Steam Syndrome: Be Wary of the Summer Sale

37% of the games bought on Steam are never played. Can I convince you not to indulge in the Steam summer sale?
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Let’s face it, girls and guys. It doesn’t matter what kind of gamer you are. If you have Steam installed, you’re more than likely going to indulge in the Steam Summer Sale. And why wouldn’t you? The discounts are great! Tons of games go on sale for dirt cheap and some even lower on certain days. 

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But I’m here to warn you now. For your own sanity, don’t go crazy over the Steam summer sale. 

The Problem

First, let’s establish some of the problems with Steam and the Summer Sale before we go and find a cure. 

A large part of the problem is that Steam has too many games. Yeah you heard me. Way too many. Actually, this year alone, we’ve seen more games come out between January and April than all of 2013. We’ve got graphs to prove it too! 


According to Gamasutra:

While in 2013 your new release might have shown up on the front page of Steam for a few days, you’re likely to see your game drop off the front page within 24 hours of you releasing it.

Hell, if I was an indie developer (and not struggling for money) I’d wait a while before releasing my game. 

Now This Part Is Just Sad

Here’s the sad truth about Steam. “Nearly 37% of all games bought on Steam are never played.” Back in April, Forbes did the math and found some stunning results.

Of (the 781 million registered games), only 493 million have been played. A whopping 36.9% of the titles on Steam have never seen the light of a computer monitor.

It hurts my heart to read that. Games are supposed to be investments. Pieces of art to be enjoyed and explored. Not set on the shelf like your grandmother’s china collection. 

So, a Bunch of Games, and Lots of Them Unplayed… So What?

You know what that means? Wasted money. A lot of it. And not only that, but with such a huge influx of new games coming to Steam, hundreds of games will more than likely be on sale and deals will be sweeter than ever. Beware…

Kotaku also did a nifty little report on how bad the Steam Syndrome is. Who likes infographics? I do!


I’ll admit, I’m a victim of the Steam Syndrome too. I have about 15 games I’ve either never played or only played an hour or two of… So here’s my public apology to all the developers who I let down… I’ll try to play your games soon™.

What Can We Do To Stop This?

Whelp… to be honest there’s not a whole lot we can do. The Summer Sale will start soon, and people will spend more than they expect to buying a handful of games they’ll never touch. 

My advice is to do some research before jumping on a sweet deal. Not only find out if the game is good based on reception and reviews, but look up how the game runs on Steam itself. Or if the controller support is better than keyboard and mouse. I know a few of my games don’t have hardware cursor and makes the game unbearable to play for me. 

 All I can say is good luck to everyone. I hope your wallet doesn’t hurt after the weeks of mayhem and savings Valve throws in your face. 

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