Steam mislead UK customers in Summer Sale, ASA rules

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint levelled against Steam regarding its pricing for Grand Theft Auto V in this summer’s Steam Sale.

The ruling concerns an advertised 25 per cent discount for GTA V that saw 51.98 crossed out and replaced with 38.98. The problem was that the discount actually referred to a new bundle and not the standalone game. What the discounted deal actually included was the game and an in-game currency chunk

GTA V on its own had a regular selling price at that point of 39.99. The promotional price was incorrectly displayed on the standalone version of GTA V for around three hours.

While we acknowledged that the claims had been duplicated, and were intended to relate only to a separate product bundle, we noted the two items appeared side-by-side, which we considered consumers were likely to understand to mean that both the game and the bundle were included in the sale,” the ASA stated.

Because a 25 per cent saving was not available on the usual selling price of the product at the time the ad appeared, as claimed, we concluded that it was misleading.”

A similar complaints about Wolfenstein: The New Order was not upheld.

That game was advertised as having a 75 per cent discount, dropping the price from 34.99 to 8.74. Some felt this to be misleading as a day before the sale the game’s normal price was dropped to 17.49, meaning the sale discount was actually far less pronounced.

However, as the game had for many months prior to this been sold at the higher price, the ASA agreed that 34.99 could rightly be regarded as the usual selling price”, thus concluding the discount was not misleading.

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