Steam's Autumn and Holiday sales will ditch daily deals and flash sales

Steam sale

The least surprising news of the day, and perhaps the year, is that Steam Autumn and Holiday sales are on the way. But this year's events will actually be a little bit unusual. According to a Reddit re-post of a Steamworks Developer Group message, later confirmed by Eurogamer, neither daily deals nor flash sales will be offered.

Daily sales is a fairly self-evident concept, while flash sales are much shorter-duration deals that often offer seriously steep discounts—like when the blue light goes off at K-Mart and middle-aged shoppers start throwing elbows to save 80 percent on pillow shams. Both have been standard, and very popular, features of previous Steam sales, but Valve is apparently looking to change things up.

"In past sale events, we’ve asked for two discounts—a duration discount that runs for the length of the sale, and a feature discount that runs in the event that a game is featured on the front page. This year, to optimize the sale for customers and to allow us to feature and recommend your products in more ways to more customers, we’re asking for just one discount, to run the length of the sale," the message from Valve says. "We’ll still be highlighting top games on the front page for 24-48 hour spans, but those products will stay at their most competitive discount, before and after being featured. It’s not a major change, but it does make the sale a lot more valuable for customers, and it allows us to build sale tools that highlight and recommend products all sale long, instead of just during front page features."

The change may have to do with how the store page now shows different games to different users, although the suggestion that it's driven by a desire to prevent a tide of Steam refunds has gained some traction on Reddit. There's also concern that the end of daily and flash sales will mean fewer sweet deals, since developers are unlikely to drop their prices by 80 or 90 percent for the full duration of the sale.

But there's an obvious upside, too. No flash sales means no obsessively refreshing the Steam front page to see what's hot. Consistent pricing means you can browse at your leisure, grab what you want, and then go do something else with your time, confident that you're not going to miss out on a better price in 16 hours.

The report says the Steam Fall Sale kicks off at 10 am PST on November 25 and runs until 10 am PST on December 1, while the Winter Sale will begin at 10 am PST on December 22 and end at 10 am PST on January 4.

Thanks, Shacknews and Eurogamer.

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.