Valve says Steam sales do not cheapen IPs, data proves otherwise

Wednesday, 11th July 2012 16:22 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Valve has said EA’s accusation that sales cheapening intellectual property is wrong as it can benefit games, publishers and gamers.

Speaking with Eurogamer, business development chief Jason Holtman told the site during Develop that it’s the opposite case.

“Ask our partners,” he said. “Ask the large to the small and see what they think about that. Putting it all in the bucket of, it’s all about the discounts, I don’t think that’s everything about it.

“Discounts serve a lot of functions. Highlighting serves a lot of functions. The qualities of the games serve a lot of functions. Everything we’ve seen, PC games and IP and all those franchises are more valuable today than they were four or five years ago.

“If this were all about a cheapening and somehow lessening the money out there or somehow customers don’t want to pay any more, they think everything should be like a used car lot – sticker price is not the real price – you’d feel that and you’d get real reinforcement of that. We don’t see any of that. We see people buying a lot and enjoying it and playing a lot.”

Holtman said the date collected from 40 million users further disproves DeMartini’s theory, as if gamers only waited on sales, no one would ever pre-purchase games on Steam.

“For instance, if all that were true, nobody would ever pre-purchase a game ever on Steam, ever again. You just wouldn’t,” he said. “In the back of your mind be like, okay, in six months to a year, maybe it’ll be 50% off on a day or a weekend or during one of our seasonal promotions. Probably true. But our pre-orders are bigger than they used to be. Tons of people, right? And our day one sales are bigger than they used to be. Our first week, second week, third week, all those are bigger.

“That points out that what’s happened with those sales is, you’ve probably caught somebody and introduced them to a game when they haven’t had it, and they’ve played it, and the next time the franchise comes out or the next move from that publisher, the next move from the partner, they’ve just become more avid gamers.

“The trade-off they’re making is a time trade-off.”



  1. Mace

    “For instance, if all that were true, nobody would ever pre-purchase a game ever on Steam, ever again. You just wouldn’t,”

    Uh-huh, yeah, why? I can obviously value different games differently. This doesn’t take account of the different layers of people buying which kinds of games. Obviously there are always going to be a lot of people who buy any kind of game that’s currently big or popular, but there are many others who don’t really care for most of these titles, or at least don’t see such a great value in them as they’re asking for them, and will only (perhaps) buy it in a sale. I haven’t bought more than about five full price games in the last seven years, and doubt they were all worth it.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DSB

    @1 That’s pretty much what he was saying though.

    People do value games differently. DeMartini claimed that sales made people not want to pay. But the fact remains that there are more preorders today than ever before. Why wouldn’t that go for Steam as well?

    Plenty of people buy new, it’s not like everybody’s sitting around waiting for a sale. If I really really want a game, I’m going to buy it. But probably not in July, December or mid to late October.

    That’s the only time I see it having any real effect.

    If anything it benefits the people putting out games that I only “kind of” want. I would never pay full price, but I will snag it on a sale.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. TMRNetShark

    Steam sales are good because games that I have never really would of bought even at $40 or even $20 price points are now on sale for less that $10. I don’t buy every game in Steam sales… but when a game is sorta interesting and I see it on sale, I check it out. Look at reviews, read some impressions, then decide.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Ireland Michael

    The simple fact is this… is sales made people not care about buying stuff, then why are the vast majority of sales during the first few weeks of release?

    Obviously there are exceptions – sleeper hits. word of mouth exposure, etc. But this is almost universally the case.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. wheezal

    i know the time table trade off is true for me, Torchlight i bought for dirt cheap on sale…i would have never tried it otherwise as i despise Diablo clones.

    When TL II came out…pre-ordered because i was such a huge fan.

    Next up, Bastion…why didnt anyone tell me this game was so good?!? and that music! gimme sequel nao!

    #5 2 years ago

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