NOTE: Recurring Subscriptions is not a fully supported feature. It may not be possible to test all configurations fully prior to the release of your game or software.
It is possible to configure recurring subscription billing for a game or software in Steam, though it is not well supported at this time.
In many cases, we urge you to consider whether recurring subscription is really the right path for your product. Many products have set off down this path and discovered that customer appetite for signing up to be billed on a recurring basis is limited and as a result many products have subsequently switched to a traditional single up-front payment method.
Methods For Managing Recurring Subscriptions
Below is the general method for managing recurring subscriptions on Steam.
In-game managed (Microtransactions)
The game started a recurring billing by invoking an in-game purchase and confirmed by customer through a Steam webpage. This is configured and managed entirely by the game. Please see Recurring In-Game Billing
for details on getting this set up.General Experience:
- The game is typically a free-to-play, but could also work with a standard purchaseable game.
- From within the game, a user would find a purchase option to sign up for a recurring subscription. This would be configured and managed by the developer.
- Developer-operated Service interfaces with Steam to initiate a subscription, with a renewal period/amount defined.
- User must approve through the Steam client.
- Service keeps track of when time runs out for their subscription.
- When subscription is expired, Service make a ProcessAgreement WebAPI call to charge the next period.
- Service is not allowed to charge more than the agreed amount in the period (so if the user agreed to $20 a month, they cannot charge more than $20 each month – but may charge less).
- User is only allowed to cancel this type of subscription.
Please see Recurring In-Game Billing
for details on getting this set up.
Pricing For Recurring Subscriptions
Consider your approach to pricing carefully. While you can lower recurring pricing over time as necessary, we do not support increasing the price of a recurring subscription.
Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: What payment methods does recurring billing support?A:
Recurring payments can be paid with a credit card, PayPal, or Steam Wallet funds.Q: Why is payment failing to process when calling ProcessAgreement?A:
If the customer does not have a valid payment method on file, does not have sufficient Steam Wallet funds, or has used an expired payment method most recently, then it may fail when you call ProcessAgreement.Q: Do users get notified when payment has failed?A:
Yes, the user should receive an e-mail when their recurring payment has failed. This should instruct them to visit their account page to update their payment information on file.Q: How often should I try calling ProcessAgreement for a user that has previously failed?A:
We recommend making this call once a day for at most a week before giving up. If the user has not updated their payment method on file by then, they are likely not coming back.Q: What do customers need to know about recurring subscriptions?A:
There is a customer support FAQ here
with some additional information.