You'll recall that the PC version of Left 4 Dead was on sale for 50% off last weekend. Curious as to how that went for Valve? Check out this quote from Valve's Gabe Newell, who spoke at the recent DICE conference.
“Last weekend, we decided to do an experiment,” he says, referring to this past weekend’s Left 4 Dead sale, which brought the game down to $24.99 through Steam – sales rose 3000 percent, and revenue far eclipsed the game’s sales during its launch window.
Meanwhile, Newell notes, retail sales did not change at all (full Steam integration allows Valve to monitor retail sales as well) – defeating the assumption that Steam sales cannibalize retail sales.
Yeah, they made more off the game in one weekend than they did AT LAUNCH. Go figure, people will buy more games when they are cheaper? Shocking. I find myself buying lots more games on the cheap from sales at digital download services like Steam. Many times, they are games I wouldn't play otherwise.
The rest of the interview is quite interesting, too. Lots of intriguing numbers as to how revenue increases during sales, often by a large margin. Hopefully other companies will follow suit, and we'll all be able to buy more with our gaming dollar, euro, yen, etc.