steam sale Steam deep discount sales hurt developer

In a recent interview with Games Industry, head of EA’s Origin, David DeMartini says that Steam sales are hurting developer by “cheapening” the image and branding of the products.

In a recent interview with Games Industry, head of EA’s Origin, David DeMartini says that Steam sales are hurting developer and partners by “cheapening” the image and branding of the products.

When asked whether or not Origin will offer the same type of “deep discount” sales like Steam, DeMartini said no.  He believes that developers have poured incredible amount of time and resources into their product should be rewarded with fair pricings, and therefore the games should not be sold like it’s a “going-out-of-business sales.” 

“We won't be doing that. Obviously they think it's the right thing to do after a certain amount of time. I just think it cheapens your intellectual property. I know both sides of it, I understand it. If you want to sell a whole bunch of units, that is certainly a way to do that, to sell a whole bunch of stuff at a low price. The gamemakers work incredibly hard to make this intellectual property, and we're not trying to be Target. We're trying to be Nordstrom. When I say that, I mean good value – we're trying to give you a fair price point, and occasionally there will be things that are on sale you could look for a discount, just don't look for 75 percent off going-out-of-business sales.”

DeMartini also claims that Steam maybe benefitting from the humungous sales, but the partnering publishers are hurting because they are making next to nothing on the games they produced. 

“Also what Steam does might be teaching the customer that "I might not want it in the first month, but if I look at it in four or five months, I'll get one of those weekend sales and I'll buy it at that time at 75 percent off." It's an approach, and I'm not going to say it's not working for Valve. It certainly works for Valve; I don't know if it works as well for the publishing partners who take on the majority of that haircut.”

Origin, according to DeMartini, is attempting to build a cloud gaming platform that doesn’t rely on heavy discounts to attract customers.  Rather, Origin will build “long-term” relationships with its customers through other methods—such as, publishing independent, “crowd-funded”, and charging no fees for 90 days.

Steam is currently having a summer blowout sale.