It has become a PC gaming tradition for fans to put off some of their game purchases until a major sale, and Steam has led that discount charge with promotions timed for major holidays like Thanksgiving. It should come as no surprise, then, that Steam’s autumn sale has arrived with major discounts for PC gamers. But this year, the promotion is joined by a first for the games shop: the Steam Awards.
Seeing as how this is Steam, the awards on offer are not exactly traditional, nor is the process for awarding them.
For starters, every game sold via Steam is eligible for an award. “Unfinished” early access titles and years-old classics have equal footing in the nomination process. The only eligibility requirement is that the game has a live Steam Store page. Should you wish to nominate a game, visit its store page and then click the giant purple nomination button, at which point nine radio checkmarks appear.
The eight pre-defined categories avoid year-specific labels such as “best RPG” or “game of the year.” Instead, these awards range from highly subjective (the “I’m Not Crying, There’s Something In My Eye” award, the “Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!” award) to oddly specific (the “Villain Most In Need Of A Hug” award, the “Best Use of a Farm Animal” award). Two of the awards specifically target older Steam games: the “I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award” award and the “Test of Time” award. (If you’d rather let data cast the vote, my cohort Kyle Orland already knows which older games have racked up user stats for the past few years.)
Steam users can only cast one vote per category, and they can’t pick the same game for multiple categories. There’s also a ninth category that users get to make up, and Valve says it will review those write-in category names and pick something based on what they see. All voting closes on November 29, the same day that the sale ends.
Oh, yes, that sale: lots of great games are on offer, and the sale will not include any limited-time or flash discounts, so you don’t need to wait for a particular bargain. Some highlights include this year’s stellar Doom reboot for $19.79, Grand Theft Auto V for $30, and the complete, DLC-loaded edition of the older Civilization V for $12.77. (Civ VI has a slight 10-percent discount to $54 if you’ve held out.) And while I was a little shaky about the Steam Link hardware when it launched last October, its deep discount to $20 during the sale makes it an easier recommendation for anybody looking to stream their gaming PC to other screens in their home.