As near as I can tell, this summer’s Steam sale is less about making money and more about economic experiments. Sure, the revenue is nice, but the long-term value to Valve will come from seeing how people react and buy. There are flash sales, community choice, today’s deals, pack deals, and a few other ways to see sales. They vary in discount, placement, and duration, but you’ll see the same sales appearing multiple times in multiple places. Missed that flash sale? No problem, it’s tomorrow’s daily deal, and you’ll get a chance to vote to bring it back in a few days.
It is a real time experiment in marketing with millions of people paying to participate.