Steam bundle prices will now drop based on how many of the games in them you own

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There's a big shake-up coming to how Steam's bundle purchases work, giving them dynamic pricing. In official documentation given to developers and received by PCGN, Valve have outlined a redesign of Steam bundles so that they automatically give buyers that already own some of the products within a discount. This scales based on the number of products, and is already available on some bundles in the wild, though remains officially unannounced. This also has the knock-on effect of making sure that bundles are properly discounted when their components are on timed sales.

Alternatively, don't worry about all this and just play the best free games there are.

Valve's official explanation to developers goes like this, "With Steam Bundles, if a customer already [owns] some items in the Bundle, they will pay for and receive only the items not already in their account. This allows the best fans of your series or franchise to 'complete the set' and get a deal on the remaining items in the Bundle."

The benefits of encouraging more people to buy for those that are selling should be obvious, but it's pretty great for those of us on the customer side too, as Valve continue to explain, "Past Complete Packs were sometimes a bad deal for customers that already [owned] one or more of the products in the pack. Either it made bad economic sense for those customers to purchase the pack, or they just felt bad about doing so since it [looked] like they were paying for products they already [had]. The new Steam Bundles system addresses this."

I've definitely seen and felt this phenomenon. Even if it's only a couple of quid more to buy a complete pack containing some game I want, a dozen I don't have and some I do, it feels like a waste over just buying the game I want. Now, not only is it possible that complete pack will be cheaper to begin with, but the feel bads are banished. Plus, because of the way the new bundles are coded into the system, big sales won't result in odd pricing anomalies with bundles being more expensive than a group of singular purchases.

The new system is already in-use for the Headup Games Complete Bundle. We've grabbed some screenshots from three seperate accounts to show the differences. First, here's the bundle for an account that doesn't own any of the games:

Steam dynamic bundles headup games

Here it is on my account, where I own just one of the titles, Trapped Dead: Lockdown:

Steam dynamic bundles headup games

And here's an account with a bunch of them already purchased:

Steam dynamic bundles headup games

The percentage discrepancy is likely caused by rounding somewhere along the way, or simply a bug. Either way, the system clearly works. If it sounds familiar, Blizzard implemented something similar for its Hero and Skin packs in Heroes of the Storm about six months back. Of course, old-style bundles, which Valve dubs Must Purchase Together, still exist, allowing for deluxe editions and with-soundtrack purchases of base games.

It's not clear when this system will become usable en masse, but we'd assume before the next big summer sale at the absolute latest. Given developers have already been told about it, chances are it's due for full implementation very soon. We've contacted Valve for further comment and will update if they get back to us.

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DjangoKill avatarRock1m1 avatarAvatarIII avatariNQUAM avatar
Rock1m1 Avatar
181
4 Months ago

Very consumer friendly move- Awesome.

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AvatarIII Avatar
2
4 Months ago

Having had a look at this bundle, it's not worth it anyway, most of the games are poorly reviewed, Headup Games only have 9 positively reviewed games on Steam out of 32, 3 of which are "Bridge Constructor".

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iNQUAM Avatar
1
4 Months ago

Valve is not exactly pro-active when it comes to being consumer friendly. They have a great platform but still think things halfway through (of course they actually do things exactly like planned... just not in the best interest of consumers).

Why not allow people to gift their extra copies?

Family sharing, great idea. But why can't I let my son play another game in my library than the one I'm currently playing? I own ALL MY games and should be able to run ALL of them at once if I wanted to. Here would also be a great place to allow owning multiple copies. I could be the owner and allow my son to play a game along with me if I own two copies. And the skeleton of a feature Family Sharing is... Why not make it a full fledged parental control system? Where parents can set up children accounts, handle buying games for the family, allowing x-hours of game time or playing between certain times etc??? For such a large system as Steam, made by such a big and successful company as Valve this should have been in place years ago. It should be common sense. It even makes business sense... parents would indoctrinate their children inte gaming through Steam. But no, we get a minimal feature of allowing ONE other person at a time to play ONE of the games you have bought at a TIME. IF and ONLY IF you don't want to play ANY of your games at that given moment.

So no, unfortunately Valve isn't very consumer centered with the features of their platform. They do what is needed to keep it an integrated part of peoples gaming. From time to time they launch some "cool" new feature etc to hype the service again. Not to mention the the lack of energy put into customer support.

And that's coming form someone who jumped on board the steam train when it first launched and use it A LOT. I would LOVE for it to be the clear way to get and play games. But there are so many small idiotic omissions, virtual limitations etc in place that there are days when I regret the 4-500 or so games I have bought on it.

Especially now when my kids are starting to get old enough to want to game. Imagine the good old days of CD/DVD's. They could play ANY of the games I bought and I could play ANY of the other games I owned at the same time! Wow! Magic!... No... Common sense!

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DjangoKill Avatar
2
DjangoKill(1 day 4 hours played)
4 Months ago

GOG.com has been doing this for quite some time. Suck it Valve.

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