Steam occasionally hosts third-party sale pages, often focused on a theme (LudoNarraCon), a physical event (PAX), an awards ceremony (BAFTA), or a regional gaming organization (Games in Italy).
Here’s how they work and what to expect.
How they work
These events are organized and managed by external organizations such as other game developers, physical event promoters, or industry associations. These organizations approach us with a proposal for their event and information on which games they expect to participate. With that information, Valve is able to decide whether the event is a good fit to exist on Steam, and whether we're able to promote the event. Not all events that exist on Steam will get promoted on the homepage.
For any of these events, it is up to the event organizer to line up the participating games, get necessary permissions from each participating developer, and to build a sale page using the tools provided by Steam. This organizer is responsible for merchandising the games on the sale page and making sure it all comes together at the right time, though the Steam team can often help with things like coordinating discount entries and providing feedback on the sale page design and organization.
Rules for event organizers
The event organizers agree to certain rules and are held to certain standards. We think it's important that game developers are also aware of these rules, which vary slightly depending on the kind of event being organized, and you can see the rules and information for each type here:
A discount is not required for a title to appear on a sale page, but is highly recommended. Visibility on the front page of Steam is based on, among other factors, the number and level of discounted titles in the event, so an organizer may ask you to discount the title. Sale pages often lead to increased visibility, so it can be a good opportunity to take advantage of this boost in traffic with a discount on your title.
Sometimes third-party events will have a discount event that you can join under “Discount Management”. It is not required that you use this discount event, but it will be tailored to the duration of the event and can be an easy way to be sure that your title is on discount for the whole event. You are always welcome to utilize a custom discount instead; it doesn’t matter where the discount is coming from, only that the game is on discount.
Don't forget that third-party events are subject to the 30-day discount cooldown, so plan accordingly.
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.
Games participating in a third-party event will have a "store page banner" that appears on the top of the store page. When the event begins, users can easily find their way from individual games back to the main sale event page.
Front Page Featuring
Not every themed event can be featured in a big way on the homepage of Steam. Some really notable themes with a lot of well-known releases can work well in a spot as a Weekend Deal. Some smaller themes with a few well-known titles can get featured as a Daily Deal. Some other themes just don't have a lineup that is compelling enough to justify featuring it to the entire platform of customers.
Please reach out to your contact for the event to learn more about where the event will be promoted.
Visibility within the Event
The event organizer is responsible for the merchandising of the event, and should be your first point of contact if you have questions about the location of your game within the event.
Not all events will have a livestream component, and some that do may choose to limit who streams to the page. To learn more, reach out to the event organizer on their plans for the event.
To learn more about how to set up a stream, head to our Livestreaming
Q: Is there a limit to how many events I can participate in?A. No, there is no limit to how many events your titles participate in. Do remember that discounting cooldown rules do apply to all events except for the four Seasonal Sales (Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter) hosted by Valve. Check out the Discounting documenation for more info.
Q: How can I know more about upcoming events?A. Steam does not have a calendar of upcoming events organized by 3rd parties. We recommend reaching out to your local game developer association and any genre-related groups to stay up to date on any plans they may have. Events organized by us can be found on the Upcoming Events page
Q: I’m being asked to pay money to appear on the page – is this okay?A. No, event organizers are not allowed to charge for appearance on the sale page or in a specific section of the sale page. Please reach out to us if an organizer is asking for payment. However, organizers are allowed to charge for things like location on a physical showfloor - the sale page mimicking that organization is okay.
Q: The event is live right now and my title doesn’t appear where it should!A. Please reach out to the event organizer, as they are responsible for games showing up on the event page.
Q: There is a live event right now that I think I qualify for, how can I be added?A. Please reach out to the event organizer.