Every time I see a Steam sale this comparison comes to mind imagining all the girls in the mall rushing (zerging?) a shop after shop for the best promotions possible, buying tons of unnecessary accessories, shoes and clothes.
Although most men don’t seem so reckless at spending cash for not needed stuff (at least at the shops), situation pretty much changes catastrophically when there is any kind of a sale on the digital game market. New, old, famous, bad, underrated games – everything goes on sale from time to time. Collections of games for the price of a breakfast, DLCs costing about a sandwich at Subway.
In my experience it is the time when some really unnecessary games get bought – games, which you’ve may tried sometime ago and never get the urge to continue, or games which you will be playing eventually when your grandchildren will be in primary school, and even some – which you will have forever in your library without ever installing them. The thought of the bargain sooths you – yes, you might never play this title, but at least you didn’t pay the whole price. Or “Come on – how wouldn’t I ever play all these games?! Of course I will! Why should I ever purchase them if I wouldn’t!“
At the end statistics and history show that most of these games are barely played for couple of hours (some never of course) and in the mean time the wallet is silently screaming in agony, eventually making you wonder at the end of the month, staring at your bank statement with a big question mark in front of you, asking “why”.
I must admit I was no stranger to this, but at least I’ve managed to stop this madness with the second game bought (at least it was not a pack purchase – just Torchlight II and Bastion). But reading couple of forums when sales are on and checking with friends, it seems some are not that resilient and could not resist the urge to buy everything off Steam. Haven’t you regret later that you won’t actually have the time to actually play everything you got? Or was the purchase of that “weapon pack DLC” worth the money spent?
Everything about these purchases is because everyone buys with emotion and later justifying decision made with some logic. It is all about psychology and marketing know-how. Regarding this topic I found this very interesting article – http://www.stressbank.com/a-psychology-marketing.shtml which seems to explain the things pretty well.
So girls and guys are just equal when it comes for sales – they just get their favorite stuff, a lot of it, thinking they are paying less. Do they need all of it? Of course not. Could they live with just a small part of the purchase? Of course they will. But at the end at least they got the feeling of satisfaction and sellers make money. So it seems everyone’s happy.