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If you’re going to vary the price of Your game, Shout about it. Loudly.

By on October 26, 2011

In a fascinating interview on stage at the WTIA TechNW, Gabe Newell gave detailed insight into pricing experiments that Valve has run via its Steam digital distribution service. Some highlights:

    Steam logo
  • On silent price experiments, gross revenue didn’t change. In other words, if the price was lowered, sales rose such that Valve made the same revenue; if the price was increased, sales fell with the same result
  • When Valve ran a 75% sale and shouted about it, sales rose by a factor of 40. Not 40%, but 40x.
  • Valve theorised this was about time-shifting, i.e. that they had simply accelerated demand. Not so. Sales increased at retail and after the sale was finished. A 75% sale significantly increased gross revenue.

If you’re interested, read Gabe’s comments in full over at Geekwire.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: