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Steam tightens regional restrictions on game gifting

By Scorpus
Mar 13, 2015
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  1. Back in December last year, Steam began region locking PC games to prevent people from exploiting the low currency values in some nations. While the restrictions didn't affect the purchase of Steam keys, anyone who bought Steam gifts from regions such as Russia would only be able to activate the games if they lived in the same region.

    This kind of region locking is reasonably easy to get around. Users quickly discovered that they could activate Steam gifts through a VPN to an appropriate region, and then play it without a VPN. But with Steam's new regional restrictions on game gifting, this will no longer be possible.

    steam valve steam store game store region locking gifting

    Now, Valve is stipulating that Steam gifts from some regions can only be activated and played in the regions that they were bought in. For those that are trying to buy extremely cheap games, this means using a VPN each and every time you want to play, which can be an unattractive option for multiplayer games in particular.

    The restrictions, which have been applied retroactively to games gifted after December 2014, also affect those who actually live in cheap regions. People who are gifted games (or, in some cases, purchase games) in these regions won't be able to play them outside their country. So when a user goes on a holiday or moves internationally, access to their games is locked.

    With currencies remaining weak in some regions such as Latin America and eastern Europe, it's no surprise that Valve is trying to cut down on people exploiting this fact. It's also not the first time we're seeing PC games region locked: select games, at the discretion of their publishers, have had regional activation restrictions for years.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. I'm sure some people do this because they simply could not afford a certain game otherwise. A young person for instance? Surely it is better to have some of their money rather than force them to another, alternative method of getting their must have game?
     
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,663   +775

    Nothing new about regional marketing, just look at the price of gasoline from area to area or even within different parts of any particular city.
     
  4. I'm sure it's more abused by people who just want to spend less lol
     
  5. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,898   +941

    It's better than piracy, at least these people are willing to pay for the game
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
    misor and aMerkuri like this.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,554   +2,894

    A bit irrelevant but true. I mean you can't exactly wire transfer fuel.
     
  7. What if you must buy a game or pay for the pizza. You may not realize in some parts of the world this is a real issue ;) People cannot give a 1/4 monthly pay for a new game.
     
  8. I usually wait until a steam summer or winter sale before buying a new release game. What I don't understand is the big difference between the american steam store and my region. Take Farcry 4 for example when not on sale: $60 USD ($80 converted to my currency) in the us store. And in my region/steam client its $75 ($102 converted), why should I pay $20+ more for a digital item?
     
  9. VPN for the win.
     
  10. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,508   +498

    Maybe then they should be getting their priorities right, not buying games nor pizza...
     
  11. They should just ask for the same price for a game in every country
    if someone cant pay that price just don't buy it
    even price no restrictions
     

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