The lights are on
Valve has taken another step to give developers greater discoverability and control over how products are displayed in the Steam store front. A new change gives developers the option to create their own discounts separate from scheduled service-wide sales.
“As with the addition of a 'Recently Updated' section to Steam, this is another effort to shorten the distance between developers and customers,” says Valve’s Aiden Kroll. “This new Steamworks tool allows developers to configure discounts for their own products, on their own schedules. They can define custom sale periods or opt in to regularly scheduled sales. This will enable developers to better coordinate their promotions with events, announcements, or major updates they are planning for their products.”
The new Steamworks changes allow developers to set the discount amount and the timeframe. Sales can be scheduled for up to two weeks.
Our TakeThere is a slight chance for abuse here, though Valve is working to mitigate that by the two-week time limit. Given Steam’s sale culture, discounting has a great deal of power. If a developer were to inflate the regular price and refresh the discount to "normal price" every two weeks, it would create a false perception of value.
Provided Valve monitors that for abuse, this is a fantastic thing for gamers and developers. For those developers looking to time sales around other releases and at times when a burst of revenue is necessary, this makes things easier. The change will put an increased onus of promotion on the developers, and those who are ready stand to benefit greatly.