So I was doing up my spending information from 2011 and there was a few surprises in store. The biggest one, though, was definitely just how much money I give to Steam every month.
Jumwa and I are both big gamers, of course, and we have a few big budget titles we’ve purchased this year that I can tell you off the bat – Saints Row 3, Portal 2, Skyrim. In between we bought some little games, some toss away ‘well it’s only $5!’ games.
Apparently when you take $5 and multiply it by a couple times a week, you’re spending a fair amount on games that you wouldn’t have if Steam didn’t remove all those pesky and wonderful barriers to impulse spending. Suddenly I don’t have to get up, get dressed, go outside, look for the game, not find the game and have to ask a sales associate, wait in line, get rung in, go home, open the game, put in the disc…
With Steam, and other online distributors, it’s a matter of selecting a game, hitting payment, accepting the information on file if you’re super duper lazy, and then install your game.
This is, to put it mildly, brilliant. I have bought so many games I would not have otherwise bought, and people can cry about piracy all they wish, but the truth is that breaking down these barriers and making games so convenient to buy is doing a world of good for consumers and game makers alike.
In 2011, I’ve spent about $90 a month on Steam, peaking during sale months (I can immediately spot a Steam sale on my credit card bill), and during months where we had a planned expense.
When you look at how much I’ve planned to spend on games this year ($300 or so) versus how much I’ve actually spent ($1100 or so) you can see how effective it is to remove barriers for your customers and to make purchasing your product as easy as possible.
Obviously not all consumer goods can be dealt with so easily, but certainly different forms of media such as books, films, music, television and games can be distributed so painlessly this way.