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.
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.
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.
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.
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.