Valve Is Now Preventing Users From Gifting Steam Games Across Countries
Steam region locks game gifting.
Valve has changed its policy to stop users from gifting games bought for cheap in one country to users in another country. Currently, this doesn't seem to affect users in North America, Europe, and other territories where game prices are typically higher.
Steam suggests developers price games in different regions not only according to a straight conversion rate, but pricing of comparable products in those markets. This means that games are usually much cheaper in countries like Russia. This recent change basically prevents users in Russia from buying games for cheap, then reselling those games for a higher price in other countries for a small margin.
Reddit users have compiled a master list of countries where the region locking is confirmed, which so far mostly includes countries in Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe.
The change comes shortly after the collapse of the Russian ruble following United States sanctions in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea earlier this year. Valve hasn't released an official statement saying that the changes are related to the value of the ruble, but it wouldn't be the first company to react this way.
Yesterday, Apple announced it shuttered its online store "due to extreme fluctuations in the value of the ruble."
The change also comes right before Steam's Holiday sale, which kicks off tomorrow at 10 a.m. PST, and less than a month after other changes to Steam's trading policies, which prevent users from immediately trading games purchased as gifts.
GameSpot has reached out to Valve for comment and will update this story with anything we hear back.