owsf2000: (default)
So, the first Steam Summer Sale with Valve's new sale format has concluded and it's being reported that it's a "Smashing Success". Essentially games bought were up and revenue was up. But I think whether or not it's a success depends on who you were.

For instance "According to Galyonkin, though, about 36.8 million copies of games were sold during the 2016 Summer Sale, compared to 33 million sold in 2015."

So about 3.8 million more games were purchased in this sale compared to the last. There -are- margins of errors since games that sold less than 5000 copies, etc were not included and whatnot. Of course this is true for both sales.

I will point out however, from my own personal browsing, most of the games that dared to go above 70-75% discount tended to be games from small indie devs, games that were out for ages already, or games with bad reps. That wasn't the case in the 2015 sale that had flash sales and daily deals that routinely jumped into the 80-95% discounts.

Anyway, back to the comparison. So it looks like about an extra 3.8 million games were sold during the 2016 sale compared to the older format. This sounds good, until you consider that over this year Steam has seen an increase of about 45 million new users that were eligible to purchase games.

During a sale a single user will usually buy more (often much more) than a single game. For my part, I spent 20 dollars in total since there were some bundles of niche games and the like that were on sale. That's 20 dollars more than I spent on other steam sales since this new format began. (Compared to how I use to spend between 60-120 during a sale when flash sales and daily deals were a thing.)

So what I take from this is that while a few more games were sold, overall FEWER people are actually buying games.

Why is this a smashing success however? Because total revenue was up 40%. Up to 223.2 million compared to $160 million in 2015 when they had 45 million less users. Fewer games sold, more profit. Hell yeah, definitely a success to the devs and Valve!

But not so much a success for gamers. But who cares about those. This is why you'll often see people on Steam and forums complaining about how much the summer sale sucked. Because for gamers, it did. As others will frequently comment "Why do people make such a big deal about the Steam sale now? You can get those kinds of deals ALL YEAR ROUND." And it's true.

These changes came into effect pretty much right after the ability to refund/return games on Steam. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what Steam wanted to avoid - people buying a game during the normal sale, then returning it only to rebuy it when that game came up in a flash sale or daily deal.

When they saw that scenario happening, they had to make a choice. They could do what they did above - simply not give out any better deals during a sale, thereby axing off the time limited sales that everyone were really looking out for and wanted (And thus spent overall more money on).

Or they could have instituted a new rule on their game refund policy, whereby a user would be unable to repurchase a title for 2 weeks after demanding a refund. That would allow the sale to pass by in it's entirety so people wouldn't be scrounging for the cheapest possible price. Either they'll buy the game at it's normal price or they'll wait for a flash sale that made it an instant purchase. If people bought a game and didn't like it, then that's certainly understandable. That's why I don't recommend a 15 day wait period before they can return it. But the odds of the game becoming enjoyable within a 2 week period is extremely unlikely. Especially if no update was done on the game. (I'd argue that the 2 week period could be cancelled prematurely if a dev DOES do an update however.) If they're just trying to bicker about the price then they shouldn't have bought it in the first place. And in this scenario, they'll do just that - until the final day. Like they've done in the previous years.

Choice B, that they didn't take, wouldn't have done much to change things. People would still have the same purchasing habits of either buying things on the first day, or waiting as long as possible, the last day, to purchase things if it didn't show up in a flash/daily deal. I'd argue that with the infusion of an extra 45 million users the Steam sale would have seen even higher revenues compared to the 223.2 million. (Consider myself as one example. I'm sure I would have spent far more than 20 bucks during the sale if it had it's flash sales and daily deals. I would have also been keeping a much closer eye on the sale overall.)

However Choice A, which they did take, meant less work on their part, and higher revenue per game sold on their part. So it was a no brainer. And so long as the overall revenue went up they're going to pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

Doing some math, I wouldn't have considered the sale a success myself unless the games/gamer sales maintained the same or increased, and/or the total revenue/gamer remained the same or increased. (Rather than hoping the extra cash/game would be enough to offset the loss of interest in the platform from gamers noted by the fewer purchases per person.)

So, I'd expect them not to be happy unless they had at least sold a total of 44.4 million games in total - to account for the extra 45 MILLION gamers this year compared to last.

Alternatively, I'd expect them to have pulled in at least $215.3 million in overall reven- egads, looks like they did! Which goes to show you how much more money they leeched from each gamer. They just -BARELY- outdid themselves compared to last year after accounting for the extra 45 million users. To me that would still count as more of a breaking-even or even a failure if you want to consider inflation into the issue.

On a side note, I was a bit sore since I couldn't even sell the sale cards I had dups of on the market place due to their new account protection racket requiring a cellphone. I don't have a cellphone. As a result I'd have to wait 2 weeks before my card sales would be shown on the marketplace for others to buy. Problem is, the sale would have been over by then - and those very cards would have disappeared before potential buyers would even see them. Yeah, fuck you steam. :D I went and converted all the cards I collected by spam-clicking through the queues most days into gems. Overall, didn't give a shit.

Want to know what I would like to know? I'd be interested in seeing how GOG did with it's summer sales between 2015 and 2016. Did a few searches for it, but came back without any results. I did notice that their sale looked more interesting overall. I think the main thing holding me back from buying much on GOG is that I can't buy GOG gift cards (Locally at least - unsure if they're even an option though) to add money to my account there, which is the ONLY reason Steam gets any purchases out of me at all.

Want to know the only other thing I noticed about the Steam sales since the format was changed? I mean other than the absence of amazing sales. (As noted, the kinds of deals you find on there now are things a person can find all year round from third party key sellers, etc) What I noticed is that for the first day or three of the sale, Steam is utterly unusable. Everyone knows there's no reason to wait for a good deal now, so everyone goes there on the first day to make their purchases. As a result... LAAAAAAAAAG. That's something I never noticed ever being an issue in the old format - because people will wait for a daily deal. They buy their big 10gig+ game, then start downloading from Steam. 50 million people doing that. What could possibly go wrong. :P

So in summary:
1. More money per game.
2. Less interesting sale overall.(Seriously. They have to bribe you with cards to check your queue.)
3. Insane lag making the store unsearchable, unreliable, and often accidentally logging you out (or thinking you're logged out because they somehow can't verify you.)

I think I'll do a bit of research to see if I can find me some GOG gift cards. Certainly looks like I missed out by not checking up on their sale (due to not having any gift cards, didn't really check it out much.)
owsf2000: (default)
I have to admit I'm a little softer on DLC than I use to be. Don't get me wrong, I haven't accepted it. I still roll my eyes at it and I still get pissed at it. I also still make purchase decisions based on it.

However it seems consoles have realized there are people out there like me. They no longer advertise on the back of the package, particularly with Sony with how they use to standardize it's advertisement in the top right corner of the back cover. This becomes a bit more of a pain for me to verify if something is designed to be a DLC whore or not.

I won't get up in arms overall if there's just a couple little things cut out as DLC. This of course depends on the type of DLC which I really should do a rant about on my website...

But then you get into games that end up having more paid DLC than the entire cost of the base game - sometimes to the tune of several hundred dollars. Those in particular I stay the hell away from.

I do my homework before purchasing now. Originally all I needed to do was check the back cover. If there was going to be DLC, it was generally known before the game was released and it ended up with a notice on the cover. If it didn't say DLC there, it was typically safe to buy.

But I guess they noticed lots of games were being left on the shelf due to that "feature" being interpreted by people like me as a WARNING instead. So they apparently removed it.

Now I have to check PSN (or Live, but I so rarely buy 360 games anymore...) to see what kind of DLC is out. Before the DLC was so early you'd be able to check it in the store on launch day and see all the Day 0 DLC for it. So I'd make the decision to buy on Wednesday assuming any copies remained at the store.

I buy a lot of small run JRPGs so there are times when the stores in town will have 1-3 copies and that's it. So the odds of them being gone the next day were always a possibility.

JRPGs are usually out in Japan up to a year or two before they get translated and released in North America. So seeing the DLC available on launch isn't too surprising. It's in fact more surprising to see DLC show up later than that!

And here's where I get to my issue. Fairy Fencer F was released a couple weeks ago. I bought it on a Wednesday after checking the store for DLC like I usually do. I saw 2 free items for the game. Both of them item-starter kits. I look at these as "Oh shit, we made the game a little too hard to start off with, let's give them something to start them off." Basically a band-aid for a failure in game balancing during debug/testing.

Ok, that's all they have? So I bought it. I played through it. Seemed a bit short to me. It said 40hrs, and I actually spent closer to 60 I guess, but I did a lot of grinding too. How much grinding? Enough such that I don't know what the game over screen looks like. I have never lost, or run away from, a battle. Including bosses, of which for some of the bosses I kicked the crap out of. Which is why those tropes I mentioned in an earlier post iirc erked me so much.

While checking on PSN for a new jrpg I heard was released today, Tears to Tiara II, I didn't find anything about the game at all. I'll assume it'll be added to PSN after 5pm. I went ahead and bought it anyway since it had a free mini-art book >_> and the company that released it isn't currently on my conditional boycott list. We'll soon see if they end up on the list if this shows up as having shitloads of DLC.

What I did find on PSN however, was that Fairy Fencer F now suddenly had a total of SIX DLC items. 4 free, 2 paid. (Total of about 3-4 bucks on the DLC, but both are completely insane. One gives you a free bonus fairy, the other is nothing more than a level limiter unlock. It basically lets you gain an extra 300 levels if you're willing to grind, and it gives you a bonus dungeon to go through with those hyped up levels. Basically, a level they should have included in the game, and an artificial level lock is imposed on the base game.)

So... maybe I'm being too generous and lax with these companies. I'll certainly be watching to see how the Fairy Fencer F DLC progresses each and every week from now on. Because it looks like what they've learned from us anti-DLC people is that we seem to be not buying the game because they're showing us too much DLC at once. Rather than... you know, us having a problem with there being useless, pointless DLC in the first place.

I'm thinking I'm soon going to be abandoning day 0 purchases entirely. This of course means I'll likely not have a chance to buy most of the games I like to play since they get small runs to begin with. I'll just wait 4-6 months then check the DLC at that point and then check if Amazon still has copies for sale. If it's full of DLC or Amazon is out of stock, guess I'll be out of luck. Oh well. Life will go on and I'll still have something to play anyhow.

On other notes, in addition to all this I saw two other games that I'll probably want to pick up soon. One is a collectors edition of a jrpg that I can't remember the name of offhand. I'll have to see if I can research about that. But another is a jrpg called "Ar nosurge" that was released a few weeks ago. There's apparently already no copies left in town, assuming there was more than 1 copy in town to begin with. As the "Ar" might indicate, it's got something to do with Ar Tonelico. From what I've read it's apparently a prequel to the series although it's a sequel to a vita game that never got released out of japan. I don't think I'd buy that original vita game however since it looks like it was released as a per-chapter DLC thing. (Apparently the way such games as Strongbad's game was released, only with like twice as many chapters) I may have to get that game via Amazon, but until I order it I'll be keeping an eye on the DLC issue. Currently just 1 item.

Ok, adding the "rants" tag now. :P
owsf2000: (Default)
Every time I see a story about publishers and developers going on about this and showing their entitlement issues, I throw up a little bit inside my mouth.

It's not even worth trying to defend this position of mine against the industry apologists anymore. That doesn't mean I think my position is pointless or wrong. Rather, it's because I know they won't listen to it and continue on with their foaming at the mouth.

I can honestly say at this point that I wouldn't mind seeing another video game crash. And that's rather sad, since I do actually care about the market. I just think at this point we need to clear the board and start fresh - but I suspect most of the gamers out there need to wait until they wake up and notice that they're paying 100-200 dollars for shitty bug ridden partial games with no replay value. We're not quite at that point yet (Or are we? How much does it cost on average to buy all the "optional" DLC for a typical game nowadays?) but rest assured we're moving towards it like the titanic in icy waters.

But I rant.
owsf2000: (Default)
I suspect I'll be ranting about modern/current gen consoles again in the near future.

Also, the reading habit hasn't gone far yet. I did try sitting down to read once and after 15 minutes found myself with one hell of a nausiating headache/sensation. I suspect two things. Poor lighting and the need for new glasses. The lights I'm able to use in this apartment are in the 40-60 watt range. The lighting fixtures indicate that's what they're rated for, and I've noticed that putting higher wattage in those things tend to have them blow out fairly quickly. I had put higher watt bulbs in them in the past prior to noticing the insanely low wattage limitation stickers on them. Of course, they still blow out earlier than I expect them to, but not nearly as fast as before.

I'm not willing to get the more efficient ones that have mercury in them. I find myself too clumsy to trust myself around such things.

Otherwise, spring cleaning continues now that I can finally get a chance to do a load of laundry again. All week long there'd be one of the other tenants leaving their clothes in the washer and/or dryer. One of the others got pissed off enough with it happening that they took the other guys stuff out of the dryer and put it on top!

I'd be more impressed with his actions if he DIDN'T LEAVE HIS OWN SHIT IN THE DRYER AFTERWARD.

September 2017

17 181920212223


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 22nd, 2017 04:32 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios