Where is the excitement in Steam's 2016 Summer Sale?

The Steam Summer Picnic Sale brings too many deals to count, but it's missing the excitement found in previous sales.

Steam sales are always something to get excited about -- I mean, cheap games! What's not to love? But if you've felt something was a bit "off" this time around, you're not alone.

The Summer Picnic Sale has certainly brought some real steals to the table but this time around it's lacking not only the Flash Deals we've seen in Steam sales of yore (which have been absent a bit now), but daily deals in general. Instead of there being special discounts on particular games per day like we've gotten in the past, this time around every game has a set price throughout the sale period. If you notice the storefront says "Today's Highlighted Deals" instead of "Daily".

Some may be just be happy to see a big Steam sale, but there was a certain excitement to heavy discounts being relegated to single days or short periods. You'd log in soon after the daily sale rotated to see if there was anything you wanted, check the Flash Deals, then come back when the Flash Deals rotated again to see what other dirt cheap games you could get. Rinse and repeat until the sale was over.

There's something to be said about the fun of speculation and hope as you waited for the daily and Flash sales to rotate, and for those who save up for Steam sales it added some extra magic to being patient and finally getting a much-awaited game at a ridiculously low price.

The excitement is gone, but the deals are still there

While it is something I personally sorely miss, the removal of daily and periodic super low sales isn't all bad for Steam users. And in fact for many, it's a welcome change.

The Steam Store servers are in much better shape than they usually are during a sale because people aren't checking right at 1PM EST/10AM PST for the new cheap hotness, and they aren't loading the store up for the twice daily Flash Deals either.

No silly storefront minigames and badges this year also goes a long way to making the servers less bogged down and downright slow -- but many miss the interactivity those provided in the few sales they were included with. In any case the server stability is a definite plus, albeit one people have definitely forgotten admist this sale.

The universal pricing also gives people waiting on paychecks the chance to pick up the games they want at the lowest price offered no matter the day, and this is certainly a benefit to many. Many have felt burned that a game they wanted came up at an all-time low price early in the sale while they couldn't afford it, only to come back a couple days later with money in hand to find the game at a higher (but still lower) price.

With so many titles being so heavily discounted throughout the entire duration there's not much to complain about during the 2016 Summer Picnic Sale. It's all right to just get some flat deals throughout a two week period and be happy with it, but you can't deny that in previous sales you felt like a kid on Christmas skimming through those daily criminally low prices and gleefully added them to your cart before the time ran out. That is one experience I hope we get again, at least for fun's sake.

Published Jun. 29th 2016
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