The 2018 Steam Winter Sale is here with steep savings and free daily gifts

You can never leave the Extremely Cozy Cottage

Steam Winter Sale 2018
IDG / Hayden Dingman

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To quote one Burl Ives: “A neighbor tipped his hat to me this morning. The landlord even smiled and said good day. And I want you to know that a stranger said hello...the Steam Sale can’t be far away.” One of my favorite songs about the holidays, let me tell you.

And sure enough, the 2018 Steam Winter Sale is here. It launched this morning, with the full title of “The Steam Winter Sale, Featuring the Extremely Cozy Cottage of Surprises.” Said cottage also features prominently on the homepage, a warm and welcoming glow in the frigid winter landscape.

The Extremely Cozy Cottage appears to be Valve’s way of injecting some life back into the Steam Sale, or trying to at least. See, back in the day Valve’s sales were more of an event. Every day you’d see new deals, with games on the front page discounted to unprecedented prices. There were also Flash Sales, which refreshed every eight hours and could also feature steep discounts.

Then Steam added refunds, and killed the Daily/Flash deals to prevent people from buying a game, seeing a better price the next day, and refunding it en masse. It made sense, but the Steam Sales have never really been quite as “fun” since, as if you need more reason to save money on video games.

Anyway, the Extremely Cozy Cottage is supposedly a reason to check in on 2018’s Steam Winter Sale every day. It’s basically a digital advent calendar, prompting you to click a door each day and receive “up to three free digital items.” As I write this the Cozy Cottage is completely broken, dumping me to an error screen each time, but a press release says gifts include “Steam Community emoticons, wallpapers, and/or in-game items from community favorite Steam games—as well as some consumable digital items of questionable utility from Valve.” Whatever that means. There’s also a note saying to check in on December 24 for more.

Okay, it’s not the most exciting gimmick Valve’s come up with—but hey, cheap games. That’s why you’re here, right? And there are a lot, as always. Yakuza 0 is discounted to $13.39, which is an absolute steal. XCOM 2 is 75 percent off ($15) which is likewise an incredible deal. The Talos Principle is $6, and still one of the best puzzle games ever made. Those are just a few of today’s front-page deals. With 15 thousand games on sale, there’s a lot to browse.

You might as well vote for the Steam Awards while you’re at it, too.

Like it or not, the Steam Winter Sale is still one of the biggest events of the year for PC gaming. It’s a chance for newcomers to fill out their Steam libraries on the cheap, and a chance for us longtime users to pick up a few games we might otherwise never try out—and then let those games rot in our backlog, usually. Ah well, there’s never enough time in the day.

The Steam Winter Sale runs from now through January 3.

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