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Steam bundles to get cheaper if you already own some content

by Mark Tyson on 3 March 2016, 10:31

Tags: Valve

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Valve is set to shake up the pricing of games bundles, making them become more attractive and thus helping it sell even more PC games to the willing masses. Currently the excitement of seeing many a game bundle might be doused by the fact that you own several of the games in the bundle. What if the bundle price was discounted – for you – with the games that you already own put into consideration? That is a selling system that will become more prevalent on Steam and actually is already available on some bundles, reports PCGamesN. It dubs the new bundle discount system 'Steam Dynamic Bundles'.

In an email sent out to developers, and intercepted by PCGamesN, Valve wrote "With Steam Bundles, if a customer already [owns] some items in the Bundle, they will pay for and receive only the items not already in their account. This allows the best fans of your series or franchise to 'complete the set' and get a deal on the remaining items in the Bundle". The implications should be pretty obvious, but Valve goes on to explain "Past Complete Packs were sometimes a bad deal for customers that already [owned] one or more of the products in the pack. Either it made bad economic sense for those customers to purchase the pack, or they just felt bad about doing so since it [looked] like they were paying for products they already [had]. The new Steam Bundles system addresses this".

In my personal experience with Steam I have definitely not bothered with some bundles due to perceived lack of value - as I own a proportion of the games within. So this looks like a winning pricing strategy to me. So where is it already in action? PCGamesN says that the new pricing strategy is already applied to the Headup Games Complete Bundle, for one example. With this PC games bundle the regular price is £37.01 (see above), if you don't own any of the games within the bundle already. The reporter found that someone who already owned several of the bundle titles was offered the bundle at £29.77 (see below).

It's not clear how widely adopted the new 'Steam Dynamic Bundles' will become. However with the email being recently sent out to developers it shouldn't be too long until we see wider adoption of this fairer and more appealing pricing strategy.

HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

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With 1075 games in my Steam library, this is great news.
Very good news. I've not purchased many bundles as I've often had a quarter of the bundle already. Just hope the steam deals get better as they've not been that good recently.
Depending on the discount which I wouldn't expect to be 1:1 - just getting giftable/marketable copies of the duplicate titles would be more appealing to me.
TBH I have also not bothered buying some bundles because I owned elements of the bundle already, however, I did work out on each occasion that the bundle price is still relatively good and would have saved me SOME money, just not as much.
I think this approach is a good idea, and I applaud the effort to address it.

However I would also like to see the option to buy a bundle and have the duplicate items made available as keys that can be given to family, i.e. I could buy a Dawn of War II bundle and I already have the core game and first DLC, so I would like the option of gifting those items to my son… probably a bit of a headache for Steam/valve to manage though I guess. Still I am sure it is something they could get to work at some point.
Agree with Vorlon - Bravo Steam for introducing this! But also give the best of both worlds if you want to buy it and gift the rest