Steam reveals 2022 sale dates and discount policy changes

Steam sale
(Image credit: Valve)

Valve has revealed the dates of all the Steam sales coming in the first half of 2022, including the big Summer Sale in July, and is also making some changes to its sale policies that will hopefully make life a little easier for developers—and give gamers more opportunities to spend their money.

First things first, the upcoming roster of Steam's seasonal and thematic sales:

The Big Ones

  • Steam Next Fest: Focusing on upcoming games with playable demos—February 21-28
  • Steam Next Fest: More upcoming games, more demos—June, exact dates TBA
  • Steam Summer Sale: The big, Steam-wide midsummer extravaganza—June 23 – July 7

Themed Sales:

  • Remote Play Together: This event showcases games with cooperative gaming modes, either online, split-screen or shared-screen. Any game that supports Remote Play Together is eligible to participate. (February 28 – March 7)
  • JRPG: This event showcases JRPG titles. You know who you are. (March 14-21)
  • SimFest - Hobby Edition: For games that make hard work into fun. Want to try your hand at a new career or hobby without years of training or tons of expensive gear? These are your games. (March 28 – April 4)
  • Die-a-lot: Die and repeat and die again. Some progression is usually involved, but not always. Games with the primary game mechanic of Roguelike, Roguelite, Metroidvanias or Souls-like. (May 2-9)
  • Racing: Driving, flying, floating. Things that go fast competitively, whether on wheels, water, or in the air. (May 23-30)
  • Survival: Stake out your territory, scavenge for food, and fend off relentless death. This event is for games focused on the spirit of surviving as long as you can. July 18-25

This isn't a comprehensive list of Steam events coming in the first half of the year. Valve said it will be hosting more themed sales throughout 2022, " to shine a light on many of the interesting themes and genres prevalent on Steam," and there will also be regional sales and others organized by external groups for events like PAX and Gamescom.

Valve is also making changes on the developer side that it hopes will "make discount eligibility more predictable and allow for more participation opportunities throughout the year." Under the current rules, there must be a six-week cooldown period between discounts on games, aside from the big seasonal sales; effective March 28, that cooldown will be reduced to 28 days, with exceptions for the seasonal sales being maintained.

Here's the full rundown of the new rules:

  • You can run a launch discount, but once your launch discount ends, you cannot run any other discounts for 28 days.
  • It is not possible to discount your product for 28 days following a price increase in any currency.
  • Discounts cannot be run within 28 days of your prior discount, with the exception of Steam-wide seasonal events.
  • Discounts for seasonal sale events cannot be run within 28 days of releasing your title, within 28 days from when your launch discount ends, or within 28 days of a price increase in any currency.
  • You may not change your price while a promotion is live now or scheduled for the future.
  • It is not possible to discount a product by more than 90% or less than 10%.
  • Custom discounts cannot last longer than two weeks, or run for shorter than 1 day.

It's not a seismic shift from the gamer perspective, but it does mean that games can be put on sale more often over the course of the year, and that you will thus have more opportunities to throw your money at them. Because if there's one thing we're all suffering from, it's a shortage of Steam sales, right?

Steam is currently in the midst of its Lunar New Year Sale for 2022. It runs until February 3.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.