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Steam Now Offers Bundles That Price Adjust Based On Items You Already Own

by Mike Futter on Mar 03, 2016 at 08:10 AM

Valve is in the process of rolling out dynamic pricing for some bundles on Steam. While there aren’t many of them yet, publishers should be able to begin implementing the feature soon, according to reports.

We investigated to find that most bundles on the service still work the original way. If you own an item in the bundle, you still have to pay the entire price, and you won’t get an extra copy to gift or trade.

With dynamic bundles, your price is scaled down for items you already own. One example is Valve’s own Half-Life Complete offering. You can see below how it looks for users that don’t own any of the items (left) and for those that own some of them (right).

Click images to enlarge.

PCGamesN was tipped off to this when it received a memo sent by Valve to its storefront partners. According to the communique, the company cites the psychological impact of static bundle pricing.

"Past Complete Packs were sometimes a bad deal for customers that already [owned] one or more of the products in the pack,” the email allegedly says. “Either it made bad economic sense for those customers to purchase the pack, or they just felt bad about doing so since it [looked] like they were paying for products they already [had]. The new Steam Bundles system addresses this."

We’ve reached out to Valve to find out if this will be an opt-in policy and when it might roll out fully. We’ll update should we receive a response.

Bundles from a number of publishers, including Square Enix, Ubisoft, and others don't seem to be included yet.

[Source: PCGamesN, Steam]


Our Take
This is a similar process to how Riot and Blizzard price bundles for League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm respectively. This should ultimately incentivize more purchases, as buyers won’t be faced with the concern of wasting money on products they already own (and can’t gift). I’m hopeful this rolls out by the next Steam sale… my wallet isn’t, though.