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Steam Bundles Prices Should Make More Sense Soon

Look after the pennies

Look, I'm not here to criticise anyone for taking their sweet time. I have a pictures folder that has been begging me to organise it since 2008. By now I know my way through the mess so well that actually sorting it out would slow me down.

So, really, when I heard that Valve will allow developers to adapt the pricing of their bundles to make them more appealing for people who own some of the games in the bundle, I just applauded the fact that they got around to doing it at all.

The new Steam bundle system, as reported by PCGamesN, is not across all bundles yet and we'll have to see how widespread it becomes Either way, dynamic pricing simply means that if you want to buy a bundle that contains some games you already have, the price of the bundle will go down accordingly. Steam does not give you additional copies of the games you already own if you buy a bundle, so dynamic pricing is fairer, as it will always make sense to buy the bundle, rather the individual games you need.

I know, GOG have been doing it right for ages. Some of my friends already have neat pictures folders too.

Here, let me show you what it looks like, and I'm sure you'll understand. One bundle with dynamic pricing activated is Valve's own Valve Complete Pack. This is the bundle price for someone who has none of their games:

That's the way it's always been. Now, this is what it looks like for me:

I own some of their games, but not all of them. It wouldn't have made sense for me to ever buy the Valve bundle before, because getting the individual games I missed was cheaper. But now it does, and I can enjoy the same discount as everybody else.

If you want to get slightly more technical, to calculate the final price of a bundle with dynamic pricing you have to apply two different discounts: the individual game's and the bundle's. First of all, the games will be discounted one by one as usual. Then, when they're bundled up, calculating the bundle's final price means adding up all the games at their discounted price point, and it is on this sum that the bundle's discount is applied.

Hopefully we'll also soon see an end to the nonsensical bundle pricing situations which occasionally crop up where, in some currencies, a bundle is more expensive than buying its games separately.

All of this means one thing: you can now catch up on some of those embarrassing games that get thrown in bundles together with good ones, and use the excuse that you just got them as part of the bundle. Don't worry, it'll be our little secret.

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