It’s become a PC gaming tradition for fans to delay some of their game purchases until a big sale, and Steam has been leading that discounted price with promotions timed for major holidays like Thanksgiving. It should come as no surprise, then, that Steam’s fall sale has arrived with big discounts for PC gamers. But this year, the promotion is accompanied by a first for the games store: the Steam Awards.
Since this is Steam, the prizes offered are not exactly traditional, nor is the process of awarding them.
For starters, every game sold through Steam is eligible for a prize. “Unfinished” early access titles and year-old classics have equal footing in the nomination process. The only eligibility requirement is that the game has a live Steam Store page. To nominate a game, go to the store page, then click on the giant purple nominate button and nine radio checkmarks will appear.
The eight predefined categories avoid year-specific labels such as “Best RPG” or “Game of the Year.” Instead, these awards range from the highly subjective (the “I’m Not Crying, There’s Something In My Eye” award, the “Whoooaaaaaa, dude!” award) to the oddly specific (the “Villain Most In Need Of A Hug “-award, the “Best Use of a Farm Animal” award. Two of the awards are specifically aimed at older Steam games: the “I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award” award and the “Test of Time” award. (If you prefer data voting, my cohort Kyle Orland already knows which older games have been collecting user stats over the years.)
Steam users can only cast one vote per category and they cannot choose the same game for multiple categories. There’s also a ninth category for users to come up with, and Valve says it will review those enrollment category names and pick something based on what they see. All voting closes on November 29, the same day the sale ends.
Oh yeah, that sale: there are a lot of great games on offer, and the sale doesn’t include any limited time or flash discounts, so you don’t have to wait for a particular bargain. Some highlights are this year’s stars mischief reboot for $19.79, Grand Theft Auto V for $30, and the full DLC-loaded edition of the older civilization V for $12.77. (Civ VI has a small 10 percent discount to $54 if you stick with it.) And while I was a little shaky about the Steam Link hardware when it launched last October, the high discount of up to $20 during the sale makes it an easier recommendation for anyone looking to stream their gaming PC to other screens in their home.