The Steam Summer Sale is an event which is marked by rock-bottom prices, digital trading card-based competitions, and wallets completely devoid of cash. Developers often see their sales increase by double, triple, or even quintuple their usual amounts. This makes Steam Sales a highlight for gamers, publishers and developers alike.
But it seems some developers have been increasing their prices just before the Steam Sale in order to make it look like they’re being discounted more than they are. Reported publishers include Bethesda, Rockstar and Ubisoft.
Wolfenstein: The New Order increased from $45 to $60, and was then discounted to $30.
Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag increased from $29.99 to $39.99 and then discounted to $23.99
Grand Theft Auto V briefly became impossible to buy without purchasing ingame cash, making the 50% discount slightly less exciting.
Many countries, such as the UK, impose restrictions on the changing of prices just prior to sales. These kinds of practices, if not illegal, are frowned upon in many countries, and so far there has been no comment from Valve about the matter.