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Tweaks to Steam minimum price thresholds could impact some developers

Developers selling products that cost $5 USD or less are most likely to be affected.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

August 16, 2023

2 Min Read
The Steam logo on a background composed of game artwork

Valve has made some updates to Steam's minimum price thresholds that might impact developers selling games or DLC for $5 USD or less.

The company has adjusted the minimum allowed price in some non-USD currencies to align with the recommended currency conversions it released in October 2022. 

Although the storefront's $0.99 USD minimum remains unchanged, the update brings the minimums in other countries inline with that price point. As a result, games or DLC using older, lower pricing in some regions may be hidden from purchase in certain countries or be prevented from offering deep discounts.

In an explainer posted on Steamworks, Valve said the minimum base price that can be entered for any and all products on Steam must be at least equivalent to Steam's recommenced currency conversion for the $0.99 USD tier.

"The lowest possible transaction price is 50 percent off that minimum base price, which allows for some discounting off the minimum base price. That minimum transaction price is roughly $0.49 USD," reads the blog.

Valve warns pricing tweaks could result in some games effectively being pulled from sale

That means, for instance, a product priced at the $0.99 tier could discount up to 50 percent off. Meanwhile, a product priced at the $1.99 tier could discount up to 75 percent off, and another priced at the $4.99 tier could discount up to 90 percent off.

"These minimum price thresholds previously aligned with our older pricing conversion recommendations. We updated those recommendations in October, 2022 to adjust for some currencies drifting significantly in value over time, so today's change aligns our minimums with those new recommendations," added Valve.

The adjustment means developers who have one or more products priced below the new minimums may need to tweak pricing in certain countries in order to avoid their products being made unavailable for purchase in those regions.

They might also encounter issues with scheduling and implementing discounts if it would mean the resulting price falling below the minimum allowed.

Valve recommends developers who might be affected by the changes use Steam's price management and discount management tools to address any potential issues.

For more information on the changes, be sure to check out the full breakdown on Steamworks.

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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