Bargain Thread 2023

Oh, nice! I was wondering.

That’s awesome, thanks for the heads up!

For those (like me) who still don’t own Desktop Dungeons, it’s 75% off on steam right now ($3.74). Buy it on sale today and get the Rewind Remastered Edition free when it releases.

It’s really getting off topic. @mods : feel free to split this discussion off.

That’s difficult to answer. Times have changed.

A key thing you have to keep in mind is that every SKU its own product. It might be treated in the same way as another SKU because their content is identical, though.

A standard shooter in 1999, EU version with blood, is different to a game with the same name, but withoug blood and with robots instead of humans. The first game was at risk of being put on the Index List A or even List B, followed by a trial. The second, cut game gets through.

The medium is relevant for movies. The uncut Terrfier 2 got an 18 for a cinema release. Its chances to make it through the FSK (Voluntary Self Evaluation Organization of the Movie Industry) without taking the edges off and creating a new version for home cinema are very slim.
Standard procedure would be to create a cut 18 version for the German market and sub-license the uncut version to a small Austrian label for a limited release. The hardcore fans can then import, which is legal.

Comics never were a thing in Germany. When VHS and Heavy Metal were through as “being the devil”, the public and politicians turned to games. Many games were put on the Index for glorification of violence, often in combination with questionable scenarios. An example would be the game Raid over Moscow. ;)
Pretty much all popular B-action movies were put on the Index too, for excessive shooting or beating up people. Almost every movie with Ninja or Karate in the name, unless it was obviously PG13, was indexed, which of course triggered the creation of a new SKU with a cut version. Most of them are free now. The remastered BD version are uncut.
Same thing happened to most shooter games during the 90s. Cut versions for everything. Often robots, often green blood, usually no ragdoll effects.

Nowadays things are pretty relaxed. Games and movies generally get rated routinely, unless they are what can be considered “violence pr0n”. The society, and with it the BPjM, has become more tolerant. The industries on the other hand have learned how far they can go, and how to control camera movement in an advantageous way.

So it’s better than it has ever been, but the way towards it has been rocky for games. While the movie situation improved gradually for movies, plus a few legal details helped the industry, (It’s very helpful if you unexpedly can appeal a decades old confiscation, and it turns out the files have already been shredded. ;) ) there were a couple landmark decisions which pushed things forward.
In 2002 there was a school massacre in Erfurt. The police found Counterstrike on his PC. A witch hunt was started. Media, most of the public and many politicians demanded the game be put on the Index. The BPjM (then the BPjS ;) kept its nerve, stuck to its guns (-> they are an independent branch of the ministry of the interior), evaluated the game very extensively and even allowed representatives of the German Counterstrie clans to present their side of the story. In the end their big senate couldn’t find a majority for putting the game on the Index, so it was declared “not harmful”. The BPjS added that their decision was difficult and that changed laws with precise processes were overdue.
This case “made” the BPjM. Gamers stopped seeing them as the enemy, media and politicians understood they couldn’t be pushed around. A year later the system I’ve explained in my other long post was established. Youth protection is state business. The permanent representative of the states, who codifies the recommendation by the gremium and who can cast a veto, effectively make the USK ratings law, which draws clear lines.

In 2014, during the case to have Sleeping Dogs (uncut version) confiscated, the court decided the game does not fulfill the requirements of §131 (glorification of violence), and the judge gave a very detailed explanation of hurdle a product has to pass to be considered in violation of said paragraph. The hurdle turned out to be much higher than expected. As a result the BPjM had to take the game off List B. Off course a day later they put it on List A.

The last important decision was the BPjMs decision regarding Mortal Combat X in 2015. It’s predecessor had been sacked, so the USK had to refuse a rating and forward the game to the BPjM. But surprisingly the BPjM decided not to put it on the Index and sent the case back to the USK, which then rated the game 18.
The BPjM’s reasoning clarified the assessment of things like realitic scenario vs. fantasy, comic graphics, x-ray effects, finishing moves.

A couple of links:
Movie - English language partial copy of Schnittberichte. Bookmark it if you’re interested in the topic.
Links to German language, but Google translate works well. This is the world’s leading site on the topic. Excellent source if you, for example, want to know the exact differences between M3gan cinema cut and extended cut.
FAQ on confiscation of media in Germany. Includes a list of the last 50 confiscations.
List of all movies confiscated according to §131 StGB. At the top are all films for which it has been lifted again.
List of all games confiscated, etc.

These posts have been super-informative, Gorath! Thanks for sharing.

Dealt with game ratings for decades but never knew the background on USK. Just knew we always had special programming for Germany because some big titles weren’t available digitally.

Heads up to city-builder fans! Against the Storm–a roguelike city-builder that has been one of my favorite games in early access for the last two years–is getting a discount this weekend and then a price hike in two weeks.

So right now it’s $15, and soon it will be at its launch price of $30.

If you like city-builders at all, I’m confident you’ll want to own this (sit on it until 1.0 if you like) and $15 is a great deal.

Here’s the Qt3 thread.

Thanks for the tip!

Against the Storm is indeed fantastic. I bought it on GOG but it’s so good that I’m tempted to double dip and buy it on Steam as well…

Heh, I think I have it on Epic? Was it exclusive there for a bit?

Indeed it was!

Thanks again for all the interesting background, Gorath. I remember some classmates in elementary school talking about Faces of Death. Apparently their parents let them watch anything.

Thanks for the heads up, Nightgaunt. If you have Humble Choice, Against the Storm might be a bit cheaper. Humble shows $13.59 for me with the extra Choice discount.

Yeah, it was on Epic and I believe people were able to buy it for around $7 with their big coupon, so maybe that’s why you have it already. :)

Desktop Dungeons is currently free on Steam. Edit: Players who previously purchased this (the original) will be given the new remastered version DD:Rewind for free.

Well this sucks because I just bought it on sale last week.

That is… very confusing behavior. I already thought it was odd to be releasing a new version free for previous owners when the old game was on steep sale, it makes even less sense to do so when the previous game is being given away free. Not that people shouldn’t take advantage, of course.

The Developer has posted the following in the Steam discussions for the game as of an hour or so ago:

So it looks like this is a classic Steam pricing/timing mistake. The original intent was for Rewind to launch, THEN the “classic” version of Desktop Dungeons would be given away free (without Rewind’s content and improvements). Someone screwed up, and now the current version of Desktop Dungeons is being claimed for free and those people may (or may not) end up with the Rewind upgrade for free as well later today. Steam is working on the issue.

Thanks, that makes a lot more sense at least. :)

Desktop Dungeons Rewind is not showing up for free for me, even though I have owned it for years. Is Rewind showing up for free for anyone else that owns the orignal?

Says it’s unlocking in less than an hour for me.

Rewind will release at 1:00PM EST.

Gotcha, thanks

And looks like it was just auto-added to my library, pretty easy.