Steam Sales

Steam Sales

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Updated Jun 19, 2014 at 10:36PM EDT by Brad.

Added Jul 03, 2013 at 11:11AM EDT by Greninja.

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The Steam Sales refer to annual discount events that take place on Valve’s video game software distribution platform Steam, most notably the Steam Summer Sale held annually at the start of summer break and the Steam Holiday Sale during the holiday season. During these events, a large selection of titles become available for purchase at a discount price for limited time, and as a result, many Steam customers tend to make impulse purchases and overspend.


“Steam” is a social and gaming software[1][11] developed by Valve in 2003 with the intention of allowing its users to buy and play games from their home. Since its launch, Steam has grown into one of the largest online video game distribution platforms with more than 4 million users worldwide and additional features like the Market, Trading Cards, and Modding Hub.

Notable Developments

Every year, there are sales for each season, winter, summer, fall, and spring. With the popularity of PC Gaming and Steam gradually increasing, these sales would often cause a spike in users online at a time, and increases the number of people who use Steam. Because of the popularity of Steam and the Holiday Sales increasing, more and more games are added to the software, which then makes more and more games go on sale each season.

Well known gaming websites such as IGN[2] and Gamespot[3] typically post news and announcements for the Holiday Sales when they happen, as well as especially good sales, such as BioShock Infinite being on sale for 50% off. Other websites such as Reddit[4], 4chan[5], and Cheezburger[6] typically have several posts relating to the Sale each time there is a new one. The website[7] was created to have sales numbers fall from the top of the screen and graphics of various games that are up for sale with the song “Are you ready for a miracle” looping in the background.

Notable Examples

“Steam is Experiencing Some Heavy Load Right Now”

During the sales, the store frequently experiences downtime due to the heavy volume of incoming traffic and an error message is displayed to indicate that “Steam is experincing some heavy load right now.” Soon, frustrated shoppers began referencing “heavy load” in fat jokes targeted at Gabe Newell and Valve. Some fans become confused[8] or upset[10] when they cannot access the store. Some news websites have written articles stating that gamers “crashed” the site[9].


Meanwhile, other shoppers have celebrated the opening day of each Steam sales event with remix videos featuring footage of films, TV shows and commercials.


YouTuber Total Biscuit uploads several videos of the Steam Holiday Sales (One is shown below) in which he rounds up what was on sale for each day and his opinion on the games, with a video for every day. Each video receives around 100,000 Views and 2,000 Likes.

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