The Curse of the Digital Marketplace

So I’ve been using Steam for several years now and every once in a while I swing by and check on the stats for my account. They aren’t super accurate at times either. Games owned says 241, but that must include DLC and such cause my actual games library is showing as 192 on Steam.

  • Worth: $3317 ($1075 with sales)
  • Games owned: 241
  • Games played: 158 (65%)
  • Hours on record: 3,568.3h (148d for the curious)

I typically go long enough that I don’t have a good idea what it was last time I checked it. I’m also generally shocked about some of the things I do remember or have learned.

I mean, full retail price of my library is more than the last car I bought. Quick math says that’s about $17.28 per title. That’s probably super inflated by the titles I actually bought though. I think the price range breakdown demonstrates my purchasing habits fairly well. Curiosity aside, Steam says I’ve spent $1,920. Which is a lot closer to the minimum cost than the max cost.

products by cost

It’s quite obvious from this that I don’t often buy things at full retail. In fact, only one of those four was bought at that price. XCOM 2, I purchased at launch for full retail. ARK was from Humble Monthly, if I recall. MHW was a gift and NMS was purchased at 50% off. With that siad, it’s also worth pointing out that this is organized according to current cost I belive, not what I paid for it or what it launched at.

xcom 2 sectoid fixed.png

I actually spent a little time playing with numbers and was surprised to discover that the 50+ and 0.01-2 brackets had average ratings well below that of every other bracket, which was right around 80% positive.

The thing is when I was buying physical games more than a decade ago, the idea of owning something I never played was incomprehensible. If I cared enough to buy a game it was because I intended to go home and play it, generally right away.

Today digital distribution has changed things, mostly positively I believe. Small and/or independent developers no longer have to fight for shelf space in store. I mean, sure, some “spots” on the shelf are still better than others, but a digital marketplace has theoretically infinite shelf space.

Resale and bundling has changed somewhat too. You get sites like the well known Humble Bundle that rotate through bundles built around a certain theme. These enable you to purchase 6-30 titles for as little as $15-$20. In a lot of cases it’s designed so that you spend the highest minimum amount to get something that’s popular and/or discounted and it happens to also include several other titles you may or may not want. There are plenty of others too, indiegala comes to mind.

Then places like Green Man Gaming, which is a third party seller of keys. I don’t know exactly how they make a profit, but it’s at least reliable and above the table, so to speak.

So here I sit, having never played 83 of the games I own. I literally haven’t played more of my Steam games that I think I ever owned for PS1. What a strange world we live in.

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