Steam, the popular online gaming platform, has announced a new update that will affect the pricing of games and downloadable content (DLC) in India and other regions with non-USD currencies. The update was implemented on August 16, 2023, and is set to remove games and DLC that are priced below the local equivalent of $0.99, or approximately Rs 82.28 in India, from the platform.
In other words, it means that developers will have to increase the base prices of their products to meet the new minimum limits. Otherwise, they risk losing their potential customers in India and other affected countries. The update was made live after Valve, the company behind Steam, re-reviewed its regional pricing policy and updated its price thresholds for various countries. The new prices co-relate with the regional pricing conversion recommendations that were updated back in October 2022 by Valve.
The new update will adversely affect games and DLC on Steam priced below Rs 82.28 in India as they’ll no longer be visible to download. For instance, mostly the older classics or retro games that are usually available at lower prices, such as Half-Life: Blue Shift, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, Portal, and Left 4 Dead, will be affected by the change.
Discounts on games to also be affected
Steam says that the update in the pricing policy will also affect the maximum discounts developers can offer on games priced below $5. The minimum transactional price has been reduced to 50% off the minimum base price, from $0.99 (Rs 82.28) to $0.45 (Rs 37.40).
For example, a title priced at $1.99 could get up to 75% off, while a game priced at $4.99 could discount up to 90% off. However, if a game’s base price is below the lowest transaction price in any currency, Steam won’t allow scheduling new discounts.
Valve has also provided a way for developers to price DLCs below the minimum limits if they wish to do so. It now allows developers to sell these DLCs as in-game micro-transactions through the Steam Micro-transactions API and the Steam Item Store. This will allow developers to offer additional content for their games without increasing the base prices of their respective titles.
While some appreciate the decision and praise Valve for its efforts to maintain fair pricing across different markets, some are upset over the removal of games and DLC from Steam.