Why I am part of the 1% on Steam? I have no frickin’ clue.

According to Sergey Galyonkins article “Your target audience doesn’t exist” I am part of the 1% of Steam Users which owns 33% of all game copies on Steam. To qualify, one has to own 107 games or more.

In my case, I’m still a bit higher, currently I have 132 games in my library, pirated content not included. I joined Steam on September 26th 2011, I am 27 years old and Steam thinks I played over 344 hours over the past 2 weeks.
Here is my profile. According to Steam I spent 1765 bucks until now.

I don’t think it’s neccessary (or particularly interesting) to explain *why* I buy games. To me they are like books or movies, but often times better.
The genre still keeps improving at a mindblowing pace and I, for one, am definitely in for the long run.
What this article attempts to do instead is simply to give an impression of what that oh so elusive and at the same time so seemingly lucrative 1% of consumers of the video game market thinks. Because as Sergey stated it:

you’re fighting for the attention of 1.3 million gamers
that are actually buying lots of games.
The 1% group.

Of course I can only speak for myself, others might be different, yadayadayada. But to be honest I almost desperately hope that at least these guys, these members of the one in a hundred crew, kind of agree with me. Because I do not only feel very, very misunderstood by the market in general, I also don’t understand the “common gamer” anymore.

There are many reasons for that and each one could (and did) spark countless discussions in the past, so I’ll try to give a very rough overview. If you are short on time, read the paragraph titles and move on to the explanation below.

Early Access Games

Games are more and more often released in an incomplete and in the worst cases even unplayable and/or broken state. Jim Sterling can talk for me on this one.

Exclusive Content

Preorder rewards, DLC, Console Exclusives, Kickstarter Stretchgoals, what have you. To sing it with the words of Bo Burnham:

We know it’s not right, we know it’s not funny,
but we’ll stop beatin’ this dead horse when it stops spittin’out money
but until then — we will repeat stuff.

Day 1 Hype

Yes, this is were you can put the rest of the Preorder-Discussion. Next to rushed reviews, prerelease coverage and all that shit about spoilers and poorly prepared content for the sake of having it out before the others.

Episodic Releases

Life is strange, Telltale Games, Republique. Incredible, high quality content. But I know quite a lot about Life is strange already without ever playing it, as I’m still waiting for it to be playable in it’s entirety. And here is a screenshot of what the typical comment flood looked like (for a time) whenever the creators of Republique posted something on Facebook.

And all the other nonsense.

Remember the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter Campaign?
That dude who made FEZ?
Fucking #Gamergate?

Let’s cut to the chase.

I am a gamer and I define that as someone who loves games, as a way to pass time, an artform, a beautiful passion I want to share with those I love. Hell, even with strangers on the internet.

My problem with all of the points listed above is — they are common modern day business and…

I don’t understand why they happen at all.

The modern gamer preorders at gamestop, plays Call of Duty or LoL fulltime, bitches about gamedevs twitter manners and shoves his or her money down the throats of microtransaction companies while not agreeing on paying the price of a pizza for a six hour story-driven experience? How are consoles still a thing in 2015 and what the hell is wrong with those “#pcmastarace”-idiots?

…I am overexaggerating, of course. A neccessary technique to transport meaning to an audience who at times seems so locked and committed in ideologic trenchwars that it’s considered everyday business by now,
although it never brings happiness to anyone at the end of the day.

The chase, man…

After all my criticism towards cheap marketing techniques, shady DLC-Deals, microtransaction freemiums, exclusive content, etc. — I don’t blame these companies. But I also don’t give them my money.
And I have no idea why people like me(!) account for the 1% on steam who actually buy a lot of great games. If you think you have even half of an explanation for that, my body is ready.

Pay for games that deserve the money. Not for those you can’t pirate. And fucking end that idiotic console war already.

Glhf,
Matt