Steaming at Steam: Paradox (and Cities: Skylines) Sale Ends Prematurely

To start off the month, Paradox Interactive, publisher of the popular new city-simulator Cities: Skylines, launched a Steam sale, per <a href=”http://steamcommunity.com/games/255710/announcements/detail/66783563363719219″>this announcement</a>.  Cities: Skylines was one of the titles that was included in this sale, which, per the official announcement on Steam from Paradox’s totalymoo (yes, there’s only one “l” in the name), was set to run “Oct 1-5”.  Hearing about it from a user over at Simtropolis, and figuring that this as an excellent opportunity to finally pick up the title, I picked up a $20 Steam card at Target on my way home from work this afternoon, so I could take advantage of this “perfect opportunity”.  However, once I finally got onto Steam, at about 4pm on October 5th here in Oregon (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-7:00), what did I find?  The game had already gone back to its full price of $29.99.

steam-oct5-cropped

I took that screenshot this evening after dinner . . . it’s still October 5th here, as you’d see from the timestamps on the file.  And even on the US East Coast, which is three hours ahead (UTC-4:00), it’s still October 5th as I type.  For the entire US userbase, it’s still October 5th.  For those in Hawaii (UTC-10:00), it’s not even 5pm on the 5th yet. And apparently, judging by the comments, the price went back up to full well before October 5th was over for those in Central European Time (UTC+1:00):

steam-oct5b-cropped

Again, a screenshot taken on October 5th–the whole first page of comments is almost entirely people who, like myself, are wondering what happened.  It would indeed be a perfect opportunity, but it appears it had, for whatever reason, ended prematurely.  Now, if the sale announcement had included specific information about what timezone was supposed to mark the end, this would be perfectly understandable.  But, it does not.  It just says the 5th.  I suppose the birds on Howland and Baker Islands in the Pacific (UTC-11:00, the farthest west timezone) probably wouldn’t object to being excluded (though they are still US territories), but in light of no fine print, this appears to be a premature end to the sale for about half of the world (and probably at least half of Paradox’s and Steam’s userbase).

To quote Fred Willard’s character from A Mighty Wind, “Hey, wha’ happened?”

-Tarkus

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