Valve Is Changing Steam Sales

Valve Is Changing Steam Sales

Since the dawn of recorded time, big seasonal Steam sales have included daily deals that make the whole process downright ritualistic. Wake up, check Steam sale deals, feel the life being drained from your wallet, etc. Soon, that will no longer be the case.

Instead, games will just be at their lowest prices for the duration of the sale. No daily deals or flash sales, whatsoever. After rumblings that Valve will be changing the way it conducts Steam sales for the upcoming autumn and winter sales, Eurogamer confirmed it by way of a notice Valve sent out to Steam developers and publishers:

"We'll still be highlighting your top games on the front page for 24-48 hour spans, but those products will stay at their most competitive discount, before and after being featured."

"It's not a major change, but it does make the sale a lot more valuable for customers, and it allows us to build sale features that recommend your product all sale long, instead of just during its front page feature."

"For a brand new release, if you can't get approval for your best discount for the full length of the sale, that's OK and we can work on a plan for that game. But the vast majority of your catalogue should be running its best discount for the duration of the sale."

It's change that might make sales less "fun" — less akin to waking up on Christmas morning every day, only Santa is Gabe Newell and he takes your money — but it also sounds far more useful. No more waiting around in hopes of catching a game when it sheds the final vestiges of its price tag, no more feeling vaguely exploited by the zeitgeist-y "GOTTA GET IT NOW" nature of it all. And sure, traditionally a lot of games used to go back to their daily deal prices during sales' waning hours, but that wasn't particularly useful to non-eagle-eyed Steam users.

I'm on board with this change. I think it's better for Steam users overall. Plus, knowing Valve big sales will probably still be accompanied by games or game-like structures that make them feel eventful. What do you think?


    As long as its in $USD I'm not buying from Steam. $112 for Fallout 4, yeah right.

      You do realise that if Steam goes into AUD that Fallout 4 and most other AAA games would be priced at $110.

      Gone are the days where steam used to be cheap.

        Maybe. But it stops them double dipping on the exchange rate by charging 90USD in AU and 60USD in the US. So when the listed price suddenly becomes double what the US price is, even with the weak AUD I think people would be much more hesitant to buy, forcing publishers to sell at the brick and mortar price.

        Then again, they may just double down on charging Australians far more for the same product while citing nebulous extra costs for sending 1s and 0s to AU instead of the US.

        Either way, it clears up any ambiguity in how much you’re paying on Steam.

          I don't care if it's in US dollars, I care that we have Regional Pricing in US dollars.

        Yeah pretty much, the cheap, saving days of steam are definitely over :(

        When even EB Games is cheaper than you, you've done fucked it up

      The AU price for the game is set by the publisher, Steam (and the currency you buy in) has nothing to do with it. A currency change might be a kick in the arse for them to fix the pricing but it's still their responsibility at the end of the day.

        If developers can choose to region price stores then I should be able to choose the store I buy from. SImple .... geoblocking is a joke!

        The two seem to negotiate on this. The Steam price might not be set by Valve, but it is undoubtedly influenced by them.

        When I was using Stardock's store - Impulse (before they sold out to GameSpot), many AAA titles were being sold for significantly less than the Steam price. Sometimes with regional pricing, other times without. I suspect they weren't asking for a straight 30% cut like Steam.

        Publisher policies don't seem to be consistent, either. We're always pretty sensitive to being overcharged, but exactly the same serial offender publishers will then go and make us the cheapest region around for surprising titles.

      get on Ozbargains if you're not already there.
      Heaps of cheap copies and shit.

      greenmangaming, 60 bucks. nuff said

    I approve. Nothing sucks more than buying something in a sale only for half the price to be slashed in a flash sale two days later.

      If that happens, you can request a refund and then buy it again. That doesn't mean it doesn't suck, just that there's a workaround (one I used last year).

      The new setup is much more sensible IMO. Less exciting, but less hanging around for the game you want to be on sale - and if somebody has asked for a game for Christmas, you can get it for them on day one.

    I like the old way. You nailed it with the fun comment. And even if you missed it the first time, you can usually grab it on encore.

    I wonder if the longer duration will make publishers think twice about settling on extreme markdowns (80% etc)

      The reality is that the sales net the publishers more cash than their normal price. That's why steam does it and why the publishers are all on board, for the money.

        That is true but lots of people jump on on the first day of the sale and grab a game they 50% off if that hits the price point they are happy with.
        They on day 3 of the sale they drop to 75% for 12 hours or whatever. That hits the price point for another group of buyers who will then grab it.
        If half the people who buy the game are in each group then the new model would mean they have to instantly go to 75% off so they get half the money from that first group that they would under the previous model. That's a 25% reduction in overall revenue to the developer.
        So to balance that will developers just go for a 65 or 70 % discount?

    Give us the ability to 'cash out' our steam wallet and Steam will be top notch.

      Meh ... they can keep my $0.41. :P

        I guess that would be handy if you are one of those CS GO skin gamblers

    Sounds like a good change to me...the three 8 hour flash sales a day were sometimes hard to get to all three. Had to jump on steam as soon as I woke up, when I got home from work and then a bit before bed to see them all or miss losing out on what I wanted.

    That said the steam sales have been pretty lackluster lately so seeing it all at once will save me wasting more time.

    Isn't this idea stupid? There will be a lot less traffic since there's no reason to check the store page more than once for hourly and daily sales.

      Less traffic = less overheads. Since people are often only checking for the "Best price" anyway, people still still check the frontpage feature in case there's something not already on their wishlist, just less obsessively.

      Maybe it will get them more sales. This is my process during a Steam sale:

      "Sweet, the game I want is on sale. I'll wait, I bet it will get cheaper."
      "Crap, I missed the flash sale. Oh well, there's always next year."

      I'll probably spend more money if I know it's the best deal during my excited "sweet" stage.

    Steam sales were ridiculously exciting five or six years ago, but these days sale prices are still the same price as a key anywhere else- sometimes more expensive. Couldn't care less about them anymore.

    I never liked their USD prices...

    On sale! $19.95! - You mean $27.57 AUD

    On sale! $29.95 - You mean $41.38 AUD

    On sale! $39.95 - You mean $55.20 AUD

    On sale! $49.95 - You mean $69 AUD

    It's just going to be a rehash of last years sale plus the ones released this year. Which most of us have anyways. I didn't buy anything in the last Steam sale.

    Definitely feels less fun. You see the games in Day 1, buy what you really want, and then forget about. No more hunting around, no more the excitement of seeing new deals every day, etc.

    I can see how it is practical and beneficial, but it's as though Christmas presents became standardised to a fixed cash amount in an envelope.

    Last edited 21/11/15 9:21 pm

    I like the change. It simplifies things. All the extra fanfare is entirely optional anyway.

    It's been incredibly difficult to justify any lately released purchases. Even the relatively inexpensive titles still add that good 'ol chunk at exchange.

    I ended up purchasing Just Cause 3 early on Steam because I was always going to get it and it was cheaper after exchange than a physical copy on release. Base game costs $53.99 @ 10% off which amounts to roughly $74 AUD. Better than the advertised $79 at JB or $89.95 at EB.

    I remember a [brief] time when the Australian dollar was stronger than the US. What a nice little treat to see the charge equal less than the advertised price.

    I've spent through several sales so the sales had become a bit lackluster because I had everything but the new releases...

    Whatever. This is a good thing. I'm sure there'll be plenty to tinker for all those who like to get into all that other stuff...

    I've always hated the flash deals so this it good news to me. My philosophy has always been "Never buy anything until the last day because it might be in a flash sale". This meant stressing over making sure I checked some time during the flash sale's period which wasn't always that easy because life happens. Now I can just buy things in one day and be done with it.

    Meh - My pile of shame is so tall these days it's threatening to cause some serious damage to my house - and it's almost all virtual downloads!

    I think I'm done with buying the latest and greatest on the day of release. This weekend I finally had time to finish StarCraft II: Legacy of the Swarm. I own, but still haven't even installed; GTA V, Witcher III, Pillars of Eternity, Saint's Row IV, Far Cry 2 & 3, Dark Souls II, Shadow of Mordor, SouthPark: Stick of Truth, Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, Guacamelee, XCom: Enemy Unknown, about 4 Splinter Cell games, most of the Total War games and a partridge in a pear tree!

    ...and that's just a pared down list of some of some of the acclaimed titles of the last couple of years - there's lots, lots more!

    I think it just became a software version of GAS (Gear Aquisition Syndrome) where I had to buy the latest big titles even though I knew there was no chance I'd have time to play them.

    I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to install and play next (suggestions would be appreciated!). in the mean time I think I'll dabble with Hearthstone for awhile... or maybe I'll try to get my head around DOTA 2 again (or perhaps I could start cutting myself while a bunch of strangers told me how crap I am and how much of a sl*t my mother is).

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