A Steam sale can now happen at any time … even when you least expect it.
Valve, the company that owns and operates Steam, is turning over the power to discount games to individual developers. Studios can now cut the price of their products as much as they want and whenever they choose. Previously, game makers had to consult with Valve to determine when a discount would occur. Steam sales are one of the important methods that help developers make a lot of money selling PC games.
This new feature came in the latest update to Valve’s Steamworks tools, as spotted by Reddit user Sharkiller. Steamworks is a software kit that developers can incorporate into their games to take advantage of features on Valve’s service. In addition to setting up their own sales, developers can now also see upcoming “Weeklong Deals.” Companies can quickly opt into those sales by checking a box and entering the discount amount up to two months ahead of time.
We’ve reached out to Valve to ask why it made this change. We’ll update this story with any new information.
Steam is one of the biggest online retailers for PC games, and its frequent sales is one of the features that keep people coming back to build up their digital libraries. That frequency may increase now that developers have more control.
This is one of the latest efforts Valve has made to empower game creators using its digital-distribution service. The company currently offers other services like Greenlight and Early Access to help developers. Greenlight is a service that asks community members to vote on games that should have a place on the Steam store. Early Access, meanwhile, enables studios to sell unfinished games to players willing to take the risk on a potentially buggy release. This helps developers raise money while also getting feedback from enthusiastic fans.