Last Updated on June 22, 2017 by Michael Brockbank
It’s time for one of my favorite moments of the year. That’s right, the Steam Summer Sales are back and everything I want is at an incredible discount. Sigh, why do they always launch when I am broke! Anyway, why is this time of the year such an attraction for both Steam and users alike?
Why are Steam Summer Sales Good?
For the most part, the summer sales offered by Steam are good because a very large portion of games on the system are often discounted 50 percent or more. From a buyer’s perspective, that’s all that really matters. But if you’re curious, here’s a few realistic reasons why things like this are good for everyone involved.
Not a lot of people put thought into how summer sales events help Steam and the parent company, Valve. Events such as this doesn’t just benefit the consumer, but the business model of Steam also gets a boost. Here is what I mean.
Bringing In Vast Amounts of Money
A lot of people like me will count their pennies waiting for the day when Steam launches the summer sales deals. At which point, a very large number of users will download every possible title they can get their mouse pointers on. If I had $200 to spare, I could empty out my 35-item wishlist.
This means that a lot of transactions are taking place over the next couple of weeks.
But, doesn’t the discount mean that Steam is making less per title? Not necessarily. Most systems use a percentage of a sale instead of a flat fee. In a retail environment, a store needs to buy items from a distributor to sell to customers. In the digital world, however, most transactions are done as a percentage of the sale instead of a cost per item.
Because Steam assets are all digital, there is no need to cover costs for packaging or delivery. There is nothing tangible outside of an authorization code for the game. This means that millions upon millions of copies can be sold from a single digital asset.
I should have went to school to be a developer. A single game and I could retire…as long as it was a good one.
Even if games like GTA V were to go as low as $5 per copy, Steam and Rockstar would still make a good amount of money. Well, probably not enough to pay their respective bills, but you get the picture.
Before I was even a member of Steam, I heard about the summer sales events. This is marketing at its finest. It’s actually one of the reasons why I joined Steam in the first place. Because of events such as this, I’ve handed over a couple hundred dollars so far…and plan to spend more.
Discounts and coupons have always played a big part in marketing for businesses. From the days of old when clipping out coupons from the newspaper was a family activity to swiping your phone at a register, discounts work. It drives customers in with the potential of each person spending more than they really want to.
I know I’ve walked into Walmart with the intention of spending $5 only to fill up a shopping cart. This is how good marketing is supposed to work. It’s all about driving sales and keeping visitors coming in for more. Sometimes it’s worth dropping the price of an item to pique a customer’s interest. This is because there is a good possibility he or she will spend more on other items both now and later.
This is speaking from someone who has operated a computer repair shop as well as a liquor store. I’ve seen first hand how sales can affect the bottom line and drive foot traffic.
And this doesn’t even cover the marketing aspect for the developer.
Residual income is when you set a system in place and you constantly make money over time. For example, a popular blog using Adsense could make a fair amount of money through residual income.
But how does Steam create the same circumstance through summer sales events? Take me, for example. I joined Steam primarily because of the sales. However, I often spend a few dollars here and there to buy other games in between the events.
Now, this isn’t necessarily the same thing as the residual income from ad marketing on a blog, but I don’t know anyone who only uses Steam for the freebies. The summer sales events bring in consumers, gives them something to look forward to each year, all the while they are spending money until the next event.
For the Consumer
The obvious point to the summer sales event is to the consumer. This time of year, people can pick up games they normally couldn’t afford otherwise. Not everyone has the cash on hand to buy the latest and greatest games as soon as they hit the market.
For instance, I’ve wanted GTA V since it came out in 2015. Even though there is a mod controversy going on at the moment, this is my chance to buy something I’ve wanted for two years at a 50 percent discount.
I’m a firm believer in using games as a form of entertainment as well as therapy. In fact, I know someone who was ordered by his therapist to play more role-playing games and turn-based strategy titles. That’s because there is mental value to digital diversion. Steam summer sales only helps to expand the tools for those who find comfort in gaming.
One of the things I love about Steam is the ability to gift games to people. It worked out great when I bought my daughter Sims 3 from Los Angeles when she lived in Colorado. A couple of clicks with the mouse and she was able to play her favorite game that I bought her from three states away.
How Much Can You Expand Your Library?
I don’t have the largest collection of games at the moment, but I have filled nearly one terabyte with various titles both on and off Steam. After the next couple of weeks, I’m sure I will expand my collection by at least three or four. How extensive is your library, and have you needed to install an upgrade hard drive because of your summer sales buying habits?
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