Valve Imposes Steam PC Game Discount Limits To Combat Abusive Sales Tactics
Some publishers and developers have found out that they can boost their games near the top of the game listings in Steam’s store by discounting their games by 1% for a short period. Such discounts serve to manipulate the Steam store algorithm for the benefit of publishers and developers without passing any meaningful benefits onto consumers in the form of savings.
Valve likely is not very happy with abuse of its discount system and is looking to curtail this behavior with some new limitations. The first of these limitations is restricting discounts to 10-90%. As of March 28, 1% discounts will no longer be possible, but neither will discounts over 90%. It will be sad to see 91+% discounts go.
That said, we may see discounts appear more frequently. Up to this point, in order to help diminish abuse, Steam has enforced a six week cool-down period for discounts. However, with discounts under 10% on the outs, Valve will reduce the time between discounts from six to four weeks. The cool-down period also applies to price increases in any currency. Additionally, custom discounts are limited to two weeks and can’t run any shorter than a day. The only exceptions to the cool-down period are Steam’s major seasonal sales, where the cool-down doesn’t apply.
You can read Valve’s documentation for all of the rule changes and guidelines.