The Steam Summer Sale has begun, and it's a little weird this year

by John Stapel

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Steam sale dates (opens in new tab) are no longer the closely guarded secrets they used to be, but the arrival of the Steam Summer Sale (opens in new tab) still represents one of the biggest days on the PC gaming calendar. The 2022 event, which is now officially underway, is no different: There's the usual mountain of discounts on a huge range of games, plus Summer Sale trading cards, badges, something called Clorthax, and—for the first time ever, I believe—an official Steam Summer Sale trailer.

The Summer Sale is big, and as always we're going to dig through the deals to come up with some suggestions about where you might want to throw your money, based on where we might want to throw our money. To get things rolling quickly, though, here's the full rundown of every game that appeared in the Summer Sale trailer, in case something caught your eye and you want a closer look:

  • Ghostwire: Tokyo (opens in new tab)
  • Final Fantasy 14 Online (opens in new tab)
  • The Elder Scrolls Online (opens in new tab)
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (opens in new tab)
  • The Sims 4 (opens in new tab)
  • Sid Meier's Civilization 6 (opens in new tab)
  • Forza Horizon 5 (opens in new tab)
  • Apex Legends (opens in new tab)
  • Rust (opens in new tab)
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (opens in new tab)
  • Raft (opens in new tab)
  • Dead by Daylight (opens in new tab)
  • God of War (opens in new tab)
  • Destiny 2 (opens in new tab)
  • Core Keeper (opens in new tab)
  • Ark: Survival Evolved (opens in new tab)
  • Monster Hunter Rise (opens in new tab)
  • FIFA 22 (opens in new tab)
  • Dying Light 2 (opens in new tab)
  • WWE 2K22 (opens in new tab)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (opens in new tab)
  • Black Desert (opens in new tab)
  • Grand Theft Auto 5 (opens in new tab)
  • Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (opens in new tab)
  • It Takes Two (opens in new tab)
  • Sea of Thieves (opens in new tab)
  • Cities: Skylines (opens in new tab)
  • Risk of Rain 2 (opens in new tab)
  • Total War: Warhammer 3 (opens in new tab)
  • Phasmophobia (opens in new tab)
  • V Rising (opens in new tab)
  • Naraka: Bladepoint (opens in new tab)

If you've been a Steam user for any length of time, you'll likely know that an actual, official trailer from Valve promoting the event is extremely unusual—unprecedented, even. 

Yet the video above isn't the only one to roll out of Steam HQ to mark this year's virtual bazaar of bargoons. There's also a handy tutorial that explains Steam trading cards in detail: How they work, what they do, and why they might be worth your time to play around with.

Meet Sir Smashes-A-Lot:

Valve promised that no "sellable functioning hardware" was damaged during the making of the video, if you're concerned about such things.

As for Clorthax (opens in new tab) , he's a "time-travelling trickster" who's stolen ten best-selling games from the future and now wants to sell them to you. In order to avoid creating an ultra-destructive time paradox, he can't actually reveal the names of those games—but if you can guess them, you'll earn a new badge. It sounds (and looks, and almost certainly is) silly, but it could be a lot of fun, too: Clorthax and his associated quest were written by Valve veterans Jay Pinkerton (opens in new tab) and Eric Wolpaw (opens in new tab) , whose previous credits include Half-Life 2, Portal, Left 4 Dead, Half-Life: Alyx, and Aperture Desk Job.  

The Steam Summer Sale is live now and runs until 10 am PT/1 pm ET on July 7. And since Valve is leaning so heavily into videos for this one, let us take a moment to remember this absolute work of genius from 2016, courtesy of ClintBeastwood. Are you ready?

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.