At the end of March, Valve is making changes to the way studios and publishers can offer their games at a discount on Steam, which sounds like a minor administrative thing is also something the more financially-savvy Steam game purchasers among you might want to keep an eye on.
Published earlier this month, a backend blog post called Discount Rule Changes says that as of March 28, Valve will be “changing some rules for discounts”, with the main ones being a revised “discount cooldown” period and the removal of the ability for developers and publishers to “discount a product by more than 90% or less than 10%.”
While it’s easy to look at a move like the latter and feel like it’s a little unfair for users, every change being made is clearly being done to stop those responsible for a game’s pricing — and we’re talking everyone from the dodgiest little scam game to the biggest AAA publishers — from not only gaming Steam’s algorithm to make their releases more prominent, but also trick users into thinking a sale is bigger than it actually is by artificially inflating the original, pre-discount price.
The specifics of the changes are:
– You can run a launch discount, but once your launch discount ends, you cannot run any other discounts for 28 days.
– It is not possible to discount your product for 28 days following a price increase in any currency.
– Discounts cannot be run within 28 days of your prior discount, with the exception of Steam-wide seasonal events.
– Discounts for seasonal sale events cannot be run within 28 days of releasing your title, within 28 days from when your launch discount ends, or within 28 days of a price increase in any currency.
– You may not change your price while a promotion is live now or scheduled for the future.
– It is not possible to discount a product by more than 90% or less than 10%.
– Custom discounts cannot last longer than two weeks, or run for shorter than 1 day.
Will this actually work? Who knows! But it sure looks more robust on paper, at least.