Valve, Steam and its Pricing Model

16th October 2005


Valve has recently restructured its pricing for games available via Steam. This is of course one of the advantages (from Valve’s point of view) and two of the three new packages seem to offer good value for money. I’m not going to repeat all the discussions about “Screwing Customers” etc.

I personally feel that I lose out on most deals because I don’t play ANY MP games. I did email Gabe when the pricing via Steam was first announced and suggested a special Single Player package but received no reply. 🙁

I bought the Silver package and whilst I feel I got good value for the games I can download I Already own two copies of Half-Life and the Generations pack, so in reality all I got was Half-Life 2 and Half-Life Source. Counter Strike, Team Fortress Classic, HL2: Deathmatch and DOD are a completely waste for me. I would love the opportunity to replace DOD with Lost Coast. Perhaps my package will include it, I don’t know.

Dollars mean Points!

I would like to suggest that Valve considers completely removing ALL their packages and replacing them with a points system. Here’s how it could work:

  • I buy points using my credit card.
  • I select which games I want. (Different games are worth different points)
  • I purchase and download those games I have selected
  • Any points left over are credit and can be used in the future (with a possible sensible time limit)
  • I can top-up my points at any time. (I know Steam is currently limited to one transaction per CC but there must be a way around that!)
  • I can purchase any games with my remaining points or wait for a new release

There could be a system for special deductions based on bulk purchases and special combinations. Or perhaps a few free points for every $X spent. There must be many variations.


Although the system I’m proposing isn’t perfect (And it still needs more thought) I feel it would allow players to tailor make packages to suit their needs AND give Valve the control over pricing and packages.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. I may even post it on the Steam forums in the hope that a Valve employee may read it and pass it on to Gabe.

1 Comment

  1. Darth Marsden

    Sounds good. If you’re going to post about it, can you also make a request for a truly stand-alone version of HL2/Lost Coast/Aftermath, since my (and many other people’s) gaming PC isn’t connected to the net? I hate having to use cracks on games, but Valve really hasn’t left me with any other options.

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