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Steam: Devs Cannot Discount Within 30 Days Of Price Increase

With the Steam summer sale upon us, it might be useful to look back at a not-so-new but not-so-well-known policy laid out by Valve in terms of how and when developers can put their games on sale. According to the terms of service as laid out by Valve, vendors are not allowed to discount their games within 30 days of a price increase, cannot change prices while a promotion is live, and cannot run another discount for two months following a launch discount.

These rules were likely put into place to prevent a repeat of previous years where some developers would increase their costs right before a big Steam sale and then discount it to make it look like the game is at a big markdown, such as a $20 game boosting its price to $50, then offering 50% off and selling at $25 so people think they’re getting a great deal when really they’re paying even more than the regular cost.

The full rules breakdown as follows:

  • You can run a launch discount, but once your launch discount ends, you cannot run any other discounts for 2 months.
  • It is not possible to discount your product for 30 days following a price increase.
  • Discounts cannot be run within 2 months of your prior discount, with the exception of Steam-wide seasonal events or other specific Valve-organized sale events.
  • Discounts for seasonal sale events cannot be run within 30 days of releasing your title or 30 days from when your launch discount ends.
  • You may not change your price while a promotion is live.
  • It is not possible to discount a product 100%.
  • Custom discounts cannot last longer than two weeks, or run for shorter than 1 day.
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