Steam’s old flash sales might be making a comeback

    
14

Years ago, my crew looked forward to Steam sales, not for the insipid minigames but for the flash sales. They constituted a minigame all on their own, as we checked back on Steam over and over, hunting for the best deal.

Of course, as VG247 points out, plenty of people hated these sales, suffering from buyer’s remorse if the game they got for 50% off was 66% off the following day. Consequently, many people just waited until the last day of the sale to buy anything, and then sometimes missed out. Then when Valve made refunds much easier, it did away with these types of events altogether, presumably because it figured people would refund and rebuy to get a lower price.

But I’m a bargain-hunter, so I loved it, and I loved the camaraderie that swirled around sharing the deals too. Without those sales, I make my list of Steam sales on the first day for MOP, buy a couple of things, and never go back or even think about the sale again.

And if you’re on my side, you’ll be intrigued to hear that Valve might be bringing back the flash sales; if the rumors are true, devs will apparently be able to select flash sale blocks from six to 12 hours, “making the sales feel more like an event again.”

As we wrote earlier this week, Steam is experiencing a surprising decline in active users in 2018; this could certainly shake things up.

Source: Twitter via VG247

14
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Schmidt.Capela

One of my criteria for purchasing a game on Steam is that I only ever purchase anything there for the lowest historical price; if some game goes on a flash sale at a larger discount, even if only during a single hour, it means I will never purchase it at a smaller discount, and consequently if I lose the flash sale chances are good I won’t be purchasing that game until its price drops or the dev/publisher decides to increase the regular discounts.

Another thing I do is that I never purchase anything that isn’t already on my wishlist, and it takes at least a couple days for a game I just learned about to make its way to my wishlist. Thus, I simply will never purchase anything on a flash sale unless I already intended to purchase the game anyway.

So, net effect of this change for me: it will likely lower my engagement and result in less purchases from me.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Pandalulz

Ugh, please no. I mean, I haven’t bought anything on Steam in forever because every sale I feel like I’ve already bought all the things.
But if a game is going on sale, just put it at the sale price, the fluctuating prices during Steam sales are just anxiety inducing. Sure, I can refund, but last time I did during a heavy Steam sale when the servers were flakey, I didn’t get the money for a few days, and it wouldn’t let me rebuy the game at the lower price for like 24 hours while it processed so I missed the lower price anyway. Maybe they’ve fixed that, I stopped buying during Steam sales because it was so annoying.
Funny enough, I really really appreciate the PSN Flash sales that basically happen every couple of weeks, last around 48 hours, have decent deals, and I don’t spend the whole time sweating that it’ll be cheaper tomorrow.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

That tells me that Valve is making less money on their sales. Coupled with the less people logged on article from earlier this week – today has been a pretty good day all in all.

Spending money for a product you want should never be an event. Just give me what I want I am not checking in at 4AM to see if a game is an extra 17% off.

Reader
McGuffn

The sales that were in the 1-4 hour range were really bad. 6 is bad too, that’s go to bed and wake up missing out time. Let’s settle for the 2 week sale with daily deals.

Alex Js.
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Alex Js.

Not looking for ANY kind of Steam sales… I try to avoid bying anything on Steam anymore, for many reasons. One of them being that I cannot even gift the games to people from different regions anymore, due to “regional price difference”, and I can’t even pay that difference even if I wanted to.

Reader
Denice J. Cook

I’m not surprised their active users are down. Nowadays there are many large digital streaming services to choose from that are eating into Valve’s pie, not to mention that Steam’s prices just aren’t that great anymore. The DRM is less annoying when you’re buying games for 80-90% off, but 10-25% off? Meh.

And then we also have Bree, who writes these “How many Steam games do you have?” pieces just as new Steam sales break…. Yeah, no wonder Steam sales are down! :P

Reader
Witches

Isn’t Steam suffering from backlash because of DRM? i’m not sure selling more games that people will hate, because they can’t be played if you are offline, will help them.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Darthbawl

Steam needs *less* of the flash sales, seasonal sales, etc. and needs to increase the *quality* of their sales.

Quality > Quantity :P

Polyanna
Reader
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Polyanna

I get why people who missed deals gripe about them, but I bought a lot more games and got a lot more great deals when we had the daily deals and flash sales than I have since they went away. It will at least make me tune in to Steam daily for the duration of the sale, so there is that.

Whether I spend more money again will depend on whether we start to see the much deeper discounts that used to hit during the daily deals and flash sales. If all this means is that they roll back discounts to even more snooze worthy levels so that the “flash sales” wind up as the same mediocre deals we’ve had the last couple years, then I don’t see this doing a whole lot to boost Steam’s bottom line, or anyone else’s.

The tactic for not feeling ripped off was simple; just only buy a game if it is on flash sale, or if it is the last day of the sale. And most of the time you could make up for missing a flash deal when they re-ran all the deeepest discounts again on the last day. It made the whole thing feel, as Bree says, like a real event, with a satisfying arc to it that made you want to stay tuned in every day, or every hour.

Reader
Minimalistway

Some people (ehm .. me) are quietly upset and waiting Valve … Go back and make games, i still have hope for Portal 3, and now let me see what i can buy :-D