Steam’s Winter Sale Will Start Next Week

Make it stop make it stopppppppppp. Between general Christmas expenditure, cinema tickets (some places are showing It’s A Wonderful Life, you know) and Steam having a sale three times a day, news that their big Winter discount bonanza is right around the corner is a little gruelling. Good news if you want cheap games, of course.

Valve haven’t broken cover with the dates themselves, but some scamp at Paypal has prematurely revealed in a advertisement (pictured above) that it all kicks off next Tuesday. This has happened before, but presumably the early reveal of the date isn’t considered scandalous enough for Valve to go to war with the house that Elon Musk built.

There are no more details as yet, although it’s often the case that someone raids the Steam database for advance word of what’s going cheap, so keep an ear to the ground.

Anything particular you’re hoping will crop up in the sale? Me, I’m hoping to spend Christmas with Life Is Strange and Undertale, two important and well-loved games from the year just gone that I haven’t had time for and feel increasingly guilty about.

Via ShackNews.


  1. Andrew says:

    Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket, and “Soma”, and “Neon Struct”, and “Kingdom”, and, yeah, “Life Is Strange” would be cool, too.

    • Mi-24 says:

      Neon struct; there’s something I’ve been waiting to go on sale, especially after the workshop update.

      • twaitsfan says:

        You can get Neon Struct in the humble monthly right now for $12 along with 5 other good games

        • IJC says:

          Only if you subscribed last month. If you subscribe now you only get Payday 2.

  2. Spuzzell says:

    This is absolutely worthwhile news, but the cliched hyberbole over this regualar event is starting to grate a little on my nerves.

    The Steam sales have been mediocre at best for 2 years now, and borderline deceitful at worst.

    • Symarian says:

      Fucking Rockstar, man.

    • AngoraFish says:


      Once upon a time Steam sales were a wonderous thing. Then competition came along and today more or less any game you care to think of has already been discounted further and/or quicker at another retailer, if not appeared in a bundle somewhere.

      These frequent articles on Steam sales are now just an exercise in nostalgia and an opportunity for someone in comments to post a link to the Praise Lord Gaben video.

      Even the Steam sale activities have only ever shown a couple of, sadly fleeting, flashes of brillance.

      Now eight-hour flash deals are no more, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Valve’s heart just isn’t in it anymore.

      That, and I now have All The Games anyhow.

    • eeguest says:

      yeah… I think it was 2010 or 2011 – the best Steam sale ever. The one with gifts of games and best bargains

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Yeah that’s true. For the past couple years, the crazy bargains are pretty much only for stuff you already own.

      Oh well. I’ll still grab FM2016 if there’s the usual 33% discount.

    • Pazguato says:

      Couldn’t agree more.

    • karthink says:

      Not for me! Steam started selling in my local currency this year, and the prices are bonkers during sales. I got The Witcher 3 for ~$8 last month, and a whole bunch of games (Ethan Carter, Transistor, Wolf Among Us and more, for an average of $1-2 each.)

      It’s the only store that sells in localized currency*, and it’s really testing my preference for buying DRM-free.

      I’m looking to hoover up a bunch of games to last me until the next winter sale.

      • karthink says:

        * (Except for Origin, actually. So pretty much just Steam, then.)

    • suibhne says:

      I’ve been avidly shopping Steam sales since they began, with an embarrassingly ludicrous backlog as testament, and I just don’t get this complaint. Anecdotally, it doesn’t seem true to me that Steam sales are now 100% “mediocre” (cue Immortan Joe) – and I’ve seen absolutely no data backing up this contention, either.

      I suspect this claim is purely subjective and unsubstantiated, driven primarily by two factors:
      1. Experienced Steam users have already purchased high-priority titles in past sales and are less likely to track sale pricepoints on items they’re not intending to buy; and
      2. The Steam sales more frequently include new games (released within the past several months) at more modest 20-33% discounts; in past years, those games were often not included at all.

      • MisterFurious says:

        You suspect incorrectly. There are many games that have gone on sale at smaller discounts than they did in the past. “Street Fighter IV”, for example, was $10 several years ago but has gone on sale at $15 the last several sales. I got “Fallout: New Vegas” for $1.50 one year but it sales at a higher price. There’s many other examples. Instead of the 80-90% off we used to get, now it’s 33-50%.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Go to link to Pick literally any game you can think of and check the historical sale data. Come back here when you find a game that’s been cheaper on Steam and nowhere else. Then tell us how many random games you tried before finally finding one.

      • minijedimaster says:

        You are completely wrong. Steam sales used to be amazing. It became an art form waiting for the real deal during flash/daily sales for the game you wanted. But once it went on one of those it used to be expected it was at least 75% off most of the time if not more. Now you’re lucky to get 50% off, usually only 33% or less.

  3. Themadcow says:

    \o/ I’ve made no purchases in the last two Steam sales \o/

    Do I get a token or something?

  4. gbrading says:

    Considering the Autumn sale was pretty poor, I’m not holding out that much hope for the Holiday sale honestly. I’ve implemented a new rule that a game must be 75% off, or less than £10 for me to even consider it.I already have enough games in the backlog now that it’s only worth buying new games when the price is right.

    • thethomaseffect says:

      I’ve had this system since I started buying Steam games (Except for the £10 limit) of sticking to 75% off unless it’s the rare really good game at 66% I cannot wait for and it doesn’t work all that well, even with these conditions I still own 1351 games on Steam right now. I’ve gotten much better recently with simply asking “If I buy this, will I actually play it before the next sale?” which leads to me being much pickier and only getting 3-4 games at most since I don’t have that much time.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      For me, my rule is 75% (preferably 80 % or more) or below 5 euros (below 2-3 euros on games I’m not sure I’ll like). My Steam profile says I haven’t played a Steam game for more than 6 months. That’s not me being anti-Steam or not having great games on my backlog, I’ve just been in an old-school mood, playing games that don’t require another program to run. I might get some games on this Steam sale, didn’t buy anything in the Autumn Sale, but I’m not exactly giddy with anticipation.

    • plastesin says:

      Haha same for me. At least 75%, RM10, and must be historical low. I will not buy those super hyped GTA V, Fallout 4, COD etc unless base price is lowered and at least 75% off.

  5. Dorga says:

    Mmm, now that I have a computer I can actually play the games I’ve been buying for the pas year, but of course there are things I would like to buy and then not play for a looooong time.

    • that_guy_strife says:

      I bought maybe 7 games in the autumn sale, and all I’ve really played is the DLC to Rocksmith. Which is individual songs. They’re all neat, cool games like Tomb Raider, Rocket League, The Evil Within, Homeworld Remastered, but I guess deep down I knew I wouldn’t play them for a while until a get a specific craving. Maybe years from now …

  6. Zekiel says:

    I always feel this strange sense of pressure with the Christmas sale since I feel like I won’t be guaranteed another good Steam sale til next Summer, so I need to stock up. At the same time I have enough games to play for several months already so I’m trying to resist the urge to buy very much this time.

    Have fun with Life Is Strange Alec!

  7. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Always miss most of this one due to visiting family over christmas. Still seems an odd time for them to put the sale on to me, I can’t be the only person who’s away over this period. Ah well, saves me money at least.

    • that_guy_strife says:

      Surely you’ll have Internet access during one of those days ? The neat thing is you won’t be missing flash sales anymore, you would just need to log on once during the whole sale to get what you want from it.

    • Frank says:

      Never posed a problem for me. Being away just meant I couldn’t play them until later.

    • Martel says:

      If you have a smartphone you can just use their app. That’s what I will be doing.

  8. Solidstate89 says:

    Nothing I want that I don’t already have. The only two games I still want won’t be out until next year.

  9. kud13 says:

    Game I will most defintely buy once it’s at its cheapest: ” African Kingdoms” DLC for Age of Empires II HD.
    I’ve sunk 63 hours into that game and nearly close to done with the single-player content.

    Game I may get if the sale is good enough (with all the DLC/season pass): Arkham Knight.

    Beyond that, not really looking for anything right now. I’ve got Far Cry 4 and Dying Light on my wishlist, but not in any hurry to buy either.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      Keep in mind that FC4 (which is loads of fun, btw) will likely be heavily discounted in a few months when FCP comes out. It’s an additional reason not to rush the purchase during the xmas sale.

  10. twaitsfan says:

    I don’t know, I still think these sales are pretty good. I bought 5 games I’d had my eye on for about 60% off in the thanksgiving sale. I’ll take that every day of the week and twice on any other day of the week.

  11. Grizzly says:

    I seem to be sticking to expansions and such for things I know I enjoy already but which do not actually extend stuff.

    I think I have just found the area where I have… had enough. Not of the playing of games but I own enough games: For every game released there is a game in my library that does something rather similar, something I haven’t played or something that I have played years ago and don’t properly remember anymore. And there’s probably a lot of mods for that game too. Or an expansion pack!

  12. Frank says:

    I’m waiting for Divinity: Original Sin above all else, and maybe Westerado. The other games I want (Renowned Explorers, Talos Priniciple, Hotline Miami 2, Battle Brothers, Neon Struct) probably won’t get cheap enough for my taste, around $5.

  13. Ben King says:

    The Talos principle tops my wish list, but most of my top ten games are ones I really really want. I almost never buy games that AREN’T on sale, although I did break that rule with fallout recently. I probably won’t buy more than a couple…. I’ve got q bit of a backlog:-/

  14. RedViv says:

    *starts crossing fingers*
    Wait, the actual price of Fallout 4 on Steam is how much? Ahah. HAH! Good one!
    *stops crossing fingers*

  15. Hobbes says:

    “Targeting the three thousand games threshold, sir.”

    “Make it so number one.”

    *cue Star Trek : The Next Generation music*

  16. Bobtree says:

    Last night I had a dream about my Steam backlog.

  17. Lobotomist says:

    Great. I got fired from work few days ago. So it will stop me from temptation … or will it ?

  18. PiiSmith says:

    Last few times I saw a game on a steam sale, I checked the price with some site selling a steam key and their regular price almost always beats the steam deal price. So yawn, Steam sales are absolutely unimportant.

  19. Viral Frog says:

    I want way too many games for me to actually acquire. The two I want the most are Vermintide and Endless Legend. I’m really hoping to get those two on a killer sale. Undertale is up there on my list as well.

    Other than that, I have a huge stack of wishlisted indie platformers, twin stick shooters, and roguelikes that I’d also really like in my collection.

  20. Phantom_Renegade says:

    We’ve just had a (disappointing)steam sale last month. Since the prices during christmas tend to be the same as the thanksgiving sale, it’s hard to get excited.

    • Baines says:

      It was apparently already said some time ago that this Christmas sale would use the same discounts as the Thanksgiving sale.

      Though that could certainly change if Valve wasn’t happy with the results of the Thanksgiving sale, it looks like Valve has decided that their market position is safe and that they can dial back the “crazy” bargains.

    • rcguitarist says:

      Yeah, and it’s especially bad because of the new structure of the sale with no flash sales or daily deals. The publishers used to put thier games on heavy discount during the flash sales to build up hype and get front page status for a bit, but now, there is no reason to. And they definetly don’t want the really low price to last the entire sale. So unless steam goes back to the old format, I foresee 33% off being the biggest discounts we see.

  21. Lord Byte says:

    1000+ games, most of them highly rated. I’m just going through the motions, the last few sales, pick up a few pearls I missed during the year, and those “eh, it’s rated well but I might not be into it… maybe in a sale” games.
    Same thing for bundles, usually I skip them if I have most of it already (even if the one thing I don’t have might even be cheaper… It feels… a waste (even though I tend to give excess keys away) Probably because it’s jut one of those “eh maybe” games.

  22. MisterFurious says:

    Wow, time flies. It seems like only a few weeks ago that we got the Autumn Sale. Oh, wait…