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Devs back Steam sales in 'devaluing franchises' debate

Sales boosted even beyond deep sales periods, say devs

Valve has openly rejected the notion that deep Steam sales 'cannibalise' franchises and devalue games as a whole, and a number of developers agree.


Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer told Gamasutra that Steams sales have kept its game, Torchlight, alive three years after launch, and even boost sale number after a deal ends.

"We find that we get several thousand percent increases in units and revenue on the days of the Steam sales, and unit sales are usually about double the normal for a few weeks after the sales are over," he said.

Supergiant Games' Amir Rao said that Steam sales can even help a game sell more than its initial launch day.

"A lot of times we judge the success of a game -- and predict its sales -- by looking at its launch day numbers. Steam sales have made that delightfully impossible. Our launch day [for Bastion], which we viewed as very strong, is only our fifth best day of sales ever on Steam due to the power of the promotions we've had the opportunity to participate in," he told Gama.

So does that support the argument that large numbers of customers that would normally pay full price for a game are putting off purchases in anticipation of a Steam sale? Valve does't think so, and Ken Berry, the executive VP of XSEED Games, agrees.

"While some may argue that [major sales] contribute to an industry-wide price deterioration problem -- where smartphone games have made people unwilling to spend more than $5 on a digital game -- [Steam sales] are a bit different," he said.

"Rather than looking at it as a 'lost sale' when people wait for these Steam discounts, I think it needs to be viewed as reaching out to a new customer that never would have purchased your game otherwise."

[ SOURCE: Steam ]