The Steam digital distribution store gained notoriety for offering massive discounts on a huge range of games. Sadly, in the past few years, the savings have been fairly mediocre compared to previous Steam sales and competing third-party retailers. Nevertheless, holiday sale events still contain a number of enticing deals. Unfortunately, Valve only allowed Steam users to purchase Grand Theft Auto V during the summer sale as part of a bundle:
As you can see, GTA V’s base price isn’t discounted and sold for the full retail price of $59.99. Furthermore, the quoted discount of -25% is extremely shady given the actual bundle’s price. As a result, the Advertising Standards Agency investigated a number of complaints regarding this matter and ruled against Valve. In this case, the ASA said:
“We noted the claims for the game stated that consumers could make a saving of 25% on the previous price of £51.98, which we considered would be understood to represent a genuine saving against the usual selling price of the product at the time the ad appeared. However, we understood that was not the case and it had instead been sold by Steam at £39.99, rather than £51.98, since the date of its launch. Because a 25% saving was not available on the usual selling price of the product at the time the ad appeared, as claimed, we concluded that it was misleading.”
Despite misleading their customers, Valve will not be subject to any financial penalty and only received a slight telling off. The ASA’s punishment reads:
“The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Steam to ensure their future savings claims did not mislead about the benefits available.”
Do you think Valve should have been handed a fine for deceiving their customers?
Image courtesy of GTA5Cheats