Valve has hit back at Electronic Arts' accusation that selling games at heavily discounted rates is detrimental to overall sales.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Valve's business development chief Jason Holtman indicated that the opposite is true, and if gamers only waited for sales, nobody would ever pre-order anything from Steam.

“If this were all about a cheapening and somehow lessening the money out there, or somehow customers don’t want to pay any more, they think everything should be like a used car lot – sticker price is not the real price – you’d feel that and you’d get real reinforcement of that. We don’t see any of that. We see people buying a lot and enjoying it and playing a lot.

"Everything we’ve seen, PC games and IP and all those franchises are more valuable today than they were four or five years ago."

Holtman has referenced data collected from 40 million Steam users to dispute claims of pre-order stagnation due to sales.

"Our pre-orders are bigger than they used to be. Tons of people, right? And our day one sales are bigger than they used to be. Our first week, second week, third week, all those are bigger.

“That points out that what’s happened with those sales is, you’ve probably caught somebody and introduced them to a game when they haven’t had it, and they’ve played it, and the next time the franchise comes out or the next move from that publisher, the next move from the partner, they’ve just become more avid gamers."

Steam now hosts more than 40 million accounts and 1,800 games, and its 2011 year-over-year sales increased 100 percent for the seventh year in a row.