s whole “we’ll turn shopping in to a minigame!” stuff, Steam sales have been boring for me ever since the first insane Christmas sale. I ended up spending like $80 on almost a hundred games

Every sale after that was a mixture of “I already own this” and “This isn’t discounted enough for me to give a shot” and “I don’t have that kind of money to spend right now”

So goes every Steam sale. I’ll pick up a couple games but never go nuts. It also doesn’t help that I ended up throwing a dollar at nearly every single Humble Bundle as of late, so I’ve been swimming in nearly a hundred new games every year for roughly the price of a Netflix subscription

Ain’t much reason to go wild on a Steam sale when I’m already drowning in games I haven’t played yet

I barely paid attention to big sales on Steam for the past few years, so I’m playing catch-up now. There’s a lot to choose from! I’m also glad they ditched the flash/daily sales. Sure, it’s nice to be surprised with a good deal on a game you considered buying, but having to check every eight hours wasn’t fun. Not to mention the annoying “community votes” for sales they had for a while, possibly screwing you out of a good deal in favor of yet another sale for that one popular game. That sucked! Besides, you can now ignore the Steam sale for the first few days, wait 'till the hype has died off a bit and then check out the store without Steam crashing down.

True, the sales aren’t as ridiculous as they used to be with the deep discounts. But, eh, remember that time when that one EA person said that the many digital sales devalue the worth of videogames? Remember all the shit he got… Yeah… I’m thinking he was kinda right though. - Or maybe I got older and realized that I should pay a decent amount for other people’s work. Either way, I’m happy there are still discounts, but I’m also happy they don’t seem as ridiculous as they used to be.

I’m the same with discounts. Sleeping Dogs and Remember Me are my two examples of great games I might not have tried without some good discounts. That would’ve been a shame!

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I think 2017 the year of all of the best video games also has something to do with it. I’ve had a huge backlog since Steam started selling games that weren’t Halflife 2 but this year my backlog is full of REALLY good games. I just last night started Dishonored 2. I’ve got Bayonetta, Vanquish, Nex Machina, Dead Cells, and PUBG and Rising Storm Vietnam sitting in front of me. Wolf 2, Ass Creed, and Destiny 2 are coming down the pipe. I just don’t need to get anything else this year. That’s just on PC. Let’s not forget about Game of the Year 2017 Super Mario Odyssey and that sweet sweet Zelda DLC.

I don’t think they are boring really, just that I don’t have any interest to buy a long list of games now and I’m sure many are like me. We’ve come at a point where we got what we really wanted as long-time power user and the rest is just us trying to cope with a long library of games we’ll never get around to play and the sales acts as a stark reminder of that.

Honestly it’s just a slap in the wrist to myself, focusing on the games I want to play, or reminding myself that there were games that I forgot I wanted to buy, or games that stayed in my wishlist for so long that I don’t want to play it anymore.

Flash sales was an ultimatum “get it or don’t”, now it’s just me and my conscience deciding whether or not I want to spread myself right now or wait until I played enough games in my backlog. All in all, I don’t find it boring, I think it’s healthier.

I think a lot of us hit that breaking point at some point. Me was nearly 4 years ago when I stopped looking at sales for ever. Now I’m spending a little bit here and there, especially indie games, maybe I just grew up when it comes to digital purchase ?

Oh dang I lost my post so, and then posted this in the wrong thread lol. the tldr version is: I spent way too much money on steam last year buying stuff I want going to play immediately so was fastidious about wishlisting stuff I wasn’t going to play immediately. And I ended up buying 19 games for 60 bucks (haul is in the other thread) cuz all the stuff I bought was indie stuff at 60+ % off that I took a flier on cuz it looked interesting but in some way flawed. I’m very excited to dip into some of em in between rounds of plunkbat.

My backlog is big enough that looking at steam sales just fills me with “i don’t need/want anything here”

And I play an mmo I’m really set actually