Valve’s business management director has claimed that Steam’s frequent price promotions do not have a negative effect on the sale of full price software.
“If that’s what we thought was happening, or that’s what we saw happening, we wouldn’t do it,” Jason Holtman told PC Gamer. “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.
“It’s not as if a 75 per cent offer or a 50 per cent 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.”
Valve’s sales still weren’t dented: “We looked at this amazing data afterwards. The day after the sales were exactly the same, if not more,” he says.
The comments carry extra meaning, of course, following the claims of EA Origins boss David DeMartini who last month claimed that such promotions “cheapen intellectual property”.
He also said that Origin wouldn’t be adopting the same tactics. Can you guess what happened next?