Global Cost of Living Crisis Impacts Game Sales, Reduces Purchases

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06 Jul 2024

On a deeper level, I have to wonder if this is an issue on my end. At the very least, there’s definitely some form of subconscious guilt in play. Like most people, my Steam backlog is a shameful beast – but in recent years, I’ve felt it peering over my shoulder a little more intensely. With the ongoing global cost of living crisis, I’ve found it harder to justify spending money on games – however cheap they are – because little things like, er, food and electricity, have become vastly more expensive. The bar for “is this worth buying?” has moved up, and while that’s an incredibly minor consequence in the bigger picture, it’s still made purchasing games harder than it once was.

The Silver Lining

The silver lining here is that I’m making a dent in that backlog (Resident Evil 2 is pretty good, believe it or not), and there’s no shortage of games waiting for their turn to be installed. I probably don’t need to stay permanently vigilant for new things to buy, which is a trait I find many long-time PC gaming friends have internalized due to these annual sales. Without “needing” to take advantage of discounts, the pressure dissipates, and – somewhat counterintuitively – the prospect of buying again becomes a little more appealing.

Whether or not I get much use out of the Steam Summer Sale this year, I’m still in love with the idea of it. It’s still a wildly popular, mid-year Christmas for the entire PC gaming community, and it’s always a joy to hear people experiencing a fantastic game for the first time because of its slashed price. The excitement around it has come to symbolize a broader celebration of gaming, and the titles that have stolen our hearts in summers past – whether that’s 2013’s DayZ phenomenon, those warm weeks in 2016 when it felt like the entire world was playing Stardew Valley, or our collective obsession with Baldur’s Gate 3 last August.

Later today, I might break the cycle and finally buy a few games that have looked especially-tempting this month. I might also buy nothing, and go back to watching waves lap on golden sands above the sales. Right now, either sounds wonderful.

Here are 25 of the best Steam games you might want to pick up during the sale:

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Hades
  • Celeste
  • Hollow Knight
  • Disco Elysium
  • Stardew Valley
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2
  • Dark Souls III
  • Slay the Spire
  • DOOM Eternal
  • Subnautica
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Control
  • NieR: Automata
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Cuphead
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Among Us
  • Terraria
  • Portal 2
  • Half-Life: Alyx
  • Baldur's Gate 3

Whether you’re looking to expand your collection or just want to experience something new without breaking the bank, these titles offer a range of genres and experiences that are sure to captivate any gamer. Happy gaming!

Update: 06 Jul 2024

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