Steam wallpaper

Valve’s popular video game distribution platform, Steam, is synonymous with unbelievable sales discounts and seasonal offers. In fact, we can even get free triple-A (AAA) games too if we’re lucky!

Steam itself is free to install, and many of its features are unlocked right from the start. However, games sold from the online store are normally full-priced, especially when every game’s revenue is directly shared between the developers and Steam (as the publisher).

Unless the games considered were released nearly a decade ago, such as Alien: Isolation (I feel old now), their prices usually remain close to the $60 mark, like 2018’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. So, why are Steam games still sold so expensively?

There are a few possible reasons depending on the respective game itself:

  • Maximizing the recoupment of development costs
  • After-sales Steam support
  • Proven platform reputation and security
  • Abundant sales promos and discounts
  • Different regional sales potential

Unlike big-budget releases, like this year’s Starfield, indie games are normally sold much cheaper, so we might find some interesting games in Steam’s indie-gaming space instead. Nevertheless, video game prices generally stay the same worldwide, meaning they can still be quite pricey in less-developed countries.

A few last-gen PC masterpieces can still be bought physically via the used market. Games, such as Dragon Age: Origins – Ultimate Edition [affiliate link], now cost half of their original launch price, and we’ll get to keep the physical disc format for long-term use/ safekeeping.

Hence, if our budget is tight, we can always scour the used-games market as well, diversifying our options apart from Steam.

Why Are Old Steam Games Still Full-Priced?

Throughout the years, some of us might have missed out on purchasing a few of the best PC games of all time. So, when looking for them on Steam, we might find them still priced between $40 and $60 today. Why’s that?

Generally, selected old games (usually those released more than 8 years ago) are still priced highly today because:

  • To promote bundled purchases
  • Cater to smaller target audiences
  • Justify their enhanced editions/ remasters
  • Improve developers’ revenue for low demand

Essentially, older Steam games that cost as much as current-gen games still have relevance to this very day. Despite their outdated graphics and gameplay mechanics, a number of them are extremely unique because not many present-day titles can match their concept, design, and success.

For instance, Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition (the basic version sold on Steam) starts at around $30, but the game’s other bundles cost as much as $80 instead. Although the game’s PC port was released in 2015 (8 years ago), it’s still heavily played by many gamers around the world, remaining popular and beloved.

Admittedly, we still need a certain level of financial security to play PC games. However, for gaming hobbyists like me, our favorite games are worth every penny,  particularly when they stay linked to our Steam accounts permanently, for us to replay them in the future.

If we don’t know what to do with old PC games that we’re not playing anymore, there are ways that we can pass them to others who might. That’s one of the benefits of buying physical game copies, which doesn’t apply to Steam and its video game catalog.

What Are the Most Expensive Games on Steam?

Steam is home to thousands of games, each priced differently according to their respective developers/ publishers’ business strategies. Although we’re accustomed to top-tier games being sold for $60 ($70 nowadays), even more exclusive versions can go upwards of $100.

When browsing through Steam’s store, we can find some surprising entries being sold heftier. Disregarding multiple-game bundles (different games under one price) and VR titles, these are some of the most expensive games listed on Steam right now*:

*Prices may vary according to region

Games sold around those price ranges mainly offer the complete package, meaning every downloadable content (DLC) and exclusive items are already included with the purchase. This justifies their increased price tags, which are usually still cheaper than those sold on consoles.

Still, not everyone can fork out as much as $200 on a whim, which is why some retailers continue to offer game-renting services today, such as GameFly. If we do have cash to spend, then having a Steam Deck [affiliate link] on hand can make purchases seamless and convenient.

Noting how video games are steadily becoming more expensive by the day, especially when development costs and gamers’ expectations continue to rise, the video gaming market might look very different come the next decade or so.

Can I Get a Refund for a Bad Steam Game?

Not every game is a hit, and we can sometimes find ourselves buying lackluster or poorly-optimized games sold on Steam, from time to time. If we find ourselves in such a situation, can we ask Steam for a complete refund?

Yes, we can get a complete refund from Steam if we’re unsatisfied with a recent video game purchase. That being said, certain terms need to be met before we can do so, so it’s important for us to give Steam’s refund page a read.

On occasions, we might find the recently bought game boring in the first hour or so, but it becomes more fun and exciting after we’ve progressed further into it. Because of this, we should carefully think things through before asking for a refund, particularly when we can just leave the game inside our Steam library until we’re ready to play it again later.

Narrative-focused games, such as Red Dead Redemption 2, are guilty of this, but stick around and we’ll be thankful that we did because many of them teach us important gameplay mechanics or storyline insights that tie to the game’s overall premise.

At least, that’s my two cents on the matter, but each to their own, though.

Are Steam Games Worth Buying?

There are many other digital video game distributors out there, so is it worth buying games from Steam instead?

Yes, Steam games are worth buying because they’re safe and legitimate, and prices are often significantly discounted. Nevertheless, having accounts with other digital video game stores, like Epic Games Store or GOG, lets us enjoy different discounts and seasonal offers, including free video games as well!

Bear in mind that games bought from Steam can only be launched via the platform, and this is the same for others too. Still, the games purchased will forever remain locked to our respective accounts, meaning we don’t have to rebuy them once they’re removed from the computer.

Conclusively, although we don’t need Steam to play PC games, the storefront’s proven reputation and huge video game library justify its download on every PC to date. The platform even offers compatibility support for third-party gaming devices, like Logitech G Pro Mechanical Keyboard [affiliate link] and Razer Naga Trinity [affiliate link], making it appealing to hardcore gamers like myself!

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