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Steam's sale changes were a huge success

Nothing wrong with a format re-Newell.

Changes to Valve's uber-popular Steam sale format have been a resounding success, the company has reported.

December's Steam Winter Sale changed things up by having no time-limited flash or daily deals. Instead, repeat visitors were rewarded for logging in multiple times a day if they browsed a list of personalised recommendations.

"Our hypothesis was that this new format [without time-limited deals] would be a better way to serve customers that may only be able to visit Steam once or twice during the 13-day event," Valve explained in a post on its private Steamworks group, which was for some reason made public.

"We also saw this change as an opportunity to showcase a deeper variety of titles to customers each day, while having confidence that any game being highlighted would be at its lowest discount."

Despite the lack of time-limited deals to log on for, the addition of freebie Trading Cards (up to three per day) for browsing a selection of suggested purchases meant Valve clocked up three times as many page views over the sale event.

These recommendations also gave greater visibility to indie games outside of Steam's most popular 500 titles. These lesser-known games gained four times as much traffic from last year, with a 45 per cent growth in sales.

In general, game sales and wishlist additions got a "huge up-tick", Valve concluded.

"We typically see only a slight increase in the rate of customers adding items to their wishlist during sales versus during non-sale time periods. However, this year we saw a 197 per cent increase in the rate of wishlist additions during the sale.

"Some of these additions were then subsequently purchased during the sale while others remain on customer wishlists as indications of future interest in those games."

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Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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