That’s right, as if you needed another incentive to make a few purchases during Steam’s infamous holiday sale, you now have the chance to win every Steam game ever. You read that right – every game that is on Steam will be free to download for one lucky gamer who wins the sweepstakes at the end of the holiday.
Here’s how it works. Every day from December 19th to January 2nd, there will be a new group of sales on Steam. A select few of these games will also have special objectives, awarding achievements to all those who complete them. Each achievement awarded plops a present in the player’s Steam inventory from the appropriately named Great Gift Pile, containing a large variety of possible goodies. Gifts include coupons and full game downloads, to name a few – or there’s always the chance you’ll receive a lump of coal. You are much more likely to receive coal than a gift (only a one in four chance of receiving a gift for completing an objective), but 7 lumps of coal can be crafted into a gift at any time. Everything you receive during the holiday sale period can also be traded with friends, but if you’re going for gold, it might be worth trading in a few 25% off coupons for that seemingly useless coal.
Coal is most widely associated with naughty children, but on Steam, things work a little differently. At the end of the holiday sale on January 2nd, each lump of coal remaining in your Steam inventory will count as an entry into the Epic Holiday Giveaway. This is how the giveaway breaks down:
- Grand Prize – 1 winner – Every single game on Steam
- First Prize – 50 winners – Top 10 items on wishlist
- Second Prize – 100 winners – Top 5 items on wishlist
- Third Prize – 1,000 winners – Valve Complete Pack
It would appear Valve has given us a choice: either keep your gifts, or collect as much coal as possible in an attempt to win a prize worth thousands and thousands of dollars. My hard drive shutters at the thought.
Although it might seem hard to beat Steam’s wallet-emptying holiday sale, several other websites have jumped in the mix with huge deals as well. GOG.com (Good Old Games) has marked 50 percent off almost everything in their store until January 2nd, making this the perfect time to buy dozens of old PC games you never got around to trying fifteen years ago. Direct2Drive is currently hosting a 12 days of Christmas sale, offering a new deal every day. The GameStop-owned Impulse digital distribution service has a long list of bundles and cheap games too. In other words, if Steam doesn’t have the specific deal you’re looking for, someone else will.