Steam sales used to be very different. In addition to a standard price cut throughout any given sale, some games would have temporary mega-discounts called Flash Sales. For example, a game might be 50% off for a whole two weeks, but 80% off for a 12-hour chunk of that. Valve did away with them in 2016, but a new report suggests they’ll make a return soon in a slightly altered format.
Rather than a Flash Sale lasting a fixed amount of time, developers will be able to choose whether it lasts 6, 8, 10 or 12 hours, according to popular YouTube channel Valve News Network. The report cites information from the Valve-backed Steam Translation Server, which volunteers use to translate Steam text into other languages.
If Valve decides to bring Flash Sales back—and nothing is confirmed at the moment—I think it’ll be a mistake. Before 2016, it was never worth buying a game during a sale unless it was on a Flash Sale, because there was a chance that it’d receive an extra 20% discount the next day, and you’d feel like a chump if you’d already paid more. Basically, you’d buy any Flash Sales you liked, and for other games you’d just wait until the last day of the sale, when you knew there would be no further discounts.
I like the more relaxed approach that sales take now: if a game is discounted, it’ll stay at that price for the duration of the sale, so you know where you stand. But I’m sure other people liked the Flash Sales, which undeniably turned a Steam sale into more of an event, where you’d check every day to see what the latest price drop was. Would you like Valve to bring them back?