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Even After The Game Awards, Valve Didn't Stop Handing Out Steam Decks

The 2022 Game Awards was a huge night, not just for the year's standout studios and games, but also for fans — especially fans who tuned into Valve's livestream. The Game Awards was streamed concurrently on a variety of platforms including Steam, where users could watch live alongside a store-wide promotional sale for the awards. 

But the discounts weren't what brought nearly a million people to Valve's stream, it was the prospect of winning a Steam Deck. Every minute of The Game Awards that went by, a random registered user watching the stream would be selected to win a free 512 GB Steam Deck. The Game Awards went on for a long time the night of December 8, 2022, and in the end, Valve ended up giving away nearly three hours' worth of 512 GB Steam Decks.

Some joked that Christopher Judge's moving acceptance speech was lengthy to intentionally pad out The Game Awards, so that more people could win consoles. But as it turns out, the giveaway didn't end with the closing of The Game Awards, as Valve announced a week later that nearly 200 more registered viewers would also receive Steam Decks as a thank you to the "overwhelming response" to the console giveaway.

A batch of 171 additional viewers won a Steam Deck a week after The Game Awards

After the show wrapped with Bill Clinton's GOTY nomination, the Steam Deck team posted a vague total for how many consoles were given away over the course of the Game Awards stream. In the post, the team gave special congrats to "over 170" Steam Deck giveaway winners, but didn't give an exact total. Considering that the new batch is comprised of 171 winners, it's possible that the original number of consoles given away was also 171, and the team wanted to simply replicate it as a way of saying thanks for the "overwhelming response" from fans.

If that is the case, it means Valve gave away more than 340 Steam Decks as a result of The Game Awards — if one person were to buy 342 Steam Decks at the 512 GB version's price of $649 USD, that would cost just over $220,000. Considering the exposure from the insane number of users that tuned into the Steam Game Awards stream, not to mention shout-outs from Geoff Keighley and others throughout, that's probably a great investment for the highly-praised but niche handheld console. It's way easier to get than it used to be, but those hundreds of winners must be pretty happy to get the highest-end version of the Steam Deck just for watching the awards show.