I’ve teased Az a few times about his ‘poor people’ life choices, be it not going with an iPhone or buying games for a few bucks less on a platform that isn’t Steam. The root of the teasing is that for most people earning a decent living, time is far more valuable than the amounts of money in question here, yet while Az has the money, he apparently loves throwing time away to save a buck or two. I will 100% of the time pay $5 more on Steam to save myself an hour of frustration installing or trying to play a game.
This got me thinking about Steam itself; in almost every way save for the actual price of games, Steam is a premium platform. Downloads are lighting fast, it’s as unobtrusive as DRM can be, the UI is top-notch, and it’s very feature-rich (friend list, achievements, profiles, wishlist, etc). If Steam never had sales and you regularly had to pay $5-$10 MORE per game, it would still be worthwhile for me compared to hunting down games across a bunch of sites and dealing with each sites downloader, patcher, etc.
But we don’t pay more on Steam. Hell, thanks to Steam we usually pay far less. Valve has, almost single-handedly, changed how PC gamers buy games and the price-points they do it at. I always laugh when console people make a huge deal out of a ‘buy two, get three’ sale, but the truth is that IS a huge sale on console games. A game at 50% off on a console is considered a steal, while almost every single day we look at games that are 50-75% off on Steam and consider that normal.
Most people and companies won’t resort to selling a cancer drug marked up 2000% to make a buck, but Valve is almost on the opposite end of the spectrum here; providing a premium service at an often-times outrageous discount. It’s good to be a PC gamer, unless you’re Az of course.