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Steam sale 2016: Revenues up despite conservative discounts

After revealing that this year's Steam sale was significantly more lucrative than the last, Steam Spy creator Sergey Galyonkin has crunched the numbers in an attempt to figure out why.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

July 8, 2016

1 Min Read

After revealing that this year's Steam sale was significantly more lucrative than the last, Steam Spy creator Sergey Galyonkin has crunched the numbers in an attempt to figure out why. 

According to Steam Spy data, the latest sale saw 1,592 games ship a combined 36.8 million copies in around 11 days; a year-over-year sales increase of 12 percent.

Revenues were also on the up, with Galyonkin estimating that those devs involved in the sale netted roughly $223.2 million -- 40 percent more than last year's revenue total of $160 million. 

Now that he's had some time to analyze those numbers, Galyonkin believes the removal of daily and flash sales, which previously encouraged consumers to wait for the best possible deal, led to more copies sold. 

"Last year the sales were spiking around the first and the last day of the sale. This year they were a bit more evenly distributed across the whole sale period with a spike around the first weekend," writes Galyonkin.

"The removal of daily and flash deals also made developers more cautious with their discounts. An average discount this year was 50 percent, instead of the 66.67 percent from last year."

Ironically, those developers who played it safe saw the greatest financial return, with games discounted by 33 percent or less being the only titles to improve on last year's revenue figures. 

"The median revenue for the games with a 75 percent discount was $33.5K this year ($40K last year), $40K for 66 percent ($75K), $60K for 50 percent ($90K), $106K for 33 percent ($90K) and $120K for 25 percent ($90K last year)," continued Galyonkin. 

"It seems like discounting less was the winning tactics this year. Although, of course, it always depends on the game."

For a more complete breakdown of the 2016 Summer sale, check out Galyonkin's in-depth Medium post right here.

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2016

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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