What mostly began on Steam has quickly spread across the entire industry - the huge game sale. There's weekly sales, monthly free games, flash sales, and more across all major gaming platforms these days, and there are a million different schools of thought on them. While I can see most of the arguments on each side, I ultimately come down on the side of them being a good thing.
Publishers and developers themselves are usually the ones who have problems with deep discount sales, and some like EA tend to avoid them or speak out against them. It's understandable, of course - they want the maximum amount of profit generated by their products. Some choose to see this as cheapening their product, or worse still devaluing it. Publishers realize we now exist in a culture where "I'll wait for it to go on sale" is a common phrase. There is data, however, that shows that deep discount sales can actually help bolster a games' sales far beyond what it would be able to achieve on its own.
Let's face it- tons of games come out every single week, and not all of them are going to sell Call Of Duty-level units. In an age where there is no mid-level developers anymore, all studios- big and small- need every leg up they can get. That's where these sales become extremely useful. Whereas just as recent as 10 years ago, a financial let-down of a game would spell the end of a developer studio, these sales could potentially earn enough profit to keep that same studio going until the release of their next game. That's not always how things play out, but a chance is better than none at all. These sales provide developers much-needed exposure.
On the player end of the equation, there's another bonus to sales like these, besides just saving money. Deep discount sales also encourage players to try something new. Often, we fall into ruts and habits when it comes to our hobbies. We figure out our likes and dislikes, and they don't really change over the years. Sales offer us the chance to challenge our own ideas and beliefs, and maybe even broaden our palates in the process.
Provided that trying out new games sticks with players, they may decide to check out other games in those genres, or future releases in the same franchise as they are released. This means more cash being handed over to developers than what they were generating before the sales. In my eyes at least, it really is a win/win scenario; players get to broaden their horizons and try out cool games they never played before, and developers and publishers get several new bumps in their revenue.
It should go without saying that you should support good games when they are released if you can. But if you need to wait for a decent sale to come around, at least try something new in addition to the game you're waiting for. Being outside your comfort zone is one of the best way to expand your likes and gain an even greater appreciation for video games.