Several indie developers have noticed abnormally high numbers of Wishlist deletions for their games.
Tom Vian, co-founder of Snipperclips developer SFB Games, was one of the first to link this to Steam’s Grand Prix-themed Summer Sale that started on June 25.
Oof, in Steam’s summer sale, they’re offering users a chance to win their ‘most wished for games’. Lots of users have misinterpreted as ‘any game on my wishlist’, instead of ‘the top game’, and are deleting lower priced indie games to make sure they get pricey AAA games instead. pic.twitter.com/xo4Z7cpUgz
— Tom Vian (@SFBTom) June 27, 2019
Other developers have reported similar Wishlist activity.
Hey @GreyAlien – Are your games seeing an abnormally high amount of wishlist deletions? I and 4 other devs all are seeing some pretty strange stats. I’ve never once in 5 years seen more deletes than adds/P&A during a seasonal sale. I’ve always left a sale with a net increase. pic.twitter.com/v1OY4MUQW5
— Raymond Doerr (@RaymondDoerr) June 26, 2019
Yep same – welp pic.twitter.com/MCS5DjfNZB
— Nick Tannahill (@FireFlyNick) June 27, 2019
Unusually high numbers of Wishlist deletions were especially harmful for those who rely solely on Steam for their income. Studios like SFB Games who are present on the Apple App Store, Google Play, the Nintendo eShop and other stores were less affected.
Steam responded to the frustrated feedback via an official blog post:
“We’ve heard your feedback about the complexity of the Steam Grand Prix event. We designed something pretty complicated with a whole bunch of numbers and rules and recognize we should’ve been more clear. We want to apologize for the confusion that this has caused, and also apologize for the broken mechanics that have led to an unbalanced event.
To clarify one point: if your team makes it to the podium and you are randomly chosen to win something off your Steam Wishlist, then we’ll grant you the top item. Just move your favorite item to the top of your wishlist and you should be good to go. There’s no need to remove other items from your wishlist — keep them there so you’ll be notified when those items release or go on sale.”
According to some Twitter users, the problem was aggravated by the fact that Steam Wishlist editing feature is not very intuitive. People just weren’t able to access ranked order options so they had to remove cheaper titles instead.
I think it’s not just a misunderstanding – I couldn’t edit my wishlist for some reason, the only thing I could do was remove games from it. So if you wanted to bump a game up to the top…
— mike cook (@mtrc) June 27, 2019
To be fair, Steam admitted that “this time around we could’ve done better” and that that they will “keep an eye on things and continue to adjust the game as needed.”
The event will be live until July 9, so hopefully, rate of Wishlist deletions will slow down. Many indie developers track Wishlists activity to forecast when they can stimulate sales by offering discounts.