The Game Industry 5 Comments

Steam Summer Sale Speculation (and Trading Cards)

It’s almost here! It’s almost here!

No one outside of Valve knows exactly when the lauded Steam Summer Sale will start, but there are signs that it’s soon. Mysterious Summer Claim Checks started dropping in Team Fortress 2 last week, and historically the sale starts on a Thursday in the first half of July. It seems fairly unlikely that Valve will start things up on a US holiday, so the smart money is on July 11th.

That means I’ll be out of town for most if not all of the sale but I have prepared by filling my Steam Wallet with the proceeds from trading card sales over the past few weeks. I’ve had good luck running the participating games for 30 minutes or so and just selling off all accumulated cards at a price designed to move. Regular cards were selling for an average price of .45, while foil cards sold for closer to $5 depending on the game. Overall I’ve made about $30 for the Steam sale, which isn’t a bad deal by any measurement.

(Note that I haven’t looked at the market since the trading card program left beta — prices are probably a lot lower now with the increased availability.)

There were no new cards released this week, and Steam observers seem to think this means we’ll see a trading card mini-game with the Summer Sale, much like last year’s “Summer Camp Tickets”. I’ll miss all of that, but thanks to technology and good friends there are four potential sale titles that I’m definitely not going to miss out on if the price is right.

Yes, creator Phil Fish is kind of an idiot and definitely a troll, but I am still going to play FEZ. I like the idea of the game’s visual puzzles, and I want to know what all the fuss is about. FEZ is $9.99 on Steam at full price, but I’ll pay $4.99 for it.

Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine
Monaco has a single player mode, but it’s the co-op that interests me the most. Up to 4 players pick a crime archetype like the Lookout or the Pickpocket, and work together to pull off the perfect heist. A 4-pack of Monaco is $11.25 per person at full price, but I’ll pull the trigger on the pack at $6.99 per person.

Kerbal Space Program
KSP looks super finicky and super nerdy, the kind of game where math or at least an understanding of real life physics wouldn’t hurt. Also, Kerbals are adorable! I am going to blow them up! I’m more curious than excited about this game, so it will have to see a pretty deep discount from the regular price of $22.99 for me to get it. Maybe $5.99 or so?

XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Last year’s AAA hit becomes this year’s discounted sale title. There are aliens, Canadians, and turn-based fights — what’s not to love? The regular Steam price is $39.99, but I will pay a robust $9.99.

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  • Reply
    July 3, 2013 at 6:25 am

    I absolutely loved XCOM: EU. The first time I tried to play through the campaign seriously, about half my ladyfighters (yes, I built an all-female international crack squad of fighters, what of it?) got the permanently wounded bug. Second time through I didn’t get that bug and it was super amazingly cool. I would add that I found the game very hard, though. But amazing, although that’s also coming from a Civ V fanatic.

  • Reply
    July 4, 2013 at 5:01 am

    I was hoping to resist the Summer Sale this year, but there you went and mentioned Kerbal Space Program, darnit!

    Don’t think there are any big blockbusters that I am interested in this year, but LOTS of games in the ~$20 range that will start looking mighty attractive if they go below $10.

  • Reply
    July 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    You can make rel $ off of Steam Trading Cards?! I have not done enough research on this and did not know this was a possibility. I may have to look into this (as I’m an avid Steam user, anyway). Thanks for the heads up!

    Also, you and I seem to have similar styles when buying them. The “I would never pay full price, but drop it to $5 or $10 and now we’re talking” style. A good website for that is . You set a game and a price, and it’ll send you an email when the game reaches that pricepoint.

    • Reply
      Jessica Cook
      July 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      Yeah, if you use Steam a lot definitely look into the trading card market! It’s a nice way to make pocket money so I don’t feel so bad when I buy games and then never play them.

      Thanks for the link — that site is exactly what I need to keep track of my wishlist while I’m travelling!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I already deleted every hat and useless coupon steam gave me. Now I get more junk to delete, thanks. It would be nice if they re-add the prizes for achievements like the years before rather than having to collect junk and trade or sell them for more junk. It became utterly offensive to receive coupons for games you were currently playing all for trying really hard to unlock an achievement for a few hours. The TF2 shit is what made me delete the game a long time ago. I had randoms looking for hats to get from me so I would say yea see that hat there, deleted, now go fuck yourself. Now I am going to get to do it all over again with trading cards… really… virtual trading cards. Can we stick to gaming, this is looking like a really cheap flea market now.

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