Valve: If Steam Sales Didn't Work We Wouldn't Run Them

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DarkEyedBlues:

s_h_a_d_o:
I hope Valve saw fit to exclude any and all EA titles in the Summer Sale.

if i remember correctly, EA took as many of their games as possible off of steam when Origin launched.

Imagine how much money they would be making if Mass Effect 3 was 50% off.

Funny thing... I originally never had an interest in the ME series until ME2 was on sale for $5 on Steam.

I bought it. It became one of my favorite games of all times.

I immediately promised that I would buy Mass Effect 3, preorder it even. It was worth my $60 to get more of that experience.

Then... Origin. Then... "fuck you, loyal consumer". So I decided "Well, I'll wait until it's on sale."

Funny how things work.

EA would have had a guaranteed customer out of me if they hadn't abandoned Steam and tried to force me to switch over to Origin. Not that my individual $60 makes any difference to them...

Why do people complain about the tf2 hats? Regardless of the actual price, they are not actually related to gameplay, and you are in no way obligated to buy any hats ever.

DVS BSTrD:
Valve, don't feed the troll.

Heh heh, you mistake something. They just bitchslapped the troll, in a manner that properly and legitimately left the troll whining and sniveling with impotent rage. You know, like all troll.

EA: "MWAAAH!! NO FAIR MAKING MONEY!"

*Slaps EA*

Steam: "Wassup, foo? Can't hear you over all the damn good business!"

Suck it, EA.

EDIT: Relevant...

image

Ed130:

Bhaalspawn:
Just for my own amusement a while back, I dug up and listed out my top 100 games.

96 of them were made by EA.

None were made by Valve.

CONCLUSION: I continue to not be a Valve customer. Cya Valve, hope everything works out.

I'm courious, could you break down the list if you still have it? (ie early or late EA, physical dsisk or DD, uses Origin or not? And weather the devs still exist or not?)

I did it about a month or two ago, but here were some noteworthy examples.

Road Rash - Win95 (Electronic Arts, still active) Physical Disc
SimTower - Win3.1 (MAXIS, merged with Electronic Arts) Floppy
SimAnt - DOS (MAXIS, merged with Electronic Arts) Floppy
Star Wars: The Old Republic - Win7 (BioWare, top of the industry) Physical Disc, Online (can be bought of Origin, does not require it)
Harry Potter Quidditch World Cup - WinXP (Electronic Arts, still active) Physical Disc
WARP - Win7 (Electronic Arts, still active) Origin Only
Command and Conquer - WinXP (Westwood Studios, defunct) Physical Disc
Kingdoms of Amaleur - Win7 (Studio38, Bankrupt) Physical Disc
Crysis 2 - Win7 (Crytech, still active) Physical Disc, Origin compatible
Mass Effect 3 - Win7 (BioWare, top of the industry) Physical Disc, Origin compatible

Those are the most noteable. The rest are spread out over the last two decades, most being in either the DOS age, or the last year or two.

EA is now putting marketed own prices on their games I've heard proving once again what their word is worth.

Valve is rolling in dough and EA doesn't like that, what else is there to know? End of story

weirdguy:
Why do people complain about the tf2 hats? Regardless of the actual price, they are not actually related to gameplay, and you are in no way obligated to buy any hats ever.

What the hell does this have to do with anything? This piece of news is about how the sales they do on games actually generates money.

_______________________

Reason... IN MY INDUSTRY! I DON'T THINK SO!

Other then that, the people who believed that sales hurt games without reason can be proven otherwise with reason.

bafrali:
Valve, i am disappointed in you. You just don't feed the trolls. That is what they are; filthy, pathetic trolls. They would sooner burn down an orphanage than admit they are wrong. Sooner you get out of this pointless discussion, the better.

It's not about feeding the trolls, it's about kicking them in the balls. While the troll may not care, I'm sure Valve is feeling pretty good when every onlooker is going "oooo that had to hurt" and cheering Valve on.

FalloutJack:

DVS BSTrD:
Valve, don't feed the troll.

Heh heh, you mistake something. They just bitchslapped the troll, in a manner that properly and legitimately left the troll whining and sniveling with impotent rage. You know, like all troll.

EA: "MWAAAH!! NO FAIR MAKING MONEY!"

*Slaps EA*

Steam: "Wassup, foo? Can't hear you over all the damn good business!"

Suck it, EA!

It would have been a lot more significant if EA hadn't already bitchslapped them selves some time ago.

DVS BSTrD:

FalloutJack:

DVS BSTrD:
Valve, don't feed the troll.

Heh heh, you mistake something. They just bitchslapped the troll, in a manner that properly and legitimately left the troll whining and sniveling with impotent rage. You know, like all troll.

EA: "MWAAAH!! NO FAIR MAKING MONEY!"

*Slaps EA*

Steam: "Wassup, foo? Can't hear you over all the damn good business!"

Suck it, EA!

It would have been a lot more significant if EA hadn't already bitchslapped them selves some time ago.

There's a big different between self-abuse and having to take it from someone else. Do it to yourself on purpose and you're just having some laughs. Get beat up by another dude and you may consider your manhood impugned. But hey, sure I'll bite. EA whips itself because it's such a naughty boy and then Steam comes along with lemons, salt, and broken glass...and makes 'em start crawling. I'm not sure if that's insult to injury or injury to insult or insult to injury to insult again and a teabagging, but it's all there, brother.

Signa:

SL33TBL1ND:

dragongit:
In short.

EA likes money, and thinks thing should be expensive so they get all the money. If a game is 60 dollars it must be 60 dollars. There is no compromise.

Valve also likes money, but so do developers and publishers. They may get less off these games during sales, but a lot of them are old games that have not had many salse in a long time to begin with. Valve figures out if they put them on sale for a limited time, it encourages people to buy them if on impulse alone, not only generating revenu for Valve but for the developers of these games.

Also, according to their research, a 75% off sale on steam increases sales by around 3000%. So putting things on sale actually makes you more money.

I have to state that figure might be wrong from what I've heard. PROFITS go up around 3000% for some games. They aren't just selling 30x the games, they are making 30x the money they were at the higher price. Depending on the sale, that's a lot more than just 30x sales.

I may be wrong, I haven't read the article for a while, I must confess. The point is though, is that you're doing more than just equalising with volume sales.

I gotta agree - I brought portal 2 on impulse, grimlock same....I even brought portal 1 while I was there buying portal 2 simply to have it on steam

Sales work they generate good will and having all my games in one place = awesome

Valve > Chocolate > Various > Nazism > EA.

Since day 1, Valve has managed to simultaneously make the fans happy AND make a huge profit. And EA really has the stones to try and call them out on their business practices? Wow.

Grey Carter:
"We put Left 4 Dead 2 and Portal 2 on sale. If we thought that was killing our franchise, or hurting the value of games, or hurting the revenue we could generate as a company, we wouldn't do it," he said.

And because they put these games on sale, I've picked them up when I might not have otherwise done so. Steam sales are fantastic for the budget gamer, which is pretty much everyone in this economy.

"We've even gone so far as to give away Portal for free a couple of times. Whole days where it's not free for a day, it's just free."

I can back that up. I joined Steam during one of their exclusive deals where you'd get Portal for free just for creating an account.

And as a result of them doing that, I fell in love with Portal, which led to me happily buying a copy of Portal 2. Imagine that: make quality games available for cheap, and you breed customer loyalty to your franchise, leading to larger future sales.

Thanks to Steam's sales, they now have a very happy customer who has purchased nearly 100 games, with a combined retail value that was somewhere over $500 last time I checked (and I've picked up a couple of games since checking, so it's probably significantly higher now). And I hardly doubt that I'm the only one who they've hooked in this way. And I'm definitely nowhere near their top purchaser. They're able to print money because they're smart about how they sell and distribute their products and other people's products.

GW2 is succeeding thus far for much the same reason: they built a good game in GW1, offered the game on discount regularly on Steam, and provided good service. That in turn created a loyal following who then happily shelled out between 60 and 150 bucks to buy GW2 before it was even finished just for a stab at beta access. This isn't some kind of foreign concept, all the smart developers have figured it out. EA's just filled with stubborn morons.

Read: "EA crying because they are also forced to sell their games at a *"discount" and aren't happy that they aren't making more munniez"
*considering they are selling the downloadable games too expensive from the get-go it's even more ridiculous that they are whining.

EA higher-ups are such two-faced, insincere, nickel and dimming scum.

Rednog:
And I really do think EA is correct on this point.

Except that apparently - if we are to trust Valve - it just doesn't work that way. He specifically mentioned it not cannibalizing sales, and quite frankly I'm inclined to believe him; he's got data, as opposed to the wild conjecture wielded by everyone else blathering about it.

"Valve: If Steam Sales Didn't Work We Wouldn't Run Them"

Capitalism in a nut shell.

EA needs to stop crying. They took the same classes the valve employees did. They know how the market works, so they need to stop complaining that they can't fit their wallet in their pocket because it's too full of $100 bills and that their diamond shoes are too tight.

...Wait. EA criticized Valve's business practices? That... takes a special kind of balls I don't think anyone has ever witnessed before...

Strazdas:
while i agree with Valve on this id like to pont out that now Arma combined operations bundle is only 20 euros and add a free dayz mod to that and you get best survival horror game ever made. so go get that.

DayZ isn't horror, and you can (could? last week) buy it for cheaper on the bohemia interactive site 15 for me, the steam sale is for 20.

Sorry if you recently bought arma2 :P

I love that Valve is put into a position where they feel that they need to defend good customer relations and proper sales figures.
Truly, a bit of hilarity that is.

Kargathia:

Rednog:
And I really do think EA is correct on this point.

Except that apparently - if we are to trust Valve - it just doesn't work that way. He specifically mentioned it not cannibalizing sales, and quite frankly I'm inclined to believe him; he's got data, as opposed to the wild conjecture wielded by everyone else blathering about it.

But they don't have data on that, it is almost impossible to tell that kind of data, I mean how could you even begin to imagine how many people are forgoing buying a just released game when winter/summer sales are around the corner?

Their data is primarily from discounting their Left 4 Dead and Portal franchises, neither of those games went on a deep discount as fast as something like Max Payne 3 or Spec Ops: The Line. I would hazard a guess that it was at least a few months if not half a year or more before either one of those games was on discount. Of course the data is going to show that those games really ran their course of bringing in a slew of new sales, and it becomes the appropriate time to put in a sale, that's basic supply and demand.

The question is whether or not a game like Max Payne 3 suffered, when it was knocked down to -50% of like 3+ish weeks after launch, yes it sold a bunch of copies but you have to remember you now need to sell 2 copies to make up for that potential single full price copy. And the question remains whether or not steam is training consumers to not just wait like 5-6 months for a discount, but instead telling consumers hey why bother buying a game before our summer and winter sales, when you just have to wait a few days and the prices will be slashed immensely.

It's the same question that was brought up when a game like botinacula was released the same day on gog for $10, and thrown in an indie bundle for pay what you want. Does it teach gamers to not buy indie bundles on launch and instead just teach them to wait for bundles.

There is absolutely no data on something like this, it's all conjecture because you can't measure how much of a brand new games full price can/will be cannibalised by sales.

Rednog:

Kargathia:

Rednog:
And I really do think EA is correct on this point.

Except that apparently - if we are to trust Valve - it just doesn't work that way. He specifically mentioned it not cannibalizing sales, and quite frankly I'm inclined to believe him; he's got data, as opposed to the wild conjecture wielded by everyone else blathering about it.

But they don't have data on that, it is almost impossible to tell that kind of data, I mean how could you even begin to imagine how many people are forgoing buying a just released game when winter/summer sales are around the corner?

Their data is primarily from discounting their Left 4 Dead and Portal franchises, neither of those games went on a deep discount as fast as something like Max Payne 3 or Spec Ops: The Line. I would hazard a guess that it was at least a few months if not half a year or more before either one of those games was on discount. Of course the data is going to show that those games really ran their course of bringing in a slew of new sales, and it becomes the appropriate time to put in a sale, that's basic supply and demand.

The question is whether or not a game like Max Payne 3 suffered, when it was knocked down to -50% of like 3+ish weeks after launch, yes it sold a bunch of copies but you have to remember you now need to sell 2 copies to make up for that potential single full price copy. And the question remains whether or not steam is training consumers to not just wait like 5-6 months for a discount, but instead telling consumers hey why bother buying a game before our summer and winter sales, when you just have to wait a few days and the prices will be slashed immensely.

It's the same question that was brought up when a game like botinacula was released the same day on gog for $10, and thrown in an indie bundle for pay what you want. Does it teach gamers to not buy indie bundles on launch and instead just teach them to wait for bundles.

There is absolutely no data on something like this, it's all conjecture because you can't measure how much of a brand new games full price can/will be cannibalised by sales.

I'm rather tired, so for the moment I'll keep my reply a bit on the terse side. If needs be I'll elaborate in the morning.

Anyhow, there are three holes in your theory of unpredictability: trends, different retail venues, and buying behaviour over an individual game's lifetime.

- The sales figures of a single game are not recorded in a vacuum - there is a certain expectancy as to how much a game will sell. If Steam sales cannibalised profit, then that wouldn't make a blip on the chart of an individual game, but it certainly would show up when comparing all games by all publishers for multiple years.

- Not everyone uses Steam, and even fewer buy exclusively from Steam. If sales cannibalised in a meaningful way, then one would expect to see significant dips in sales figures for specfic games during Steam sales. Also do keep in mind that of the major retailers Steam is by far the most hushed about its result, as it has no share-holders.

- The Steam guy brought up another - very interesting - point: they don't see a valley next to the hill. When even giving a popular game away during the day doesn't adjust the following day's sales to anything but "more", it is a pretty clear signal. If the sale cannibalised, then one would see a dip in sales immediately after the discount, as everyone who was waiting for it picked it up then.

Edit: and even taken cannibalising for granted, the sheer volume increase of units sold degrades it to a minor side-note at best. After all we're not talking about increases of 50%-100%, but literally in the thousands of percents. That would make for a very noticeable decline in overall sales.

Rednog:

...It's a steam key from amazon.
There is no other gaming client or physical media.

Well then, I lost out because I had no idea Amazon had it on sale, I guess. All my previous games from Amazon involved using their custom downloader. If they're just using Steam now then I'll start checking them again.

Rednog:

oldtaku:
Spec Ops: The Line hit $33 today... sold!

Ed130:

Well another $33 to Valve and 2K!

I honestly lost faith in the steam community when Spec Ops hit like #5 of top sellers on the North American client. Amazon had it for $25 and no one bought it. People are head of heals for steam that they'll willingly pay more to buy it directly from them than save a handful of money.

Amazon had a few copies of Spec Ops The Line for a few bucks cheaper than Steam did, and the entire Steam community didn't flock to Amazon for their purchase?

Oh man, the Steam community is so stupid!!

. . . . . . . .

Or maybe, Amazon had a few extra copies they were trying to clear out of inventory and, if no one was buying, they dropped the price that low in the hopes people would buy them.

By the way, I've looked at Amazon several times during the Steam Summer Sale. For the most part, many of the games (that I was looking for) from Amazon were the same price as, if not more expensive than, the ones on Steam. Even Spec Ops The Line. At this exact moment the only cheaper copy of Spec Ops, when compared to Steams version, is 3 copies of the ones printed to disc, each five dollars cheaper. Once again, indicating to me they're trying to clear inventory.

I've always laughed when someone says, "I found this one game temporarily on sale on [place/service] for cheaper than the listed price on Steam. Therefore, Steam is clearly not cheaper for any game."

Besides the obvious flawed logic, it's a statement that has almost unanimously never been true for me nor most people I know who use Steam.

I'm what one might call a "frugal" gamer. I, by choice not necessity, game on a budget. As such, I make it a point to look for places wherein I can get my gaming needs for the cheapest prices.

The one place that consistently has the lowest prices? Steam. I've saved far more money buying through Steam than I ever have from Amazon, GoG, or Gamestop.

I'm not saying Steam is always cheaper, but it is more often than not.

Vigormortis:

Or maybe, Amazon had a few extra copies they were trying to clear out of inventory and, if no one was buying, they dropped the price that low in the hopes people would buy them.

Yea, that game that was out for a whole 5 days before the amazon sale, they were clearing their inventory for that game...uh huh.
And I'm sure their digital inventory really filled up those storage warehouses.

Vigormortis:

By the way, I've looked at Amazon several times during the Steam Summer Sale. For the most part, many of the games (that I was looking for) from Amazon were the same price as, if not more expensive than, the ones on Steam. Even Spec Ops The Line. At this exact moment the only cheaper copy of Spec Ops, when compared to Steams version, is 3 copies of the ones printed to disc, each five dollars cheaper. Once again, indicating to me they're trying to clear inventory.

Once again this was a sale for their digital distribution. Sales have a limited time, just like sales on steam. Amazon had it on sale for 2 weeks. So once again no they weren't clearing inventory they are just having a massive digital sale just like steam.

Vigormortis:

I've always laughed when someone says, "I found this one game temporarily on sale on [place/service] for cheaper than the listed price on Steam. Therefore, Steam is clearly not cheaper for any game."

Besides the obvious flawed logic, it's a statement that has almost unanimously never been true for me nor most people I know who use Steam.

I'm what one might call a "frugal" gamer. I, by choice not necessity, game on a budget. As such, I make it a point to look for places wherein I can get my gaming needs for the cheapest prices.

The one place that consistently has the lowest prices? Steam. I've saved far more money buying through Steam than I ever have from Amazon, GoG, or Gamestop.

I'm not saying Steam is always cheaper, but it is more often than not.

First of all I absolutely did not say anything along the lines of "I found this one game temporarily on sale on [place/service] for cheaper than the listed price on Steam. Therefore, Steam is clearly not cheaper for any game." So don't put words in my mouth.

Second, you're absolutely missing the point. You're praising steam because of it's sales, which just like you said are temporary; just like any other retailer. Because let's face hard facts, their every day price of games not on sale is pretty much the same damn price as everyone else because the developer/publisher set the price, not steam.

The point of my initial quote to the other guys was that it doesn't make sense that Spec Ops the line sold so many copies on steam when it was on a bigger discount just before on amazon. If you're a frugal gamer hunting down those sales you wouldn't be cheering because you paid more on steam than another place.

Also I'm curious if you can rattle off a few of these guys you claim that while on sale on Amazon were more expensive than the steam sale. Because off the top of my head I've seen Binary Domain cheaper at $9.99, ARMA II: CO for $19.99 and Saints Row 3 for $9.99 .

Blade_125:
"Valve: If Steam Sales Didn't Work We Wouldn't Run Them"

Capitalism in a nut shell.

EA needs to stop crying. They took the same classes the valve employees did. They know how the market works, so they need to stop complaining that they can't fit their wallet in their pocket because it's too full of $100 bills and that their diamond shoes are too tight.

Whoa whoa WHOA

image

Clearly, my friend, if EA had gone to the same classes as Steam, they wouldn't be IN this predicament.

Or rather, if they had attempted to pay attention to what business economics actually MEANS instead of screwing around with pencils, falling asleep in class, and generally making class tomfoolery, this wouldn't have happened. As it is, the evidence lies before us. They chose stinky business practices and are wetting their pants over it.

.....

Somebody go get the mop, please...

If its cheap and I have expressed an interest for it in the past - I will buy it.
I can't promise I will play every game I purchased in the Sale but one day... maybe when I retire or take long sick leave of work.

FalloutJack:

Blade_125:
"Valve: If Steam Sales Didn't Work We Wouldn't Run Them"

Capitalism in a nut shell.

EA needs to stop crying. They took the same classes the valve employees did. They know how the market works, so they need to stop complaining that they can't fit their wallet in their pocket because it's too full of $100 bills and that their diamond shoes are too tight.

Whoa whoa WHOA

image

Clearly, my friend, if EA had gone to the same classes as Steam, they wouldn't be IN this predicament.

Or rather, if they had attempted to pay attention to what business economics actually MEANS instead of screwing around with pencils, falling asleep in class, and generally making class tomfoolery, this wouldn't have happened. As it is, the evidence lies before us. They chose stinky business practices and are wetting their pants over it.

.....

Somebody go get the mop, please...

Ha. That is a good arguement. Maybe EA went to the chicago school of business. This has Freidman economics written all over it. Espouse no government intervention and then make the government make sure that competition doesn't exist.

All that said, while sales are good, I wonder how much money Valve cost themselves by running such a boring sale this year. I've spent much less this year, in part because there's no prize incentives (and so many flash deals being repeats of daily deals doesn't help either).

I've seen this kind of behavior before actually...

Working in a garden center, you get used to having to put certain plants on sale (because live plants do not last very long, especially not in 100 degree heat), but there are several companies which we have contracts with which do not allow us to put their products on sale. In fact, come a certain date, we are contractually bound to pitch all of their remaining stock, whether or not it's perfectly sellable.

The companies with these contracts are all major, name brand labels. No one else "has as much to lose" (nor could they get away with such nonsense). This kind of backwards thinking is really everywhere.

Blade_125:
"Valve: If Steam Sales Didn't Work We Wouldn't Run Them"

Capitalism in a nut shell.

Economics, not Capitalism.
There are many ways to be a Capitalist, and this is just a case of two different Capitalists trying two different strategies.

Keep in mind: 5 years ago EA had a positively enormous stock price and market share even compared to their biggest competitors. They think that their strategy of milking their customer for as hard as they can will still work now.

But more specifically, they refuse to acknowledge how economics is beating them at their own game. Steam periodically offers better prices (arguably the best legal prices), and their success can be primarily attributed to pricing closer to the marginal cost.

Well, that and their service doesn't suck.

EDIT: Huh. FalloutJack actually responded like this first.
Ninja'd.

EA = joke. Seriously the only thing keeping them alive is a dim-witted fan base that is content with buying the same game every year.

EA is just upset they didn't think of it first. They would also have executed such a thing poorly and claimed success regardless.

Bhaalspawn:
Just for my own amusement a while back, I dug up and listed out my top 100 games.

96 of them were made by EA.

None were made by Valve.

CONCLUSION: I continue to not be a Valve customer. Cya Valve, hope everything works out.

Well to be fair, Valve is mostly just a publisher now; at least more so than a developer. And the games they do make besides that Half Life game are really just average at best (oh god I'm really gonna get flamed now).

That's why they have Steam though, at least that turned out to be a huge success and it seems to be well loved by it's customers.

I'm not a fan of Origin, but fuck Steam.

The day it was required to run hardcopies of games like Fallout: New Vegas is the day I began to lose faith that I can continue using my computer as my main video gaming platform.

So EA is more money orientated than Steam, I'm not really surprised by this data. Personally I love Steam sales, my bank account does't.

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