Video game distributor Steam adds rules to crack down on dubious discounts

Steam is imposing new rules on video game sellers on how to apply discounts, but also allowing them to offer discounts more often like during their CNY sales. — Steam

Steam is introducing new rules for video game sellers when offering discounts, that would weed out unscrupulous discounting practices.

There will be two significant changes to the discount percentage and how often products can be put on discount.

The video game distributor said it will not be possible to discount a product by more than 90% or less than 10%.

Game sellers would also not be able to discount their game for 28 days after changing the price of the product, in any currency.

PC Gamer reported that previously, the rule was phrased as “it is not possible to discount a product 100%”, which led to some game sellers to offer 1% discounts in order to get their games featured on the sales lists without meaningfully lowering their price.

“The new rules restrict devs and pubs to offering a minimum discount of 10%, meaning all discounts should now be offered in good faith,” added PC Gamer.

Meanwhile, blocking the ability to discount a game after a price change would also block the seller from raising the price before applying a discount, potentially negating the point of having a discount.

Steam said these changes are set to take effect after March 28.

Other policy changes include a shorter cool down of 28 days or four weeks between sales, down from six weeks.

This discount cooldown period applies to all types of promotions and discounts except Steam’s own four major seasonal sales: the Lunar New Year, Summer, Autumn, and Winter Sale.

Sellers also cannot change prices while a promotion is already live or scheduled.

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