Steam Limits Biggest (And Smallest) Game Deals

Valve has updated its Steam terms for game partners, limiting the discounts they can provide on both the upper and lower end of the spectrum, providing more structure to the platform's game market.

Steam is one of the most popular game distribution platforms, carrying a variety of titles ranging from esports games to AAA bestsellers. The service is available on Linux, macOS, and Windows, making it a popular way for game publishers to distribute their titles across different systems.

Until now, publishers could discount their titles as they saw fit. Steam is now adding some rules, clarifying how much publishers can discount their titles on both ends of the spectrum. This comes at a time when app stores are under increasing scrutiny for dictating the terms publishers must abide by.

Fortunately for Steam, its new terms are unlikely to ruffle too many feathers.

Steam's New Terms

Valve quietly updated its new Steam terms on February 2, 2022, and they're scheduled to go into effect after March 28, 2022.

The company acknowledges the importance of discounts as a useful tool for game publishers to attract more users, and it wants to continue to support that. One of the changes the company is implementing to assist publishers is reducing the amount of time between discount runs. Previously, a minimum of six weeks had to pass between one discount run and another. Under the new terms, the minimum has been reduced to four weeks (28 days).

The company is also limiting the amount publishers can temporarily cut from a game's price tag. Discounts will be restricted to no more than 90% and no less than 10% of the product's price. In addition, custom discounts will be limited to two-week runs, with a minimum run of 1 day.

Steam's new policies, especially the reduced cooldown period, should provide publishers with plenty of new opportunities to run discount campaigns, while the pricing limits will help bring some structure to the market and keep things on an even keel.