Valve Shuts Steam’s Cheap Pricing Flaw – But Will it Fix Anything?

Steam has a new policy that aims to combat region price abuse, but it’s going to end up doing more harm than good if the reactions on Twitter are anything to go by.
Steam, Valve
Valve has made it significantly harder for VPN-abusers to buy games on the cheap from a different region. | Source: Shutterstock
  • Independent tracker Steam DB drew attention to a change of policy on Steam to combat region price abuse.
  • The changes prevent users from buying games in a region for which they don’t have the correct details.
  • Not only will these changes do little to stop abuse, but they harm legitimate Steam users.

There was some uproar a little while ago when Horizon Zero Dawn saw a price jump on Steam. Allegedly, some Steam users have been using VPNs to get lower prices on games, and that drove prices up.

Valve fixes a loophole that enabled VPN-abusers to buy guys on the cheap. | Source: Twitter/SteamDB

There may have been some truth in those claims after all, as Valve appears to be taking steps to cut back on international code purchasing.

From now on, you’re going to need a payment option from any given country to purchase codes from that region. This new policy is going to do a terrible job of preventing regional code exploitation.

Steam Region Policy Reactions - Twitter
From the variety of adverse reactions on Twitter, it seems like many people with good reasons to exploit regional pricing are falling through the cracks of Valve’s new Steam policy. | Source: Twitter

People Are Still Going to Buy Regional Steam Codes

The biggest fallacy with Steam’s new store policy is that it doesn’t fix the issue. Sure it’ll stop individuals from using VPNs to buy a single code, but that’s not the most significant part of the issue here.

There are plenty of sites out there that sell Steam keys on the cheap. Places like G2A gather keys from sales, bundles, and regions with competitive pricing, and then sell them on at a discount.

It won’t be hard for these sites to continue exploiting regional prices since they’re peer-to-peer. Gamers from regions with lower costs will always be willing to buy a bunch of games for a low price and sell them to make a profit.

Will This Measure Fix the Problem?

I think Steam’s new policy is counter-productive. While individuals are now restricted from making purchases on Steam, big marketplaces like Kinguin and G2A won’t have that much of an issue.

More than that, some people on Twitter pointed out that gift cards could still potentially allow people to get around the new restrictions.

Source: Twitter

It’s also unclear how this will affect people in certain regions who used region exploitation for legitimate reasons.

It seems like this new policy isn’t particularly well thought out. It’s just going to drive people in certain regions into the arms of shady retailers like G2A.

If we’re lucky, Valve will see the light and figure out some new way to protect Steam codes.

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

Samburaj Das edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

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