Gaming platform Steam is filled with wacky, wonderful, and sometimes woeful releases. With hundreds, if not thousands, of new games being released every day it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd; a stellar Steam game either needs a hook, great visuals, or some left-field marketing. So, what if someone made their game the newest, most expensive title on the platform, but also says you shouldn’t buy it?
Well, here it is. The newly released ‘The Hidden and Unknown’ from developer ProX is officially the most expensive game on Steam, at an eye-watering price of $1,999.90 USD (£1,679.09 GBP).
Described as a “story-based game, that aims to widen the perception of its audience in the areas of psychology and philosophy,” I was immediately intrigued by the text-based Steam game, as it struck me as something that, well, shouldn’t be that price.
So, I took it upon myself to reach out to the creator, known as ‘ThePro’, for a Disocrd call and asked them why on Earth his game is so expensive.
“I don’t believe anyone will buy it,” ThePro tells me. Adding that they in fact would “discourage anyone from buying it if they can’t afford it, I don’t want to cause trouble.”
I’m told by ThePro that they’re originally from Slovakia and now living in Switzerland, and that The Hidden and Unknown is a deeply personal game, one that depicts his own life story with some sci-fi elements sprinkled in. “The underlying theme is sharing your own story and letting people understand that even if you’re in a bad situation you can work with what you’ve got.”
Apart from the obvious marketing angle, ThePro also tells me that the price point is there because he “doesn’t want to sell my life for $20,” with the deeply personal aspect of the story game’s design not something he feels he can give away for a small price.
Steam’s most expensive game also didn’t even start out as a game, with ThePro telling me that it was originally a book before he laughs and says he just “ended up making a game” instead.
While you’re encouraged to not buy the game, there is a way you can own it without having to pay, as the ProX Discord offers giveaways of The Hidden and Unknown, but ThePro notes that he doesn’t just want to give the title away to almost anyone for absolutely no reason.
When I first heard about The Hidden and Unknown I was suitably intrigued, but it was only after hearing from ThePro himself that I grew to truly appreciate what he’s done. Steam allows you to put such a hefty price on your game, and with the screenshots and description, it’s not as if he’s trying to trick anyone. It’s a bit of fun marketing that lead me to a personal and wildly interesting story.
No one’s forcing you to buy Steam’s most expensive game, but it’s there and marks a deeply personal story for the person who made it.
“Obviously, it’s like ‘who would do this?’” ThePro says. “I spent a few months on it [and] even if just two people buy it, I believe I made the most rational decision.”
You can find The Hidden and Unknown on Steam.
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