In a recent interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, GOG.com's Managing director Guillaume Rambourg and marketing head Trevor Longino try to make the case that Steam's practice of discounting games actually hurts developers in the long run. The duo questions the frequent sales on Steam, adding that heavy discounting also sends the wrong message to gamers.
"Selling games at too high a discount – one often sees discounts above 80 percent off here and there – sends a message to gamers: this game, simply put, isn't worth very much," the pair said. "Of course you make thousands and thousands of sales of a game when it's that cheap, but you're damaging the long-term value of your brand because people will just wait for the next insane sale. Slashing the price of your game is easy. Improving the content of your offer when you release your game, that's more ambitious."
Rambourg continued by saying that his focus is on convincing gamers to spend their money on games when they are released by adding value.
"Heavy discounts are bad for gamers, too," he said. "If a gamer buys a game he or she doesn't want just because it's on sale, they're being trained to make bad purchases, and they're also learning that games aren't valuable. We all know gamers who spend more every month on games than they want to, just because there were too many games that were discounted too deeply. That's not good for anyone."
Rambourg admitted that one thing Steam's sales do is convince people who are unsure about a certain product to give it a try because the risk is a lot lower. At the end of the day he hopes for some kind of happy medium between the two extremes.