Steam regularly hosts themed sale events (typically designated as Fests) to showcase various genres and categories of games.
- Have specific eligibility requirements and criteria
- Utilize an auto-invitation and registration process
- Are typically promoted on the front page of Steam
- Lead to sale pages with event-specific sub-categories
Note that a discount is not required to participate in these events, though the event page will most prominently feature discounted games.
Below is information relevant to all Steam themed sale events. Eligibility criteria, timelines, and other details specific to each event are available in the respective event documentation pages (accessible via the documentation table of contents to the left).
Table of Contents
Selection and Invitation Process
Each themed sale event has different eligibility criteria built around the core theme of the event, usually determined by the primary mechanic(s) of the game. For each event, we will automatically select and invite eligible games where the primary theme or mechanic of the game is in alignment with the theme of the sale. Partners usually have six weeks or more to register for the event and enter any desired discounts.
Selection Process and Eligibility
Once the theme, primary game mechanic(s), and eligibility criteria for a given event have been defined, we generate a list of relevant titles based on tags, game description, and other metadata.
To ensure your game is considered for invitation to a themed sale event, please make sure the store tags on your game are both truthful as to the content of your game and match the theme of the sale you are considering. For example, to be considered for the Racing sale, games must have the racing tag applied to their game store page; to be considered for the JRPG sale, a game must have the JRPG tag.
Some games have a particular mode, or portion of the game that matches a theme. However, in order to be eligible, a game must be primarily about the theme. For example, an adventure game that includes a racing mini-game would not be eligible for the Racing Sale. We will filter out games that are not built around the primary theme of the event.
From the resulting list of eligible games, we will send email invitations to the developers associated with each game. This invitation will go out to Steamworks users who have set "Receive Steamworks communications" permission for eligible games. Reference the Frequently Asked Questions
below to ensure your communication preferences are set to permit these communications, or for details on how to access key information if opted out.
The invitation will ask you to register your game for the given event, which is as easy as clicking one checkbox and saving. This registration tells us which games intend to participate.
Once registered, users in your account with "Edit Pricing Permissions" will then see the given event appear in the Sale Approvals page and can enter discounts for your game there.
If you have not received an email invitation to an announced event for which you have a game you believe fits the established criteria, please check your list of eligible games (instructions are provided in the documentation specific to each event). If your game is not present there and you believe it meets the eligibility criteria, please contact us here
Ways To Participate
A discount is not required to participate in Steam themed sale events, though each event page will most prominently feature discounted games. Reminder: All sales and discount opportunities are subject to the same cooldown between discounts.
Themed Sale Events adhere to the discount cooldown, and no exceptions are possible. The only exceptions to the discount cooldown are the four major Steam seasonal sales. For more details on discounting, please see Discounting
If you would like to use a custom discount instead of the discount available in Sale Approvals, you are welcome to do so, though we would recommend using the discount available in Sale Approvals to guarantee your title is discounted for the duration of the event.
To quickly review which of your titles have been registered, your Sale Approval page
(Apps & Packages
-> Sale Approvals
) is available.
You may enter your discount at any time prior to the event start for the given event in which you are participating, though we encourage you to enter your discounts early! If Valve has requested an additional opt-in for marketing materials inclusion consideration, the deadline to opt in (to the event and the marketing materials permissions) as well as enter your discount is typically 6 weeks prior to event start. Exact deadlines are provided in the Important Dates section of the event-specific documentation. For more information about marketing materials inclusion, see the Marketing Materials Permissions
Demos and Upcoming Releases
Unless otherwise indicated in the event-specific documentation, if you have an upcoming game that fits the established criteria (or even if you have a released game) you may release/register the upcoming game and/or a demo to include in the event. Each event will include sections for games with free demos and upcoming games. Note that for demos, registration is based on the base game Store Page information, so keep tags for the base game up to date and accurate.
Free to Play Games
Unless otherwise indicated in the event-specific documentation, free to play games are welcome to participate and will be included in a section for free to play games.
Event Visibility and Promotion
Steam themed sale events have a dedicated sale page for the duration of the event and are typically promoted significantly on the homepage of Steam, in pop-up marketing messages, and/or via our social media channels.
Event visibility will depend on the current schedule of Steam promotions, but some examples of possible marketing visibility include:
|Steam Home Page Takeover||Updates and Offers|
| || || |
|Sale Page||Takeunder Banner|| |
|Marketing Message||Steam Social|| |
| || || |
Additionally, a game participating in a given event typically will have an event banner applied to its store page for the duration of the event. If your game is participating in other events simultaneously that also have store page banners for the respective event, which banner is displayed will depend on the hierarchy of events, currently set to:
- Franchise Sale
- Developer/Publisher Sale
- Third Party Sale
- Steam Themed Sale Event
If there are multiple events in the same category running concurrently, the earlier published event takes priority.
|Product Page Banner|
| || || |
Game Visibility Within Each Event
Each Steam themed sale event will be organized into top-level categories including Discounted, VR, Free to Play, Demos, and Upcoming games, as well as sub-sections relevant for the theme. Some games may fit neatly into multiple sub-sections, while others may only logically fit into a single subsection. We'll do our best to balance the sale page presentation to ensure that most games have a few logical sections where players would expect to find the game.
Within each section of the sale page, games may be sorted based on heuristics like player interest and popularity, while other sections may be more random.
We cannot guarantee specific featuring or positions within each event.
Marketing Materials Permissions
For the promotion of a Steam themed sale event, we typically select a handful of games to feature in the official trailer we edit for the event. The trailer will be posted to some combination of the official Steam YouTube channel, the event page (when the event is live), and Steam social media channels, and will also be distributed to press.
In order to remain in consideration for inclusion for a given event, by the deadline indicated in the event registration opt-in and/or email you must:
- Have received an additional opt-in request from Valve specifically indicating that your game is in consideration for inclusion in official marketing materials and have completed this opt-in. This notification will have been included on the event registration page for your game or sent via email typically at least six weeks prior to the event.
- Be registered to participate in the event and have entered a discount.
- Have at least one publicly visible trailer on your store page.
If you authorize trailer use and we use your game's trailer, we'll make use of one that is publicly visible on your store page. We do not accept any unreleased/unpublished content for consideration - please do not send us additional information regarding your title.
Frequently Asked QuestionsQ. Do I need to register my game before entering a discount?
A. Yes, you need to do the following things in order:
Q. Can I participate with my free to play (F2P) game?
- Follow the link in the invitation email, or click the opt-in link provided in each event's dedicated documentation. A list of Steam themed sale events is also available in the Upcoming Steam Events documentation page.
- Once a game is registered, you can then enter discounts on the Sale Approvals page: https://partner.steamgames.com/promotion/discounts/dashboard/
A. While discounted released games will be featured most prominently—and unless otherwise noted in the event-specific documentation—F2P games are welcome to participate and will be included in a section for F2P games. F2P games are generally not eligible to appear in the official event trailer for Steam themed sale events.Q. Can I participate with my unreleased game?
A. While discounted released games will be featured most prominently—and unless otherwise noted in the event-specific documentation—unreleased games are welcome to participate and will be included in a section for upcoming games. Unreleased games are generally not eligible to appear in the official event trailer for Steam themed sale events.Q. Can I participate with my demo?
A. While discounted released games will be featured most prominently—and unless otherwise noted in the event-specific documentation—demos for both unreleased and released games are welcome to participate and will be included in a section for games with free demos. Demos are generally not eligible to appear in the official event trailer for Steam themed sale events.Q. Can I participate with my playtest?
A. Steam themed sale events currently do not include playtests. Q. Will there be livestreaming as part of a given event?
A. Unless otherwise noted in the event-specific documentation, livestreaming typically will not be featured on the sale page, but you're welcome to livestream on your own game's store page as you wish.Q. How can I ensure I receive the relevant communications about Steam themed sale events?In Steamworks:
In the Steam Store:
- If you're a member of multiple Steamworks partners, make sure you have the correct partner selected at the top of the Steamworks website.
- Ensure you have at least one account with "Receive Steamworks communications" enabled. You can edit per user here: https://partner.steamgames.com/pub/users/ Note that accounts with this permission setting must also have completed or must newly complete the additional confirmation request sent via email authentication in order to fully enable permission.
If you prefer to remain opted out of all communications, you may still participate in Steam themed sale events. However, the only indication of your eligibility for both the event overall and for the marketing materials permissions opt-in (if your game has been selected for potential inclusion in our official marketing materials as described above) will be via the options below:
Q. I've changed my plans. How do I cancel my registration?
- Access the registration page for your game by appending your appID to a given event's registration opt-in URL (provided in the event-specific documentation).
- Check for the opt-in on your base game's App Admin page (in the Marketing Tools & Data section): https://partner.steamgames.com/apps/landing/<appID>
A. Just return to the registration page for your game by appending your appID to a given event's registration opt-in URL (provided in the event-specific documentation) and deselect the checkbox at the very bottom of the page to remove your game from the event.
Need Help?Contact us here
if you have questions regarding events like these.