Black X Interval of Time Sales!

By Published November 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Black Friday - or as I've grown to call it, Black November - exploded into the gaming scene with the evolution of websites and applications like Newegg or Steam. My press inbox alone has been flooded with around thirty-seven emails about sales on just as many (or more) websites... and that was just in the last twelve hours. What was once an American tradition of treacherous line-camping from dusk to dawn - rain, sleet, or snow - has advanced into a global phenomenon of e-sales. There was a time when gamers made their annual pilgrimage from their homes to electronics stores, venturing forth under the cover of night to stake their claim of a 5'x5' piece of concrete. This day would be theirs to plunder! When the doors to shops opened, a ravenous crowd of (mostly stinky) nerds stampeded security guards and "rent-a-cops," leaving a wake of empty shelves and destruction on the quest to the "Consumer Electronics" aisle. It's become obsolete!


And so it begins...

These days things are slightly different, but follow similar structure. You have to snag the 'Black Friday' sales immediately when they go live, otherwise you run the risk of suffering from an agonizing amount of lag; the servers simply weren't built for a sudden influx of millions of pageviews. By the time the page loads, physical items could be sold out (although digital downloads have virtually no limit on inventory). You've seen them as much as I have: Super Meat Boy for $9.99 here, Torchlight for $9.99 there, or even games for free at this* sketchy Russian website (*link removed). Alas, are these sales really all that different from the everyday sales that the Internet has introduced to us?

No, not really. There's a major Steam sale just about every month, Newegg offers discounts and shipping opportunities all day, everyday, and sites like GamersGate, Impulse, or GreenManGaming just do what they can to make an impact. Torchlight alone has had more sales than I can count in the last year, and they've always landed the price somewhere between $5 and $10. Don't get me wrong: I fully encourage gamers to take every opportunity given to acquire things for cheaper than standard price - but at this point, that "standard price" has become more infrequent than the sale prices! What does it mean? It's almost as if no one should ever purchase a game unless it's on sale - I can nearly guarantee that it will be lowered in price sometime within six months after its launch.

Boiling it down

As much as it may seem to be the case, even our beloved Internet cannot entirely derail tradition. The only conclusion I could come up with for buying games during "Black X Interval of Time" sales was to take advantage of them for gifts. Fellow gamers and relatives that might otherwise be disinclined to buy one of your favorite games can now be recruited at minimal price. Personally, I haven't even installed games that I bought on sale a year ago. That's hardly saving me any money. What do you guys think? Leave a comment below about which sales you like to 'jump on,' and why you do so! Do you buy games that you intend to play, but still haven't installed?

Last modified on June 09, 2011 at 1:06 pm
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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