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.