Valve has dropped its entire Steam Sales and Fests schedule for 2023, serving as an advanced notice for you to plan out video game shopping sprees. In a blog post, the company listed a calendar, creating a solid distinction between the major seasonal sales and themed events. The former occurs only four times a year and offers discounts on pretty much every released title. These are set for Spring, Summer, Fall/ Autumn, and Winter. Fests, on the other hand, shine a spotlight on a select category of games during a short period of time — usually based on genre — while promoting some free-to-play titles in the mix. The schedule is also intended as a guide for developers, who can now register and enter discounts for their games.
Previously, players had to rely on assumptions or the SteamDB website to keep track of when the next sales event was. With Valve being more forthcoming with this new calendar, there shouldn't be room for confusion or fear of missing out anymore — although day one of all major Steam sales results in site-wide lags due to server overload. The calendar also lists Steam's Next Fest event, running three times a year — the first one is live now — allowing players to try out demos/ previews, interact with developers, and watch livestreams. Developers can expect early feedback on their games and gradually build an audience for the future — similar to what Recreate Games did with Party Animals.
With that, here's the entire Steam Sales and Fest schedule for 2023:
- Mystery Fest: February 20–27
- Spring Sale: March 16–23 (major seasonal sale)
- Puzzle Fest: April 24 to May 1
- Sports Fest: May 15–22
- Next Fest: June 19–26
- Summer Sale: June 29 to July 13 (major seasonal sale)
- Stealth Fest: July 24–31
- Visual Novel Fest: August 7–14
- Strategy Fest: August 28 to September 4
- SHMUP Fest: September 25 to October 2
- Next Fest: October 9–16
- Return of Steam Scream Fest (Halloween sale): October 26 to November 2
- Autumn Sale: November 21–28 (major seasonal sale)
- Winter Sale: December 21 to January 4, 2024 (major seasonal sale)
Valve previously only had three major seasonal sales — Summer, Autumn, and Winter. The Spring Sale joined the roster back in September, based on popular demand from their “developer and publisher community.” This new sale replaces Steam's Lunar New Year Sale, which kept changing based on the East Asian calendar — at times, aligning itself too close to the Christmas season and creating an uneven waiting period between the promotions. Besides the aforementioned events, there will always be the occasional developer-oriented sales and weekend deals on Steam.
Last year, Steam also updated its regional pricing tool, setting higher game costs for all supported countries outside the US. The tool essentially recommends updated prices for developers, who can set a new base price for their games by comparing it with Valve's suggestion. The report suggested that default PC game prices in India could go up by 85 percent, should the studio accept those values and slap them onto their titles. At the time, the company also mentioned that once a price was adjusted using the toolkit, Steam would trigger a 28-day cooldown period on it, during which the game cannot be offered at a discount.
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