The annual Steam Holiday Sale for 2011 has finally ended, and just like the previous sales from the past two years, my wallet has taken substantial damage from all the discounted games, barely crossing the SG$100 mark. Here’s a quick recap on the holiday sale, and some of my thoughts and tips for future deals.
It seems that completing game achievements and trading them for gifts and rewards will be here to stay, for all future Steam sales. First introduced earlier in the Steam Summer Sale during mid-2011, which allowed you to exchange achievements for in-game DLCs or Team Fortress 2 items, the Holiday Sale took this idea one step further and gave you the chance to win full-fledged games, absolutely free.
Well, that’s assuming if you were extremely lucky, because many of my friends ended up obtaining… coupons. Lots and lots of Steam coupons. When you already own every single game on Valve’s catalogue, getting another Valve 50% off coupon just makes you want to ram your fist into the monitor.
Perhaps for future holiday sales, Valve should give gamers two options: Claim a specific, but low-value reward (i.e. similar to the Summer Camp Sale), or take a risk by gambling on a random, but potentially high-value gift, similar to the 2011 Holiday Sale’s Great Gift Pile. Or how about the ability to craft unwanted coupons into coals/tickets?
One thing that I learned from this year’s sale, is that Steam is not always the place with the cheapest offers. GreenManGaming.com (GMG) was offering Saints Row: The Third for a whopping 60% off for one of their daily offers, almost double the 33% off that Steam was offering. If you’re a US citizen, Amazon.com’s Video Game Deals was offering a digital download of Deus Ex: Human Revolution for US$8.99 at one point.
All of a sudden, waiting for a daily deal on Steam in order to get the best price is insufficient, you need to be aware of what other sites are offering as well. A great place to keep track of discounted game offers is this Reddit Video Game Deals thread; It covers Steam, Amazon.com, GMG, GOG.com, and many other digital distribution stores across the Internet.
Let’s hope that Valve doesn’t pull off a new Spring 2012 sale under our noses for this year, because I’m sure all of us are still busy trying to finish all the games we just bought. Happy New Year, and may you fulfill all your gaming resolutions for 2012.
What were some of the daily deals that you bought during the Holiday Sale? Did you manage to win any free games from the Great Gift Pile? Let us know in the comments below!