Steam Sales Losing Their Interest

With the most recent Steam Summer Sale coming to a close, I can’t help but recall the great Steam sales from yesteryear. I remember my first steam sale quite well: the Steam Summer 2013 sale. This is back when Flash Sales and Daily Deals occurred. Before going into why the most recent Steam Sales are losing interest, I’m going to discuss what the Daily Deals and the Flash Sales are. The Daily Deals are exactly what they sound like: deals that would occur daily. Games during the Steam Sales would go down to a certain price, usually 50% off or maybe even 60%. When a game was featured as a Daily Deal, it would go on a deeper discount. During this time, seeing games 75% or even 90% off was not uncommon. Flash Sales would be 4 games that would go on a deep sale ever 8 hours. Sometimes the community voted on what games would go on sale, and other times, games would go on sale without any community input.


The Past:

As I said before, my first Steam sale was the Summer 2013 Sale. I was working at this time at my first job and was able to actually earn money to buy games. Since I live on the east coast, the Daily Deals would refresh for me at 1 p.m. every day, and the flash sales would refresh at 1 p.m., 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. I remember asking for my break during my first job around 9 p.m. (I worked the night shift and worked 5 hours so a 9 p.m. break wasn’t out of ordinary) and I’d quickly grab my phone and check what games were on sale for the flash sale. Could I have checked it when I went home? Sure, but it was exciting to see what games would go on sale during this time. Because of those sales I bought so many games. I checked Steam frequently and would always participate in the voting for the next game. And I wasn’t the only one; my friends, along with thousands of others, would check to see what games went on sale. It was thrilling to see what games would go on deeper sales and if our wishlist would be graced with a game that was 80% off . The community’s involvement is what gave Steam their business during these sales.

Source: VG 24/7

The Present:

Since Steam decided to remove the flash sales and the daily deals, Steam Sales are not nearly as exciting as they once were. Some people say it’s because I already own a lot of the big AAA titles that have come out in the past (The Bioshock, Borderlands, and Tomb Raiders of the gaming industry), but I think Steam sales aren’t as fun due to the lack of involvement. I miss voting on the next game and seeing what was being promoted. Now that Steam has kept their new format where all games start on their deepest discount, I lose incentive to go on Steam to see what’s being promoted or sift through Reddit threads to see the recommendations. From the first day, I can elect to buy all of the games I want and not look at the sale again.


The Potential Future:

There’s speculation that the reason Valve removed the daily deals and flash sales was because of their refund system that was implemented about a year ago that let users refund games that they didn’t like, under certain circumstances. This was a great addition, since this let people effectively try out games for a bit and then return them if the games did not suit them. The problem with the Steam refund is that the community gained the refund feature, while losing the extra sales options.

There is a solution though, though. Bring back the Daily Deals and the Flash Sales, but make it so that you cannot refund a Flash Sale purchase (these games are usually $10 or less since the discount is so deep). Doing this will bring the users back to check the Steam sales as frequently as was done before while also keeping the refund feature. I have refunded a lot of games that I bought simply because they were not what I expected. Keeping the refund system and bringing back the flash sales and daily deals would be the best of both worlds.

Edited by Lauren Fabrizio

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