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In brief: Steam listings that play fast and loose with their pricing, such as increasing it before a sale then dropping it, or claiming something is the lowest price ever when it's not, will no longer get away with these shenanigans in the EU, thanks to legislation forcing publishers to show a game's price history over the last 30 days.
The move is the result of the EU's Omnibus Directive, also known as the Enforcement and Modernisation Directive, which is designed to strengthen consumer protection.
To comply with the directive, which was rolled out last year, Steam is showing customers in the European Union the lowest price a game has been across the past 30 days. SteamBD posted a screenshot of the feature, which shows the title's price normally, a 30-day low, and what it is now.
Steam now shows 30-day low price in some European Union countries to comply with the Omnibus Directive. pic.twitter.com/BbTsNn2Zsp– SteamDB (@SteamDB) June 3, 2023
Not every country in the EU is complying with the directive yet, but all members are planning to at some point.
There's no word on whether the new feature will ever expand outside of the EU and come to the US, but SteamDB's browser extension already shows the all-time low prices for all games on the platform, along with plenty of other stats.
Back in February last year, Valve unveiled its own set of rules to prevent publishers from exploiting Steam's money-off sales through fake discounts. These changes included no discounts allowed within 28 days of prior discounts (with the exception of seasonal sales events), and no discounts (including during Steam sales) within 28 days of a price rise.
Another important change from last year stated that products could not be discounted by more than 90% or less than 10%---the previous rule only prohibited games from being discounted by 100%. It means that companies are unable to reduce a game by a ridiculously low number, such as 1% or 2%, thereby assuring they appear in a sales list.
In other Steam news this week, the platform's latest survey results were released. May saw the RTX 3060 continue its climb to the top of the GPU chart while Windows 11 kept chipping away at Windows 10's lead.