Indie developers suggest Steam Summer Sale confusion is hurting their games [Updated]

Enlarge / Despite the exciting imagery, Steam’s Grand Prix promotion may be inadvertently harming some low-cost indie games on the platform. (credit: Steam)

As part of this year’s annual Steam Summer Sale, Valve is hosting a new “Grand Prix” promotion that gives participants a chance at free games if they complete certain daily “quests” on the platform. But confusion over how the promotion works seems to be leading Steam users to delete some low-cost indie games from their Steam wishlists in a misguided attempt to maximize the value of their potential winnings.

“We lost 1,500 wishlists in the first 24 hours of the sale,” No More Robots Director Mike Rose told Ars regarding the four indie games the publisher sells on Twitter. “Usually you lose, like, 20 in a day.”

No More Robots is far from alone. Mode 7 Games‘ Paul Kilduff-Taylor tweeted a graph showing wishlist deletions spiking to over 1,100 following the start of the sale on Tuesday. SixtyGig Games‘s Raymond Doerr showed a similar increase in deletions for his game at the same time, outpacing a smaller rise in additions and purchases from the wishlist. There are now enough anecdotal examples of this effect across multiple indie games, all starting on the first day of the sale, to suggest this marked increase is something more than random chance.

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