Prey Sold Out… on Steam

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Thanks to a massive price drop as part of its Christmas sale, Steam has managed, bizarrely, to end up “Sold Out” of 2K Games’ portal-throwing first person shooter, Prey.

Strange stuff...

One of the biggest reasons to opt with digital distribution for games is convenience, not only on the part of the end user, but for the distributor itself. Steam’s model, one would have thought, prevents it from ever having to post a sold out sign, since games should be practically infinitely reproducible. Apparently that’s not the case for 2K Games’ Prey, though so far the reason seems to be a little vague.

Ever since the hours long sale of the incredibly popular Team Fortress 2 for €2.50 around the end of November, it seems the folks at Steam have managed to convince some other publishers that massive volume of sales at a relatively low cost is an easy way to get their game a nice big following. It’s relatively simple, but it seems that there is a problem managing it in some cases.

Steam had been carrying Prey at around the €2.50 mark as well, though now the Steam listing for the game has a stamp across it that declares the game to be sold out. The folks at Kotaku have suggested that this is a result of the game’s key management system, which may simply have run out of keys to give people, which seems unlikely.

A far more likely explanation is that Prey has managed to perform better on Steam than had been imagined, quickly burning through all of the keys that 2K made available to Steam for digital distribution. In that case, they’re certainly doing well for themselves, especially considering the fact that Prey is an older game, and one that won some critical acclaim, but was considered to be too short for its price.

Still, if Prey manages to come back at the same price, it’s worth a look just for the fact that it boasts one of the best introductions of all time.

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2 Responses to “Prey Sold Out… on Steam”

  1. Kevin Says:

    This was raised on the Valve forums and Valve explanation was what Kotaku said – that the keys are issued by the publisher on a per-sale basis, and Valve ran out of their allocated number of keys. Which is a shockingly bad system when you’re dealing with digital distribution. Makes 2K Games look very, very stupid right now

    • komplettie Says:

      Or very smart, they’re offering Bioshock dirt cheap now instead. I reckon they’re in a position where they can say, “Well, if this game that was generally well received but quite widely criticised sold so well at €2.50, then for a fiver we can get Bioshock out there with a similar number of downloads…”

      Sounds like they’d be on to a winner there 😉

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