Valve reveals new rules to tackle fake discounts on Steam games

midian182

Posts: 7,919   +82
Staff member
In brief: Steam is loved by its many users, thanks in no small part to the slew of discounted titles on offer, but some unscrupulous companies often exploit money-off sales in various shady ways. Now, Valve has detailed exactly how it intends to put a stop to these ‘fake discounts.’

It was earlier this month when Valve first announced changes to its discount policy alongside the dates for its 2022 sales events. It previously only gave details on the cooldown period between game discounts, reducing it from six weeks to 28 days, though that rule doesn’t apply to the major sales: Summer, Winter, Autumn, and Lunar New Year.

The gaming giant has now published the complete list of changes:

  • 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.

The new rules will stop some less ethical practices relating to Steam events, including raising the price of a game before a sale takes place and then reducing it back to the original amount during the event.

Another important change states that products cannot be discounted by more than 90% or less than 10%—the previous rule only prohibited games being discounted by 100%. It means that companies will be unable to reduce a game by a ridiculously low number, such as 1% or 2%, thereby assuring they appear in a sales list.

Valve will implement its new discount rules on March 28.

Last month saw Steam break its concurrent user record when over 29 million people were logged into the service at the same time, doubtlessly helped by PUBG: Battlegrounds going free-to-play and a new Yu-Gi-Oh game.

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brucek

Posts: 1,134   +1,672
No objections really, but I might have started by just never having promoted "1% discounts" on my discount promotions pages in the first place.
 

envirovore

Posts: 468   +875
TechSpot Elite
No objections really, but I might have started by just never having promoted "1% discounts" on my discount promotions pages in the first place.

I'm going to guess the promotions page is automated and any game with a discount gets listed, it just didn't consider the amount it was discounted into it. (Is game on sale? Yes? Then list on discounts)

Otherwise I'd happily be the guy working for Valve that reviews every title on the discount page to be sure it meets the %off criteria to be listed.
The paid for 2 week trip to Hawaii per year to just scan a list of games to be sure their pricing falls in line would be worth it alone.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,134   +1,672
Sorry to burst your dream job bubble, but the query to surface only games with a minimum "x% or x$" threshold is a trivial developer task, one time. If they wanted to expose a user-driven search filter for it, that might take just a little longer.