As if Steam’s coordinated sales events weren’t doing enough damage already to the wallets of gamers stocking up on great games, Valve is now rolling out an option for developers to start their own limited-time discounts. The new feature arrives as part of Valve’s Steamworks tools and will let developers either opt-in to Steam’s upcoming weeklong sales, or set their own custom discounts for periods of up to two weeks.
A developer by the username "Sharkiller" on Reddit was among the first to notice and posted a screenshot for all to see. While the language on the SteamWorks page suggests that the program is already live, reports from another indie developer (via Ars) suggest Valve may still be putting the final touches before flipping the switch.
In any case the company has since confirmed the move claiming it’s yet another effort to shorten the distance between developers and customers: “This new Steamworks tool allows developers to configure discounts for their own products, on their own schedules, [enabling them] to better coordinate their promotions with events, announcements, or major updates they are planning for their products.”
Besides giving developer’s more freedom on how they run promotions, the new tool might help indies avoid a race to the bottom, as more and more titles compete to grab gamers’ attention on big seasonal sales.
Developers who do wish to participate in one of of Valve-run sale events will get up to two months advance notice so they can plan accordingly and figure out any discount price they’re prepared to offer.