Steam Price Threshold Changes Could Impact Small Developers
The online store platform Steam, released by Valve in 2003, is one of the largest and most accessed gaming platforms. Recently, the minimum price required for games sold on this platform increased, causing developers to worry about the further impact it will have on their business.
The new price threshold, which started in January 2020, states that all single-player games must be sold for 4.99 USD or more, while multiplayer games must be priced at 19.99 USD or more. Games that are not priced within these thresholds will no longer be sold on the platform.
The major impact this has had on small developers is that, given the higher price requirements, they are not able to make as much profit as questions the overall worth and success of their investment when creating a game.
Some developers argue that this price threshold change can cause a monopolization of the market, as smaller developers won’t be able to compete with large companies on the financially accessible prices.
The lack of access to the platform’s large userbase can also drastically affect developer communities, as players won’t be able to experience the same game as the rest of the players. Furthermore, steam often provides updates which allow players to experience new patches and game events, meaning that the success of a game can drastically decrease if the developers don’t have access to these updates.
Overall, this change in Steam’s pricing thresholds could have an immensely negative effect on small developers, greatly reducing their chance to make a profit and to make their game as enjoyable as possible. It is important for the gaming community to recognize and understand the consequences this could have.