The Steam Review

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Prey on sale this weekend…for $5

Sales skyrocket, but little media attention :: March 29th, 2008 :: Events :: 20 Responses

Get your wallet out. Take2/3D Realms/Human Head have marked down their 2006 game Prey by 80% for one weekend only, sending it soaring past the other Top Sellers entries but, perhaps due to the weekend timing, not earning it much media attention. Which is a shame, because it’s a novel and otherwise effective marketing strategy. What better way to promote the recently (if mistakenly) announced Prey 2 than with the original game?

Prey monster
Prey: absolutely face-meltingly crazy, and very, very violent. £2.90 is a steal.

Before digital distribution this could only realistically have happened at a promotional event. Somewhere 2K could feel confident that copies weren’t being snapped up in bulk for later resale, but also where its impact would be limited to a promotional gimmick. Steam, on the other hand, has blown the doors wide open: it prevents bulk purchases with its already-established credit card fraud prevention, prevents resale at any large scale with its personal user accounts, and invites every gamer from the territories it has distribution rights for to join in.

It’s not just free advertising, but free advertising that people like myself will happily pay to experience – which makes the apparent lack of any attempt by Take2’s marketing team to capitalise further on the situation a mystery to me. There may still be a media onslaught awaiting us all on Monday, but (and call me jaded if you will) the consistent lack of serious effort in exploiting Steam’s potential by third party developers over the years tells me to expect otherwise.

I’m in no mood to end on a negative however. Even if 2K don’t take any further advantage of their sale, it is clearly a more effective use of back catalogue than simply bundling it with newer, full-price releases. Thanks to digital distribution it is a promising and commendable strategy; one that in my opinion should by all rights become a standard practice when releasing sequels.

20 Responses to this post:


  1. Tom Edwards Says:

    In other news, PC Gamer UK/ have a feature up: “Why Steam Works“.

  2. Kapitein Iglo Says:

    Get my wallet out? I might have this kind of change under my couch cushions 🙂 Too bad I already have this game for the Xbox 360, if not I would have been sure to grab it. Great game, not the best (Half Life 2) but still most enjoyable.

    “but (and call me jaded if you will) the consistent lack of serious effort in exploiting Steam’s potential by third party developers over the years tells me to expect otherwise.”

    This has been bugging me as well. We get these great announcement that third party developers come to Steam only to see some (not even all, where is my Tony Hawk damned) back catalog and nothing more. There seems to be no effort from the third party developers. I do hope that changes in the future.

    P.s. I like the new look on the site. How is the contact with Valve coming along?

  3. Tom Edwards Says:

    I’ve been chatting with a few of the guys there lately, just not about Steam. 😛

  4. Tom Edwards Says:

    Prey’s credits roll:

    Prey end credits clip

    Tee hee.

  5. Andy Simpson Says:

    Bless ’em, they did try. I do remember seeing Royal say somewhere that he was working on a second generation of the Triton technology. I wonder if that’ll ever see the light of day?

    Anyways, they’ll still have an uphill battle to be better than Steam if they do try again, with less incompetent businessmen at the helm. It has a commanding lead in so many areas, from userbase to bandwidth, maturity and functionality, that any challenger has their work cut out for them.

  6. Andy Simpson Says:

    Seems to be O’Brien’s new company.

  7. Ivan Carlos Says:

    I can`t pay for Prey because they are not avaliable in Brazil (((

    Plz can u help me to contact the publishers?

    The game lists not avaliable to Brazil are increased, is too large, some games avaliable in past are now unavaliable too (like GTA series)

    Plz help us to request all pulishers to deploy these games to Brazil too! I`m trying contact but many publishers do not offer a communication way

    Thanks a lot

    Games list not abaliable in Brazil:
    Act of War: Direct Action
    Act of War: High Treason
    ArmA: Combat Operations
    Assassin’s Creed
    Atari 80 Classics in One
    Championship Manager 07
    Championship Manager 08
    CivCity: Rome
    Civilization IV: Warlords
    Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword
    Death to Spies
    Desperados 2: Cooper’s Revenge
    Far Cry
    Grand Theft Auto
    Grand Theft Auto 2
    Grand Theft Auto 3
    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
    Indigo Prophecy
    Max Payne
    Max Payne 2
    Midnight Club 2
    Railroad Tycoon 3
    Railroad Tycoon II Platinum
    RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum
    Shattered Union
    Sid Meier’s Civilization III Complete
    Sid Meier’s Civilization IV
    Sid Meier’s Pirates!
    Sid Meier’s Railroads!
    The Club
    Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell
    Tycoon City: New York
    Wild Metal

  8. Marcus Says:

    Just join this: Rest of the World
    Steam group. It hopes to generate some voice for the unheared “Rest of the World” where games are expensive or unavailable on steam.

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