Occasionally game developers ask about hosting a regional promotion on Steam, gathering up and promoting the games made in a certain city, region, or country. While we think these promotions are a great way for players to learn more about where their games come from, and as a way to discover new games, we aren't able to host every proposed event, nor can we treat every regional promotion in the same way.
Some regions have a much stronger line-up of titles and a much more robust development community. These factors naturally lend themselves to a promotional event that is relevant to a large portion of the Steam player base. Alternatively, some regions have a much smaller development community and produce fewer titles, which makes it less likely that a promotion would include multiple games of interest for many players.
These events are typically organized by a game development association or at least someone that is really well connected within the local game development community and has the connections to ensure an inclusive event for all devs in the region that wish to participate.
How to design a regional promotion
To give the best chances of your promotion being successful and catching our attention, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Plan ahead - Typically, we suggest starting your planning a minimum of three months ahead of time. Remember that games have a cooldown of 30 days between discounts, so it's important to give developers time to plan. Bigger collections of games may need even more lead time to coordinate all of the participants.
- Describe your whole plan - Are there other ways that you are considering spreading word of the event? Does the event coordinate with a national holiday or some special event happening elsewhere? Describing a bigger picture of how your promotion would fit in with other activities helps us better understand the overall plan and how Steam could fit into that.
- Describe the event hook - Sure you make games in a particular location, but what are the notable titles that players have heard of and would make for a compelling hook? How does your event set itself apart from other similar events, in terms of design or special features for customers? Are the participating game developers interested in putting their games on discount? Are there interesting upcoming games that are also included?
When you are thinking about putting together a regional event for your city/state/country, here are the main points for you to know and agree to:
- The hosting of your event, use of sale page editor tools, and any promotion on Steam is all at the discretion of Valve
- Your landing page should clearly explain both the event and the group that is organizing it.
- In addition, any promotional banners used on Steam (including Store Page Banners) must also clearly describe the name of the event and who is hosting/organizing the event.
- Unless specifically agreed upon with Valve, we cannot promise any specific Steam store visibility for the event. Marketing efforts would be 100% up to you and the individual game developers involved. In some cases, we choose to help promote events, but we usually can't make that call until we know which games you'll have participating, the scope of the event, and any accompanying promotion or activities.
- If Valve chooses to promote your page within the Steam store:
- Broadcasting - We need to approve what broadcasting content will be shown. This is generally fine for industry talks or game announcement, but since we don't sell ad space on Steam, we want to be aware (as well as approve) of any kind of sponsorship logos or possibly ads for other brands or stores prior to the launch of the event.
- All graphical banners and images need to be provided to Valve as layered .psd files at least a week ahead of time for localization.
- Product page banner - this banner shows up on store pages of the apps that are included in the event and provides a bit of cross promotion value.
- You can only make use of Store Page Banners if the creators of every single game included on your sale page are aware and approve of such a banner. In other words, it should not be a surprise to any developer that your banner appears on the top of their game's store page.
- The only acceptable sponsor logos that can appear on Store Page Banners are for naming/title sponsors of the event itself. If the name you commonly use for your event elsewhere includes a sponsor name, then that is okay to include on the Store Page Banners (eg. "Indie Game Fest Presented By BrandX" or "BrandX's Indie Game Fest" are okay).
- When it comes to participants:
- You may only add games to the sale page for which you have received permission by the developer or publisher.
- The event should be open to any game created in the defined city/region/country. Valve may modify your landing page to include additional games from devs that request participation, though in most cases we'll be communicating with you about those kinds of changes.
- It's fine to tell participants that your event will have a landing page on Steam, but you should not promise a specific level of visibility within your page or within Steam.
- You cannot charge participants to be featured on the sale page.
Access to the sale-building tools
Once we've agreed that your proposed event makes sense to run on Steam, we can grant you access to the sale page editor tools. These tools allow you to define the list of participating games, create sub-categories for organizing them (if appropriate) and uploading your custom artwork for the background of the page and associated marketing banners.
Here you can find a description of the editing tools
And the bare minimum assets needed
for a sale page:
If we agree on setting up a sale landing page, it doesn't necessarily mean that we'll be able to feature your event on the homepage of Steam.
Creating A New Sale Page
- Create a Steam Community group with the name of your organization or event
- Let your Valve contact know the URL of your group. Valve will enable the sale tools for an event under your group.
Generally for organized events, any of the participating games also like to run a discount while they’re getting promoted. We don’t require this, and if some of the games in your event opt to stay full price that’s fine by us, but in our experience most games choose to capitalize on the extra exposure with a discount.
Rather than have dozens of studios submitting their own custom discounts, Steam can set up one discount event and set it to appear to the participating games and studios. That way, they can add in discounts for this sale via the discounting dashboard just as they would other big sale events like the Steam Summer Sale and be sure the start and end dates will all line up properly.
To do that, we’ll need you to send over a spreadsheet with the the appIDs of each participating game. Please provide this in a spreadsheet with one row per game once you have your participation list finalized. You probably want finalize your participant list at least two months in advance to make sure your participants are able to plan their discount strategy around your event timing.
Not every regional event can be featured in a big way on the homepage of Steam. Some really notable regions with a lot of well-known releases can work well in a spot as a Weekend Deal. Some smaller regions with a few well-known titles can get featured as a Daily Deal. Some other regions just don't have a lineup that is compelling enough for us to justify featuring it to the entire platform of customers.
Before we can commit to promoting a regional sale event in a particular way, we would want a pretty clear picture of which games are participating and will be on discount.
Special Offers Page
All sale events will automatically appear listed in the "Special Events" section of the Special Offers page
for players looking for good deals on games.
Steam is already built to take advantage of the network effects of running such a sale: When you put together your sale page and include games that have agreed to participate, you can set up a "store page banner" which will appear on each of the participating games’ store pages. When your participating games kick of their own discounts, players can easily find their way from individual games back to your main event page to find all of the related games.
Here you might find some inspiration from other regional events we've seen in the past:
Ready to get started?
If all of this sounds interesting to you, you can start the process by following this URL and filling out the questions: https://help.steampowered.com/en/wizard/HelpWithPublishing?issueid=938