Steam Winter Sale: Recap By Valve

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According to this blog post, Valve's decision to have discounts that ran the full length of the sale, rather than flash sales, resulted in more traffic to a wider variety of games.

As a result of this format change, we were able to encourage customers to browse through their Discovery Queue, thereby surfacing a string of personalized recommendations including titles that aren’t otherwise highlighted on the home page. By dropping users a free Steam Trading Card for browsing through their personalized Discovery Queue (up to three times each day) many customers were exposed to 36 different product pages every day for each of the 13 days of the event.
 

Raudulfr

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By dropping users a free Steam Trading Card for browsing through their personalized Discovery Queue (up to three times each day) many customers were exposed to 36 different product pages every day for each of the 13 days of the event.

Yes Valve. Most people totally paid attention to the games presented there, as opposed to say, just mindlessly clicking 'Not Interested' and rushing through the queue just to get the cards.
 

ecktt

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Steam is doing everything right imho. I've seen former pirates "legitimize" themself as a result of steam sales. And once on steam, odds are you not going back to your priate ways.
 

dark_reign

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This probably worked well for Valve thanks to impulse buyers but I'm not one of them. I didn't even bother with the discovery queue. Just bought a few games on my wishlist.
 

Nolan7689

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Funnily this is the first Christmas sale since probably 2010 or 09 I did not actively follow. I didn't even buy anything until the last day and that was just because I remembered Turok was sitting in my cart.

Honestly all of 2015 I didn't really do much on steam sales. Fewer games came out that interested me on PC than my PS4.
 

BroHamBone

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Yes Valve. Most people totally paid attention to the games presented there, as opposed to say, just mindlessly clicking 'Not Interested' and rushing through the queue just to get the cards.

Yep...gotta get those cards to sell on the steam market!....:p
 

Blown Cap

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Yes Valve. Most people totally paid attention to the games presented there, as opposed to say, just mindlessly clicking 'Not Interested' and rushing through the queue just to get the cards.

Wait, that was a thing? Guess I totally missed it.

These fall and winter sales with their new format were the first Steam sales ever where I didn't buy anything. I still prefer the old style.
 

MrWrong

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Yep...gotta get those cards to sell on the steam market!....:p

I wish I would have been able to do that. The stupid mobile authenticator screwed me big time. I tried to set it up and it didn't work right so it wouldn't give me a code to login with. I then had to go to the site and fill out some stuff to get it disabled again. Once I was able to login it decided that my computer was now a new location and I couldn't trade or use the market for 7 days. Needless to say I will not be trying the mobile authenticator ever again. If they ever decide to make it mandatory I will be pissed.
 
M

mls1995

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I bought 2 games and ended up returning both. I'll give it to Steam, their refund policy is fantastic and definitely makes me feel more comfortable taking a chance on a game I might otherwise not try.
 
M

mls1995

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Wait, that was a thing? Guess I totally missed it.

These fall and winter sales with their new format were the first Steam sales ever where I didn't buy anything. I still prefer the old style.

the old style was definitely more "engaging", but I think the return policy (and thus price protection) more than evens it out
 

Dekar12

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I liked having the sales for the whole thing. I honestly don't log into Steam every day, so I would miss days of the sale where something I actually thought about was on sale.

So, this gave me more time to see everything. I don't know if I really bought more of less because of it, but I felt more satisfied with it.
 

STrAYeR

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I checked out some games I was waiting for to go on sale. I refunded 5 games. I also bought and kept 4. Was hoping Arkham Knight would go down in price since it's still a laggy mess. I now look forward to buying Rise of the Tomb Raider and Arkham Knight on sale at the end of this year.
 
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brentsg

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I didn't like the format so I just ignored it. I usually would spend a ton so I guess that's good.
 

Nytegard

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The last sale I really paid attention to was when they had coal + free games. I sold every card I got, and have a whopping $0.98 from them.
 

nilepez

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Yes Valve. Most people totally paid attention to the games presented there, as opposed to say, just mindlessly clicking 'Not Interested' and rushing through the queue just to get the cards.

While I liked the old style...ok I really just liked that Sickboy(sp) had a great list to follow each day on [H], but unless you think they're lying, they had more people put games in their wishlist than they did in other years. Maybe that won't result in sales, but I gotta believe that people only put games in there that they're interested in.

That said, i totally just clicked through...but only once or twice..then I got bored.
 

willx

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i missed out on this one but i felt that this sale was probably one of the worst?
 

SmokeRngs

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I still think a little mentioned point is probably the real result of people feeling letdown. It has nothing to do with the format or the lack of flash sales. It's simply that most people looking forward to the sales, and purchased a lot in previous sales, didn't really have anything to buy since they already had most or all of what they wanted in the first place.

I bought a couple older and rather cheap games simply because they seemed interesting and they were at a price point where I'm not going to feel bad if I don't like them. Other than that there simply weren't many games I was interested in whether they were on sale or not. As it is my system is very outdated and won't play even newish games worth a damn and half the time doesn't even meet minimum specs. As it is, it really doesn't bother me much since there have been few games out in the last few years I've had any interest in playing.

I will reiterate that I believe most people complaining about the sale would have complained even with the old format of flash sales and daily sales simply because they already have most or all of what they want. It's not as if this very complaining is new. For the last few years I've seen the same complaints even with the old format and the reasoning practically every time was that the people saw nothing interesting they didn't already have.
 

Raudulfr

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i missed out on this one but i felt that this sale was probably one of the worst?

I'll go even further and state that this was the worst Steam sale in history No daily deals? No flash sales? Yeah, no.

I only bought one game and that was because I had money in the wallet from selling cards. Utterly disappointing sale.
 

AK0tA

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I thought it not so bad and I liked the longer time frame as it gave me more time to check out the goods. I did buy 3 games for a grand total of $30 the one that I had the highest hopes for was only $4.99 and it's just awful. I was going to do a return but I went to the discussion board and the developers are truly listening to folks and making changes. I posted my review and due to the DEV response I opted for what the heck it's $4.99 to support a DEV who is listening and that is a rare thing.
 

kbrickley

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The only reason I didn't buy a few titles this time is that I have several big games (Fallout 4, Grim Dawn, Pillars of Eternity) in my backlog and my system is acting wonky so I am waiting until after I get a new computer before I play them ... I would expect that by the spring or summer sale I will in the hunt ... I don't mind the new format as I can decide whether I am interested in a title at the start of the sale and not have to play Russian roulette with the flash sales
 

krotch

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I'll go even further and state that this was the worst Steam sale in history No daily deals? No flash sales? Yeah, no.

I only bought one game and that was because I had money in the wallet from selling cards. Utterly disappointing sale.

Felt the same. I only bought R6: Seige and I was gonna buy that whether there was a sale or not anyways. G2A baby!
 

tetris42

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I still think a little mentioned point is probably the real result of people feeling letdown. It has nothing to do with the format or the lack of flash sales. It's simply that most people looking forward to the sales, and purchased a lot in previous sales, didn't really have anything to buy since they already had most or all of what they wanted in the first place.

I bought a couple older and rather cheap games simply because they seemed interesting and they were at a price point where I'm not going to feel bad if I don't like them. Other than that there simply weren't many games I was interested in whether they were on sale or not. As it is my system is very outdated and won't play even newish games worth a damn and half the time doesn't even meet minimum specs. As it is, it really doesn't bother me much since there have been few games out in the last few years I've had any interest in playing.

I will reiterate that I believe most people complaining about the sale would have complained even with the old format of flash sales and daily sales simply because they already have most or all of what they want. It's not as if this very complaining is new. For the last few years I've seen the same complaints even with the old format and the reasoning practically every time was that the people saw nothing interesting they didn't already have.
Give me a break, there are over 7000 games on Steam. There are loads of promising games on there, however, them even being found in the first place is the larger issue. Your videocard is from 2009, may as well check out everything that was due to be released from that year:

http://web.archive.org/web/20100917...r.wordpress.com/previous-years/games-of-2009/
(warning, loading the screenshots is slow)

Those are hundreds of games, sorted by genre. This has been happening year after year and it's larger than ever. Take a look at one of the 2015 lists for example (again, sorted by genre):

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/01/01/best-pc-games-of-2015/

I can understand if all the stuff on the front page has no appeal to some gamers, but acting like there's nothing worth playing means people just aren't even looking.
 

amddragonpc

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I still don't understand what the trading cards are even for. :eek:

The trading cards can be sold. During the sale, my son collected the max amount of cards going through his discovery queue each day. Towards the end of the sale, he sold them and bought a game for a couple of bucks.
 

/dev/null

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Yes Valve. Most people totally paid attention to the games presented there, as opposed to say, just mindlessly clicking 'Not Interested' and rushing through the queue just to get the cards.

I actually had no interest in the cards & liked the discovery queue. added some games to my want list & ended up selling the trading cards for a nickel a piece or something.
 

Yakk

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Worked for me, showed me a good number of games which looked fun. Added to my wishlist, installed a few F2P games, bought v solve others, sold the cards for a few bucks for fun.
 

NoNRG

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The trading cards can be sold. During the sale, my son collected the max amount of cards going through his discovery queue each day. Towards the end of the sale, he sold them and bought a game for a couple of bucks.

But whats the reason that are people buying them? Just collecting or are they used for something?
 

erwalker

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Now if only there was a way to filter out all those god-awful Japanese anime "games" from the suggested games queue since, apparently, selecting not interested has no effect on more appearing.
Contrary to what Valve may believe, my taste in gaming isn't going to change to the point I would ever buy one.
 

Armenius

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According to this blog post, Valve's decision to have discounts that ran the full length of the sale, rather than flash sales, resulted in more traffic to a wider variety of games.

As a result of this format change, we were able to encourage customers to browse through their Discovery Queue, thereby surfacing a string of personalized recommendations including titles that aren’t otherwise highlighted on the home page. By dropping users a free Steam Trading Card for browsing through their personalized Discovery Queue (up to three times each day) many customers were exposed to 36 different product pages every day for each of the 13 days of the event.
Okay Valve, but how much of that traffic was converted into actual sales? How many people fired up their 3 daily queues for cards and just continually clicked Next?

The discovery queue is a joke. It doesn't even recommend titles that may turn around in a sale. The three reasons a game will show up in your discovery queue:
  • Because it is popular
  • Because it is on sale
  • Because it has positive reviews
I went through the discovery queue for 2 days and then gave up after the 60th "F2P" scam or DayZ zombie survival clone showed up. If it wasn't one of these types of games it was the usual kind of shovelware that the majority of the Steam catalog consists of these days.

This sale was so successful that it was the first Winter sale in which I did not purchase anything. I was more likely to make an impulse buy with the old system than I am now.
 

steakman1971

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I am mixed at how they did the sale. It was kind of nice because I could take my time and go through my wishlist and see if there were any good deals.
However, I did not buy many games this year. I probably spent about a hundred bucks the last few years. This year, I think I was at about $30.
It seems that there were better deals in the past (although I can't prove this). You also had more of a sense of urgency - if you want this, had to act quick. (Even though they usually came around again in the last day or two).
With other sites like BundleStars, I usually find way better deals outside of Steam.

The other factor - I have about 550 games. I have maybe played 50 of them. I really should pause and play what I have instead of buying new. I'm always thinking I'll get time some day...
 

El Nacho

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The old format made me buy more. I've added alot to my wish list, but bought very little.
 

raz-0

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I bought some DLC for one game I own because it was priced well and was rarely on sale.

I bought nothing else, and to top it off, of the things I had bought in previous sales, all but one was cheaper to buy then rather than in the holiday sale. The sale prices were poor IMO.

I suspect this press release is just easier than explaining the crap results to many developers over and over again. It was a crap money maker, but it was really cheap advertising!!!!!

I suspect end users weren't the only folks disappointed.
 

nilepez

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I bought some DLC for one game I own because it was priced well and was rarely on sale.

I bought nothing else, and to top it off, of the things I had bought in previous sales, all but one was cheaper to buy then rather than in the holiday sale. The sale prices were poor IMO.

I suspect this press release is just easier than explaining the crap results to many developers over and over again. It was a crap money maker, but it was really cheap advertising!!!!!

I suspect end users weren't the only folks disappointed.

I bought 3 things and all were at or below their all time low. Some other items weren't, so I didn't buy them. I don't have hundreds of Steam games, but I've got a queue that's long enough that I don't care if I miss a deal. There's always another sale.
 

pothb

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But whats the reason that are people buying them? Just collecting or are they used for something?

No idea.... but I think, it's...... uh.... something to do with getting more friend slots on the friend list.... at least for one of the benefits. But I'm not sure either.

I'm sort of in the same boat as you guys.... never knew what the fuck they were for. only reason I think that friendlist thing is because I remember I watched a youtbe vid that referenced it or something.
 

willx

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I think they buy it because theres a requirement of sales and purchases?
 

M76

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Yes Valve. Most people totally paid attention to the games presented there, as opposed to say, just mindlessly clicking 'Not Interested' and rushing through the queue just to get the cards.

I didn't even bother to click trough. I have dozens of trading cards, and I have absolutely no freaking idea what is their function.

I liked the old sale system much better. There were much better deals even if they lasted only 24 hours. Used to seeing 66-90% off prices. Now I saw 30-55% on most worthwhile titles.
 

M76

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Okay Valve, but how much of that traffic was converted into actual sales? How many people fired up their 3 daily queues for cards and just continually clicked Next?

I'm pretty sure if the sales figures were any good they wouldn't talk about page views. It would be kind of like talking about buying floor mats for your new car, instead of talking about how great the car actually is. Now if you're new car is crap then I'd understand that you'd rather talk about the floor mats. I know very obscure analogy, but that's the best I could do on short notice :D

I lined up a ton of games and DLCs that I wanted to get in the Sales, but only ended up getting one of them. And after checking my
 

Ur_Mom

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These fall and winter sales with their new format were the first Steam sales ever where I didn't buy anything. I still prefer the old style.

I didn't buy anything either. I prefer the old style.

Of course, when I'm looking at the sales, that "In Library" icon sticks out a lot more than it used to. :) I just found less good deals this past sale.
 
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