Steam introduces trading

Program to let players swap virtual items and gifted games enters beta; Team Fortress 2 the first compatible game, with Portal 2 expected to be added soon.

It's been nearly a decade since Valve first unveiled Steam, but the downloadable game service is continually evolving. Already this year, Steam has added free-to-play games to its catalog, changed the way its chat works, tightened security, and taken its first steps into the living room. Last night, the service began yet another evolution, as Valve rolled out the beta test of a new cross-game trading platform for Steam.

Fun fact: According to Starlight Express, Steam is the ideal power source.

Simply called Steam Trading, the program allows users to exchange in-game items and gifted titles between themselves. Initially, it will only support Team Fortress 2 items and games purchased as gifts in the Steam store, but Valve plans to add Portal 2 in-game items to the beta shortly.

Once customers purchase a game as a gift (or receive it as an extra copy), they may trade it for the games or virtual items of other users. Any "unopened" gift is fair game for trading, with no restrictions on territory.

However, this isn't the rumored addition of used game trade-ins to Steam. Once a gifted game is opened and added to a user's library, it can no longer be traded with others.

To participate in the beta, users must open the Steam client and select the "Steam Trading Beta" option from the settings menu.

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Discussion

83 comments
XanderZane
XanderZane

@LtReviews @XanderZane No money loss. They dropped the price of Portal 2 to half within a year of release, and sold more copies, making more money, than if they had kept it a 60. They sell games untill they tap out the audience at that price level, and lower it. Same concept with trading- people will trade for games that usually wouldn't normally buy. A larger player base means a larger fanbase for the franchise, who are going to want to buy sequels and in-game content. ***************************************************************** That's not realistic. Steam will leaving the price at a normal price long enough to make a decent profit before dropping the price. Anyway, this trade is actually for purchased games and not used games. So it doesn't look like Steam will lose any money. You have to purchase the game as a gift and then you can trade the gift to someone else for another gift from them. No one can trade a game that has already been played. So this trade option is pretty bogus. This is why I like physical copies of games. As I can trade or sell them whenever I want.

LtReviews
LtReviews

@XanderZane No money loss. They dropped the price of Portal 2 to half within a year of release, and sold more copies, making more money, than if they had kept it a 60. They sell games untill they tap out the audience at that price level, and lower it. Same concept with trading- people will trade for games that usually wouldn't normally buy. A larger player base means a larger fanbase for the franchise, who are going to want to buy sequels and in-game content.

adistractedmind
adistractedmind

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

XanderZane
XanderZane

@jamyskis @XanderZane: I've seen plenty of people cheeky enough to offer games like Cogs, Beat Hazard and Killing Floor and demand Skyrim, DIRT 3, Rage and so on. At the end of the day, the only thing that is happening is that unused licences are switching hands - the only one losing out in these cases is the poor schmuck who accepts these one-sided deals. ******************************************************************* Well Valve is losing out too because all 6 of those games could have been sales for them, but instead these 2 Steam users and just trading them among themselves. You don't see the sales loss here? If they didn't do a trade, they would most likely have to purchase the games and Steam would be the place to purchase them from. The only good thing is it appears the game can only be traded once.

Crashbox45
Crashbox45

That's quite the better way to get a game! Sell some of your TF2 items you earned and get a game for free! I like it!

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

I was interested until I read, "Once a gifted game is opened and added to a user's library, it can no longer be traded with others."

elozl
elozl

Well, lets see how it goes this November with the bundle sales xD

jamyskis
jamyskis

@XanderZane: I've seen plenty of people cheeky enough to offer games like Cogs, Beat Hazard and Killing Floor and demand Skyrim, DIRT 3, Rage and so on. At the end of the day, the only thing that is happening is that unused licences are switching hands - the only one losing out in these cases is the poor schmuck who accepts these one-sided deals.

MatzeEdend
MatzeEdend

I've been sitting on a spare copy of HL2 Episode 1 for a long time now. Wonder what I can get for it?

WafflePrime
WafflePrime

thats cool, I want a pipboy for my engineer but I'm not buying fallout again to get it, anyone wanna trade lol

XanderZane
XanderZane

Looks like you'll be able to trade one steam game for another from a friend on Steam. That's a cool idea, but won't Steam lose money this way? I can literally see forums of Steam users trying to trade all their older games for something new from other Steam members. Each time this happens Valve loses money. This is great for the gamers, but probably a bad idea for Steam's business. I wish I could trade my XBLA game with my nephews and friends for some of their XBLA games.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

@James00715 The scenario you describe is something a lot of people have been asking for, but in reality it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for Steam, or the publishers, or in reality, the people who use Steam to buy games. The model makes it conceptually unfeasible for anyone trying to resell a game, because you'd always have to resell for more than Steam could sell new. To use your example, there's absolutely no reason Steam couldn't just remove your cut and sell the game for $25.00 themselves. They lose nothing, the buyer gets the same product, and the game is now $25.00 cheaper. If I were in the market to buy a game, I know which scenario I'd prefer. There would be no incentive for me to arbitrarily give other players more money than I have to.

trdrstv
trdrstv

I wish they could add a "Loan to friend feature" Say a game you own and let someone on your friends list borrow it for a week (or a few). Basically have your own account get locked out from playing it for a timeframe you preset and when the time's up then your friend gets locked out and you get it back.

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

So you can trade a full game...for a virtual item? Am I understanding this correctly? Something just seems incredibly stupid here. Also, trading games would be cool, Steam would just lose too many sales. Doubt we will ever see a feature like that.

Crash_WL
Crash_WL

Great, I got my Mass Effect digital copy just standing there after I've finished it, and I can't trade it because it wasn't a gift. Very smart move.

Darth_DuMas
Darth_DuMas

I wish I could trade games or gift them out of my steam account... Maybe one day.

Triton
Triton

Cool, I'd like to trade Shogun Total War2 for something that will work. Great job with the DLC and patch that killed it - NOT!!!

syafiqjabar
syafiqjabar

@ziproy People gift games on birthdays, Christmas and similar occasions. They might gift games they don't play. Sometimes buying game packs get you extra copies if you already have the game (the Valve Complete Pack does this). Some games like Frozen Synapse comes with an extra copy. Games in the Steam store also get sold for way cheaper than in retail on sales.

jamyskis
jamyskis

@James00715: I love your idea. It's awesome, fair to all and would return the market to a state of normality. Unfortunately, the greed prominent in the industry and the sheep-like attitude among many Steam users mean that nothing is likely to change to this effect in the near future. The ones most likely to be against this are EA and Activision, whose games are sold off the most as used games. Wonder why people don't keep them for more than a couple of months?

jamyskis
jamyskis

Pretty pointless, given that extra copies of games you already have when you buy a bundle are usually forfeit anyway. @Zioth2: The lack of used game selling is the reason that most people won't pay more than $10 for a game on Steam. Publishers can't have their cake and eat it. If they want people to pay $60-70 for a game, they must be prepared to allow people to sell it when they're finished.

gralvader
gralvader

I was excited until I read the rest.

DemonChorro
DemonChorro

Lets get video sharing done!! I love steam

DemonChorro
DemonChorro

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Zloth2
Zloth2

If they put in used game selling then I think you'll see the Steam catalog drop by about 90%. Publishers simply will not stand for it.

slvrraven9
slvrraven9

@ filmboy85 hey if you have an extra copy of half life 2 i would be pretty grateful! :D on topic, this is awesome. FTP TF2 and the ever awesome P2. i hope this service spreads to other games in the steam cataloge. psssh, other companies try to keep up but steam constantly leave them in the dust...

filmboy85
filmboy85

Awesome. I think I have a couple extra copies of games (e.g. games where I bought a pack in a sale even though I already owned a copy of one or two of the games, or games like Frozen Synapse where you get more than one copy for the price) so I will try this out. Maybe I can get something interesting.

dstv
dstv

@Toysoldier34 thanks ....i might actually start using steam but my pc is weak as hell.....till then my 360 & ps3 will do

djpetitte
djpetitte

ive been using steam since it came out for counter strike, but im not sure I iwll ever use this.. as I never have had unopened gifts and i rarely get gifts for that matter

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@dstv Steam account names are only used for logging in. The name that is displayed to everyone is different and can be changed at any time. You can even change your name while you are in games. They do it this way to help keep your account secure. That way when you go into a game half the people there don't already know half the info to log into your account and only need to find the password.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Will we get all the old extra copies of games we already have? I won like 3-4 copies of some indie games because it will be in their indie bundles where I want the other 4 games so it is still worth it but that extra copy got wasted.

dstv
dstv

I tried to make an steam account but EVERY single name is taken XD......except a few with random numbers at the end

James00715
James00715

Not the trading I am looking for, but maybe used game selling will happen later. I don't care about trade-in back to Steam, but selling a game you didn't like to someone else would be awesome. * The seller chooses their own price for a game they want to trade away. * Steam gets a 10% cut * The publisher gets a 40% cut. * The seller gets 50% of their set price. * Trading can only be done at least 6 months after the game is released. (avoids the problem with used game sales on launch day.) Example: Say I buy Skyrim at launch for $60. After 6 months, I am bored with it and choose to trade it for $50. Someone buys it since it is lower than the new price. Steam gets $5 (free money for them), the publisher gets $20 (about what they charge already, Online pass, Cerberus Network etc.), and I would get $25 (more than I would get in store trade-in). Just an example. I probably wouldn't sell Skyrim, but a lot of people like to sell games after they beat the main story.

towely62
towely62

I only wish they did have trade-ins for used games there are a couple of games i no longer play on my steam account but still great news for steam users

nickythenewt21
nickythenewt21

It's crazy just how awesome Steam really is. I wish consoles would follow suit with some of the features Steam implements.

warishuku
warishuku

Still don't fully get it, so you can exchange an non used extra copy of a game, for another title in the same condition? what are the restrictions? I mean, obviously I guess that you can't exchange a terraria (50% off btw) for a witcher 2 copy, so, can someone explain me? thx

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

I do not sell my games!! because I am a collector :P thanks to them with their "Steam sales" my collection increased rapidly, Steam is a nice friend of mine :D "no promotion intended" :P

demonic_85
demonic_85

Pretty good idea like when your friend gifts you a game that you dont necessarily want you can trade it for something else. In-game trading for items doesnt see like a big deal though.

M-S-M-S
M-S-M-S

@Richardthe3rd I'm not sure that re-selling a game should be a problem. I do agree that selling to other players may be technically difficult, but I'm sure there is going to be a way to make this work. But, as I wrote earlier, Valve may allow the users to receive a discount if they trade old games when they buy new ones. In this way, you'll encourage people to buy new games at almost full price, and not wait till there is a discount. In this way the user is able to "sell" a game and receive some money out of it, and the developer will earn money on a just released game. An example - trade and old Bethesda game for a discount of 5-10$ for Skyrim or Rage...

mtait01
mtait01

kind've pointless... lets exchange things that don't physically exist

ziproy
ziproy

Seems kinda pointless at this point. You could already trade TF2 items in-game, and what's the point of only being able to trade gifted games (who buys steam gift games anyways) if you haven't played them. It's easier just to got to the store and buy a hard copy, at least you get to play it before you trade with a friend

Ronnie_Rim
Ronnie_Rim

Suck it, consoles. Steam owns yo ass.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

@shippou555 You can buy multiples of a game if you want to get more than one copy. For example, Steam is having a sale right now on a Terreria 4 pack. @Kastigador Games you buy on Steam aren't property. They're services. Reselling services is very difficult, especially in the case of a digital service, because there's no difference between the new version from Steam and your "used" version. There's no incentive to Steam in this model. @Poodger It's really not terribly different from what already exists. In order to trade the games, you have to have not redeemed the copy, meaning it can't already be in your library. So basically, you can't have a situation where you've been playing Doom 2, decide you're done with it, and trade it off. I'm guessing the "trade" part of this is some type of listing where you can let other users know what unredeemed copies of games you have for trade. Not a huge leap, but still fairly cool nonetheless.

sabas10
sabas10

@Poodger Now you can trade both games (incl DLC) and content (awards, hats, etc) , completely outside the games on a new Steam tab for your inventory and trading. This may actually be a first step towards selling your games

Klevmore
Klevmore

Pointless. Let me trade games in my library, than I'll start using steam again. Being able to trade / sell my console games has kept me from buying the multi-platform games for my PC.

Waza19
Waza19

@Kastigador good luck selling an opened PC game