Steam Developers Can Now Discount Games By Themselves

By Eugene . February 27, 2014 . 10:01am

When we first got wind that a Redditor had leaked shots of a new plan by Valve to let developers set their own timings and discounts for Steamworks titles, there was a cautious and collective “Oooooohhhh”.


Then, Valve confirmed the news and there was much rejoicing. Except for those of us who grow poorer whenever a sale happens on the Steam store.


The change will allow devs to bypass having to talk to Steam reps and select when and for how much their titles go on discount, although there’s a caveat that self-selected discount dates will have a maximum shelf discount life of two weeks.


Polygon managed to get in touch with Valve’s Doug Lombardi, who confirmed the screenshots by Redditer Sharkiller were legitimate. Lombardi said that the change is part of Valve’s plan to “shorten the distance between developers and customers”.


Benefits for devs are obvious, as Lombardi noted, “This new Steamworks tool allows developers to configure discounts for their own products, on their own schedules. They can define custom sale periods or opt in to regularly scheduled sales. This will enable developers to better coordinate their promotions with events, announcements, or major updates they are planning for their products.”


There is also news that devs can opt to get in on weeklong deals that are regularly scheduled by Steam. All promotions can be planned and scheduled for up to two months ahead of time and then set to automatically go live.


For developers—especially smaller ones who’ve got their stuff on via Steam Greenlight—this is a boon. There’s less hassle, less worries of things going wrong (It’s all automated on the back end servers) and you have full control. As Lombardi said, the ability to self-coordinate discounts with updates, special changes or whatever the devs feel like should, theoretically, allow for better control of and increased sales.


For gamers, it means coming back to storefronts and gazing hungrily at titles on their wishlist more often perhaps, which gives the front page more chances to part your money from you. For Valve, it means being able to save time from the who knows how many reps who were previously assigned to have to deal with this for other tasks on the network. It’s win-win-win.


Credits for quote: Polygon.

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  • MagisterXII

    Interesting, I had been wondering how Steam discounted their games.

  • Anewme…Again

    Wow, that’s nice, now i wish Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft would follow that.

    • nonscpo

      That might be asking too much…Lol

      • Anewme…Again

        Yeah, that’s why it’s a wish :P

    • sd28

      nintendo already do this on the eshop and i am sure i have read something similar foe sony not sure about microsoft

  • Eilanzer


  • KoRLumen

    inb4 developers never discount their games anymore lololol

    • malek86

      If anything the opposite.

      I expect a lot of less successful devs to try extremely high discounts, with the results that they will all cannibalize each other and nobody will really benefit from them.

      I’m all for more developers control, but I have a feeling that Valve will need to step in the situation again soon… just like how Greenlight pretty much didn’t work at all, this will probably get abused to hell and back.

      • KoRLumen

        Of course. I’m kidding lol. Mostly, anyway.

      • Rohan Viajar

        I don’t know much,so could you please explain to me why “greenlight pretty much didn’t work at all”?
        (I was under the impression that greenlight enabled a lot of games published)

        I don’t care if it is long to explain. You got me curious to find out. Please :D

        • Anewme…Again
          • Rohan Viajar


          • malek86

            Well, I think they eventually levied the $100 fee, but the main problems are actually of transparency: nobody really understands how the games are selected, it sounds like Valve are just choosing them by their own pick rather than by following popularity, and the whole system is swarmed with bad games, clones and horrible free mods. Some of which even get picked.

            I tried a HL mod that had been greenlit. Jesus. That thing would have never been picked under the old system. It’s terrible and full of bugs and absolutely no fun at all. I can’t imagine anyone voting for it, and neither Valve picking it up based on its quality, so how the hell did it get selected?

            Until there will be more transparency, I can’t consider Greenlight as good. It’s as simple as that.

          • Landale

            The fee is still there. Aside from transparency, there’s also the issue of some people pulling their games from the voting process and reentering it, rather than just updating it. “Ask me again later” becomes pointless over it and some people just start voting no out of irritation, even if previous entries of the same game got a yes.
            Basically the whole system is a mess and no one seems to understand what the hell the system is even supposed to be.

  • Izzeltrioum

    We can expect Capcom and Activision rising their prices instead.

    And, barely, 5% off discount of COD’s rehashed maps.

  • DCBlackbird

    This can either not a change a thing…. Or destroy steam’s charm altogether…

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