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Valve Unveils New Rules Targeting Dodgy Discounts For Steam Sales

Valve has issued changes to its rules surrounding games sales and discounts. These reforms will affect the frequency in which developers and publishers can discount their games, as well as the percentages they can discount their titles by. The new rules will take effect on March 28th and will apply to all Steam sales, except for the platform’s “four major seasonal sales:” Summer, Autumn, and Winter, and the Lunar New Year.

The full list of rules is:

  • You can run a launch discount, but once your launch discount ends, you cannot run another for at least 28 days.
  • It’s not possible to discount your product for 28 days following a price increase.
  • 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 the release of your title, within 28 days from when your launch discount ends, or within 28 days of a price increase.
  • You may not change your price while a promotion is currently live 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 less than one day.

The upshot of these changes is basically that developers can run discounts more often. However, one alteration seems geared more toward cracking down on anti-consumer behavior. This is outlined in the sixth bullet point, “It is not possible to discount a product by more than 90% or less than 10%.” Previously, the rule stated, “It is not possible to discount a product 100%.” This led to unscrupulous game sellers offering discounts of 1% so their games would be featured on sales lists without offering a meaningful price cut. These new rules restrict developers and publishers from offering a minimum discount of 10%, meaning all discounts should now be offered in good faith.

(All information was provided by PC Gamer)

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