The Steam Lunar Sale sounds very nice on the surface. A bunch of random sales celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year. Because that’s suddenly a thing now. In fact, everyone seems to be celebrating all of a sudden. To me, it feels like an excuse to make even more money off us poor normal folks, and it seems fitting that companies have picked the Year of the Pig to do so. But anyway, as well as your standard Steam sales and sales on games with Chinese publishers and developers, you can also get €5 off purchases over €30. Sounds great, right?
There’s also this fancy “rewards booth” where you can earn gold tokens and spend them on cosmetic Steam-based extras. The rewards are weird. You can buy a badge for your profile, level up that badge with more coins, buy a bunch of emoticons and steam backgrounds, make your profile gold, make your profile gold until March 6th (or possibly further, I don’t know) to spend coins to get an extra €5 off your next Steam purchase.
The thing is, you have to spend to get these tokens. For every €1 you spend, you get 122 coins. The costs for each of the rewards though are quite high. For example, the piggy emoticons cost 100 tokens each. This makes them way, way more expensive than many previous Steam Sale-based emoticons, as you have to spend €0.80 or there about per emoticon, where as previous emoticons can be picked up for a few cents once an event ends. But none of the Lunar Sale items – not even the emoticons and the profile backgrounds – are tradable at all. They’re locked to your account.
The prices get weirder. The three profile backgrounds cost 1000 tokens each, which means you have to spend about €8 per background. The profile badge costs 2000 coins, that’ll be another €16 or so.
To get that fancy gold profile, which costs 4000 tokens, you need to spend €32.78.
What if you want to extend that until March 9th? Well, to do so, you need 12000 coins. That will cost you nearly a hundred Euros.
The scariest thing though is the Bonus Savings Mode. It “Adds an additional 5,–€ discount to your next store purchase” and costs 15000 tokens. It costs you €123 to unlock this. Spend over a hundred Euros to get a €5 discount! Amazing, right?
No, it’s fucking stupid.
Sure, you get some free tokens as well, but that’s based on how much you’ve spent recently. My most recent purchase was €7 worth of Tennogen, which net me 2000 coins. Enough for, well, a badge. Or the emoticons, but the emoticons aren’t anything special. They’re honestly Twitch and Discord level emoticons that you have to pay for. But also because it’s based on your recent spending habits, the amounts vary quite a bit. Davjo got 4000 tokens, double my tokens, but as far as I’m aware, that’s because his last purchase was bigger than mine. From the Lunar Sale FAQ, all it says is that “The initial number of tokens you received is based on previous purchases made on your account.”
So yeah, you might be out of luck if your last 3 purchases were all cheap ones.
But there is NO way to earn free tokens aside from the ones you’re initially given. At all. If you only get 2000 coins and want that nice gold background, tough shit, you gotta spend money. There’s no way about it.
While the Lunar Sale itself might be interesting, the Rewards Booth is a total fucking rip off.