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Steam is region locking PC games to stop people exploiting low currency values

By Jos · 32 replies
Dec 17, 2014
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  1. Only a day after Apple pulled the plug on online sales in Russia, Valve is also taking measures to prevent users from exploiting low currency values on Steam. Effectively immediately the company says that games bought on its platform will...

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  2. Setnom

    Setnom TS Member

    How dare people buy games on the cheap! How dare they!? :p
  3. Valve are really being money grubbing snides lately.
    Loathing the gems crap.
    1000 gems 50p
    10000 gems £5
    100000 gems £50
    1Million gems £500 ...
    Someone bids 1.2 million on a background that expires after 4 weeks. Only £600.
    Steam are insane, but so are the numpties on their making the whole thing pointless.
  4. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,769   +598

    This simply had to be done, don't be complaining about Valve trying to regulate their own market, and surely don't be upset that Valve caught on and put a stop to these shenanigans.
    Auth3ntic0 likes this.
  5. ShamblerDK

    ShamblerDK TS Rookie

    Well, maybe they should stop selling it at different prices around the world then? If you can't afford a specific game, you probably can't afford the computer to play it either, so having different prices in different countries is just complete bullshit.

    The only reason they do it, is because they know they can make say European customers pay more than say Russian customers - prices are kept artificially high and have absolutely -no bearing- on the actual value of the games.

    Personally, I'll keep buying some of the Steam games from Russian region. It's much cheaper and can be accomplished easily with most VPN solutions.

    Basically: Shame on you Valve, for being such *******s about this. If you say you have to do it because of a lack of money, I'll be baffled and in complete disbelief that you'd lie like that.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,162   +3,260

    This is all fine and dandy as long as, if I move or travel I can still play my games. Not that I will be doing either one, I'm sure there are those that will be.
  7. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 535   +210

    I think those lower prices are applied to markets with critical problems related with piracy, to incentive paying at least something for games, movies, and other entertainment.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,162   +3,260

    It also gives the illusion that if the critical problems are solved, prices will go back up. Under these conditions, would you want to fix the critical problems in your area? Lowering prices in these areas will only have a negative impact for finding a solution.
  9. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,862   +1,183

    The only games I was considering doing this with is games that valve rarely/never put on sale. Most recently I almost jumped on Modern warfare 2.
  10. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,490   +3,487

    One of the reasons they are priced differently because the values of the currencies in different markets is, surprise surprise, different. It has nothing to do with Steam trying to be "greedy" and everything to do with them offering software at prices different regions are willing and able to pay. It is cheaper to buy Russian software licenses because the USD has significantly more value than the RUB.

    The economic illiteracy in this thread is palpable.
    Auth3ntic0 likes this.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,162   +3,260

    I don't think you understand it either, or you wouldn't have said that. If you can save money purchasing in one area, then Valve would be making more in others. Which means Valve is not using the currency exchange rates, which would ensure the games are sold for the same value.
    Burty117, Hexic and Steve like this.
  12. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,042   +316

    I love CAPITALISM !! Yes I do!!
  13. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,313   +258

    the whole economy chains in these countries are different to more "Westernized" part of the world. Compare eastern europe to country such as England, France, Germany or even the nordic countries.

    You can't ask for £600 TV when people in that country can only afford X amount. It's not as simple as that.
  14. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 2,146   +1,223

    If forex trading is legal, so should buying games in different currencies to save money.
  15. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,357   +1,516

    I am sick of us Aussies getting charged a premium for things like video games when the rest of the world gets it cheaper. Wouldn't it be as simple as using a VPN to activate the key anyway?

    You can't ask less than what the TV costs to make either. Let's not be silly it is all about profit margins. They can make more in certain country's such as Australia so that is exactly what they do.

    Umm yeah Cliff gets it!
    Ultraman1966 likes this.
  16. What to the millions of ex-pats do; those of us who live and/or work abroad; where we are either not fluent in the local language (region-coding is local version only?); or cannot read the local language (like Kanji which takes 10-to-20 years to master)?

    Damn; looks like I have to jump ship back to Origin. Steam got me to buy 100 games this year; but next year?? Probably nil.

    And to think that the currency exchange is barely discernibly different to the cost most times.
    Ultraman1966 likes this.
  17. I should go there and buy a TV then instead? Get a van full?
  18. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,027   +197

    Until we have a global dollar 2nd third world countries will be slaving for pennies to make first world products. Global dollar, global minimum wage.

    The current global economy is a scam.
  19. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,783   +1,003

    You forget that there's allot more people exploiting this for profit than regular people just looking for games on the cheap. If they don't do this, people who are bargain hunter will mostly likely end up on some shady 3rd party website buying russian steam keys. Let's not forget that it's against steams TOS and most likely the games TOS to use software that's not intended for your market.
  20. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,783   +1,003

    Why do guest account always have the worst comments?

    I guess you didn't get the memo but the reason the gem auctions were going so high was due to exploiters. The same reason steam is region locking games. A few *******es are out there ruining it for everyone else.
  21. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,783   +1,003

    If you have issues with the pricing with video games in your country, you should take up the issue with your local gaming affiliates or message one of the big video gaming publishers. If these companies don't see a decline in sales, I don't really see any reason for them to decrease prices. As a company, you want to raise prices as high as possible until you start to see a loss in sales enough to dent the increased price. This will also create a high perceptive brand value. Aussies must be willing to put up with the prices.

    Using a VPN is against steam TOS. If you've ever read the steam forums, valve doesn't mess around with people like this. The ban hammer will come down hard on repeat offenders or long time users. It's not like it's hard for them to detect when people are using VPN either. Put all VPN IPs on a watchlist and anybody who's IP changes frequently or from country to country.
  22. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,357   +1,516

    Wow I hate to ask what you do for fun.

    No we get it, is it ethical? I know the answer don’t bother ;)

    So what if you travel a lot and like to play Steam games like someone suggested previously?
  23. Ultraman1966

    Ultraman1966 TS Enthusiast Posts: 87   +8

    Tragedy of the commons is the cause of this.
  24. I have wanted to buy steam games for a while now but I live in the republic of ireland (euros), very close to the border of northern ireland (sterling) and do ALL my game buying with sterling. There are no other stores close to me in the south.
    My problem was that I can buy steam vouchers or whatever they're called in the GAME store in the north, but what would happen when I try to spend them on steam when I live in the south? The online steam store automatically gives me euro prices.
    As a result, I just have not bought any vouchers as I know something is just gonna throw a spanner in the works. Online card payment is a not an option for a number of reasons. This latest news just throws more doubt on whether paid for sterling voucher would work for me.
  25. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,357   +1,516

    I can buy Call of Duty Advanced Warfare in Australia for $60, the game on Steam using a Russian code is $21. How are we paying 3x the price?

    That said it really doesn't matter if you buy the game in Australia or Russia, the multiplier is still broken. You just pay more as an Australian for the lag.

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014

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