Ah, the good ol’ points program. The tool of a capitalist society that just loves to feed on people’s addiction to spending money while promoting them to KEEP ON BUYING. Hey it works, right? Lord knows I’ve spent my fair share of points to pick up a free game on the Nintendo eShop here and there so now that a similar feature is launching for Steam…that’s dangerous for the wallets of us all. While previous large Steam sales awarded points that users could spend on cute little digital goods like character emotes, avatars and backgrounds, this system has been expanded to last all year round and may actually have value to it.
The new Point Shop offers players 100 points per $1 spent, which is unfortunately adjusted for exchange rates so for us folks in South Africa, we get 5 points per R1 spent. You can then use those points to purchase some fun cosmetic improvements for your Steam profile, including stickers, animated avatars, frames and backgrounds. These points can also be used as rewards for community engagement, allowing users to give points for user generated content or reviews that they enjoyed reading. Bare in mind that Steam Points won’t expire, but if you purchase something and then refund it you’ll lose the points you acquired from that purchase, which makes sense.
It’s a nice idea from Valve, one that makes a lot of sense given the rising competition between Steam and the Epic Games Store. The inclusion of a Steam Points system pushes players to buy games off Steam rather than a competing store, banking those points for future use. If ever there was a time to launch such a program it would be during Steam’s annual Summer Sale, which kicked off last night. Happy shopping!
Last Updated: June 26, 2020