Sometimes games made by different developers have common themes and can benefit from co-marketing. Including those games in the bundle make it easier for Steam customers to acquire those related titles.
This document outlines the steps required to create a collaborative bundle on Steam that contains games from multiple developers/publishers. https://youtu.be/EdtSunDvm0s
To setup a collaborative bundle, you will need to use your own communication channels (email, chat, etc.) to coordinate with developers who are interested in adding their games to your bundle.
- Create a new bundle or choose an existing bundle.
- Click the button in the lower-right corner to enable collaborative mode on the bundle.
- Once enabled, you'll see a URL appear on the page with a temporary code as part of the URL. Share that URL with any developer or publisher that you wish to add to your bundle.
- By clicking the URL you shared with them, the other developers can add their games' packages to the bundle. NOTE: once a developer has added a package to the bundle, the bundle will appear in Steamworks for that developer just as any other bundle.
- Anytime a game is added to the bundle or the percent discount changes, the bundle requires all participants to return to the bundle page and indicate their approval.
Create a Bundle
In general, for collaborative bundles, we strongly suggest that they are created with the 'Complete the set' bundle type. This makes it easier to add games to bundle overtime while presenting the easiest to consume version of the bundle.Read more here
to learn about the bundle creation and process.
Share the special URL with anyone that you wish to add games to your bundle. Anyone with access to that URL can add packages to the bundle. In order to add a package to a bundle, the user must have the 'Manage Pricing & Discounts' permission for all games in the package they wish to add.
Locking the bundle
Once all participants have added their games to your bundle, you can click the 'lock bundle' button to close the ability for new games to be added. Once you have done that, the other participants must visit the bundle page one more time to approve the final state of the bundle.
Changes and Approvals
Steam requires all games to explicitly approve their addition and any subsequent change to the game list, bundle name or discount percentage that are made after their addition to a bundle. This is to prevent a potential miscommunication among the bundle participants. The bundle cannot be published to the store while in this need approval state
Removing your game
Removal of a game from a bundle by a collaborator or by a member of the collaborators partner group is always immediate and does not require any approval by other participants.
When adding your game to a bundle be thoughtful who you are collaborating with. Know that only the bundle owner can change the bundle description, localization, the bundle's store visibility and the bundle artwork. Those changes do not require approval; so be sure that you trust the owner of the bundle to make changes that are consistent with your brand and respectful of your game.
Be thoughtful about the other games that are included in the bundle. Does it make sense for those games to be in the same bundle as your game? Does it make sense for your games to co-market beside their games? Does your game appearing on the other game's Steam product page make sense?
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q. Who can see the bundle administration page?
A. The person you have invited can see the page if provided the link. After the invited person has added a game, then anyone who is in a partner group that can see or edit the game that was added can also see the bundle admin page. Once the bundle is locked from edits, the secret link will no longer work.
- Q. Who can add games to my bundle?
A. Anyone with access to that URL can add packages to the bundle. The Steam account must have 'Manage Pricing & Discounts' permission for all games in the package they wish to add.
- Q. Who can remove games from my bundle?
A. Anyone with 'Manage Pricing & Discounts' permissions for the game can remove the game. They don't need to be explicitly invited to the bundle admin. Game removal are immediate and do not require approval by any other participants.
- Q. After I have added my game, and then approve it, can I auto-approve all other changes made to the bundle?
A. No. Every game needs to be re-approved if there is another game added or the bundle discount has changed.
- Q. Who can change the bundle artwork or bundle description?
A. Only the owning partner group of the bundle can change the text or artwork.
- Q. Does changing the text description, localization or bundle artwork require re-approval?
A. No. Any changes to the text or artwork does not require any approval. Artwork and text is not protected from change. Only the owner of the bundle can make those changes. Be thoughtful about which bundles you include your games in; as those invited do not have input via Steam to the description or artwork.
- Q. Does Steam Email me when approval is required?
A. No. Steam does not send any emails related to bundle state or bundle publishing. The developers involved need to coordinate among themselves, in whatever way that is most convenient to them.
- Q. Someone I don't know invited me to collaborate on a bundle, what should I do?
A. You can safely ignore any bundle participation invitations that you don't want to act on.
- Q. How do I create a new secret URL?
A. Each time your bundle opens for new games to be added or for edits, a new secret URL will be generated. Any previous URL will be invalidated.
- Q. I have a bundle with multiple partners' game in it that Valve set up for me, how do I edit it?
A. The owner of the bundle, which is the partner that originally created the bundle, will be able to enable collaboration mode on that bundle and that will allow for future edits to the bundle. Once collaboration mode is enabled, it cannot be disabled.
- Q. How are collaborative bundles paid out?
A. When a user purchases a bundle, they buy packages that are contained in that bundle. The discount of the bundle is applied to the packages. The sale of packages are recorded and we pay out the partner per package directly. Because of this, no further agreements or work needs to be done to properly effect the payout of collaborative bundle sales. Also, no adjustments to splits of sales can be done to a collaborative bundle.
The revenue and units for sales of a bundle are currently included in the sales indicated for each individual product sold (by package). So if Game A and Game B were sold together in a bundle, the sale would appear as 1 unit of Game A and 1 unit of Game B. The CSV from the Sales & Activations Reports portal will also indicate if a package sale was recorded as being sold in a bundle.
It should also be noted that a user could purchase a bundle that contains Game A and Game B while they already own Game A. The user will receive the bundle discount for purchasing Game B and will not be charged for Game A, nor will they receive an extra copy Game A.