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.