The recent talk on the Bombcast of Super Meat Boy selling more in the first week on Steam then on Xbox Live got me thinking about whether or not Steam Sales actually help or hurt developers. Now, I love Steam Sales as much as the next guy, and on one hand, the sales allow the game to gather more exposure then selling at its regular price. The game is also purchased by more players then it potentially would have been without a sale.
On the Other hand, the consumer may wait for a sale resulting in a lower overall number of sales upon a game’s release, which the publisher looks at when making decisions on the business end. For example, I have yet to purchase Rayman: Origins, despite hearing how great of a game it is from many journalists, because I have been waiting for the price to drop from $30 to about $10 - $15. Luckily, the game sold well enough that Ubisoft gave a green light to a sequel. The potential for a Steam Sale could have hurt the developer if others had been as frugal as I am and the game didn’t sell well due to consumers waiting for a good sale.
What are your thoughts on this?