Valve – if Steam promotions “cannibalized” sales, the firm “wouldn’t do it”

Tuesday, 17th July 2012 13:56 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Valve’s business development chief, Jason Holtman, has reiterated to PC Gamer that sale on Steam in no way cheapening intellectual property nor do they “cannibalize” sales.

Speaking with the site during Develop, Holtman said if Valve though such was the case, or saw it occurring, it “wouldn’t do it,” once again, citing data complied by the firm.

“Actually, all the data is contrary to that. A promotion is not a policy; a promotion is just a feature to give people more value,” said Holtman.

“It’s not as if a 75% offer or a 50% off sale at some point in time cannibalises a sale that would have happened earlier, it’s just not true. We’re actually seeing both of them growing. We don’t see one cannibalising the other. If we did, we wouldn’t do it.

“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. 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.

“We looked at this amazing data afterwards. The day after the sales were exactly the same, if not more.”

Holtman said not everyone waits “for perfect pricing,” to purchase a game, as some like paying full price on day one because they want to play it immediately or are a fan.

“We think of [sales as] customer features. They’re not policies or mandates,” he said.

The Steam Summer Sale is going on as we speak.



  1. OlderGamer

    I know I buy a few games that if they weren’t onsale, i wouldn’t even try them. And in some cases by trying them, I have becomes fans of that franchise or even that studio, and that leads me to buying other games from them, sale or not.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Giskard

    Sales are for me, ways to try new games, legally, which I would not consider for the full price. I have been interested in Warhammer 40K: Space Marines for a while, but it was outside of my comfort zone. Now, it went on sale, and I can get it for about a cheap lunch’s worth. It doesn’t cheapen anything, it just gives more people the chance to try new games, and broaden their horizons.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. wheezal

    ditto for me, i would have never realized how awesome the WH40K franchise was without these sales simply cuz i would have never brought them at full price.

    the only downside to the Steam sales, is that my library grows faster than i can play the games, i’m backlogged for a year and a half!

    #3 2 years ago
  4. roadkill

    I haven’t bought anything yet. I just don’t have any money left. :( But if Space Marine goes back to 5 euros I’ll borrow from a friend and buy it. Now I just hope that there will be an encore.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. fearmonkey

    @1 +1

    Same here, I buy games thanks to the Steam sale that I wouldn’t otherwise buy. I recently bought From Dust and a few others as an example.
    It gives me a chance to buy old games that I wanted as well, like the Deus Ex series. I already had the games on Disk, but I wanted to pick them up for cheap so I didn’t have to worry about the disks anymore.

    Thats the one thing I love about steam more than any other digital sales location. Gamefly also has it too, but I haven’t bought from them yet.
    I find myself just sticking with steam so I can have everything in one location.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. AlchemyFire

    @5 +1

    I’ve also bought quite a few titles of games that I already have hard copies of. Don’t have to worry about disks, always available, and dont have to worry too much with OS changes/upgrades.

    #6 2 years ago

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