Steam Sold Out Of Prey, Please Try Again Later

One of the advantages of digital distribution is that you'll never run into a sold out sign - or so we thought. Steam seems to have completely run out of 2K's Prey. Who knew?

2K's futuristic alien shooter Prey was part of the ongoing Steam end-of-the-year sale, until they ran out. That's right, Steam is completely sold out of a downloadable title, running out of keys for the game before the sale could run its course. How does this happen? Well this is speculation, but I would assume a game like Prey requires some sort of CD key, which are generated by the company selling it on Steam, and there is a finite number of them available.

That, or they were stolen by key gnomes. Goddamned key gnomes.

It isn't a total loss, however. 2K has replaced Prey in the sale with 75% off of BioShock. $US4.99 BioShock trumps Prey at any price.

Thanks to everyone who sent in this tip, especially Klaus, who saved me the trouble of pressing the print screen button.


    I never knew that a game download could "sell out"

    Methinks the people at steam better get another game ready because I think Bioshock is going to "sell out" even faster.

    That's a fantastic price. If I didn't already have it on 360 I'd be downloading it right now.

      Yeah, Steam better have a lot of games they're willing to discount, since they sell like hotcakes. And why shouldn't they, these prices are awesome for the PC gamers out there. Big thumbs up to Steam, well done.

    Just thought I'd have a look on steam and it appears that Bioshock isn't US $4.99. It's actually USD $13.39. It also looks like Prey has been taken down completely with only a trailer coming up after a search.

      That's because it was a limited 24 hour deal. Steam has games that are on special during the sale from start to finish (till 3rd of Jan) but also have games at an even heavier discounted price but only for 24 hours. Bioshock at $4.99 was yesterdays 24 hour special. I would know - i got it :P

    One must imagine that 2K only allowed the sale on Steam as long as they got to allocate the number of keys for that special price.
    I could be wrong, but here is how I see it, as that is the US price, convert it to Aus dollars and that makes it just a tad over $10 for us. I have seen the game in bargain bins and online for $20 or less for the retail version.
    So, I say, if you really want it, shop online till you find it for $15 Aus, once it arrives, enter the key into Steam and start downloading. This way you should only pay $3 more and your Credit card will charge you more than that buying it from Steam.

    Stop feeding them greedy banks already. haha!!

    Good South Park reference in the text. Woot.

    I'm just surprised they ran out of CD keys though. What's stopping them from creating more?

      Valve aren't the developers, and so aren't creating the licences - expecting Steam to just make more keys is a bit like expecting the bank to just make more money. It doesn't work like that...

    haha I think that any ones generosity only runs so deep.
    2K got the word out "again" on how great their game is so it kinda makes sense that they limit the number of keys so now the rest will be willing to pay the normal $20 or so to play it.
    So in the end it comes down to making a buck.

    Steam may have had a license only to distribute x number of games through their service, for a set period of time.

    This is actually fairly common, but of course nobody expects to sell the maximum amount of licenses!

    Yep, I've seen this happen before - not on Steam, but other digital distribution methods. They would have had a set number of licenses, and once they'd sold out, they'll need to acquire more. I'd say they can create more, but it's not set up to do it on the fly.

    I picked up Bioshock for $5US on Steam a while back - one of the reasons I love Steam. Older games actually get discounts. Try buying a preowned copy of Bioshock at EB and it will cost more than this.

      Agreed. Steam and most other digital distributation providers' games are heavily discounted and cheaper than retail because of a few factors, namely

      -The shops mark games up off the RRF to make a profit, which is understandable

      -Not having to pay for disc creation, packaging, manuals and shipping to retail

      and some other stuff. Which is why Steam works so well. You're right though, Steam's gotta get keys generated from the devs, they can't create keys to suit demand. Which sucks for them when games like Prey and BioShock sell extremely well on sales.

    Another fail for DRM. Who gives a crap about keys? Anything I buy that uses them gets the key removed before I play. I'm just not down with the whole "You don't own what you buy" ethos of The Man. Big Brother can take a hike.

      I totally agree with this.

      See, it's this sort of misinformed response to copyright concerns that leads to abominations like SecuRom. License keys aren't meaning "you don't own what you buy", they are like a digital certificate of authenticity, proving that you DO own your game. When folks like you buy titles (sure, you do...) but then crack them, the system isn't being used and so gets abandoned in favour of more draconian measures like rootkits to monitor your games and complete control of online functionality (goodbye dedservers!).

      Ironically, by mistakenly "sticking it" to "the Man" like this, you're really telling developers that they have to act like "Big Brother", because you can't play nice in the honour system.

        At least until it becomes too expensive/illegal for them to bother. At that point, the DRM gets scaled back or removed.

        I can understand the reasoning behind DRM, but in reality it just won't ever work.

    I'm pretty sure this happened once before, with a different game - UT3, of all. I recall trying to buy the unreal pack, but couldn't see it as UT3 had no CD keys left - luckily they had obtained more, if I recall correctly, a day before the sale was to end.

    I didn't know digital copies could sell out, nor that Prey could sell out.

    They probably lost the license to sell it, though.

    well thats awesome considering they dont even sell it on the aus or us stores from memory only the uk gets it

    a keygen should sort that out

    But Bioshock sucks....

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