Valve is looking to implement measures to prevent players from changing Steam store regions to purchase cheaper games. In its 20th year of operating, Steam is significantly changing how prices are set in different regions.
Earlier this year, Sony raised the prices of its PC ports on Steam. Now, it seems every game will see a similar pattern, thanks to the Steam client’s new update.
This move is geared towards uniting PC gamers globally as Valve transitions from local currencies in countries like Turkey and Argentina to the widely accepted USD, starting from November 2023.
Why it matters: Previously, games on Steam were significantly cheaper in Argentina and Turkey region. Players will no longer be able to purchase games from these regions at such price, rendering region-changing ineffective.
In 2022, Valve made changes that resulted in significant price increases for certain games, with some seeing spikes of up to 450%. This ongoing situation has understandably left some users puzzled, especially when confronted with much higher price tags for games that used to be more affordable.
As a result of the latest change, currencies in 27 countries will be affected. Valve highlights that while prices may rise in some countries, others may see a favorable decrease.
The aim is to make it easier for developers and prevent certain players from taking advantage of regional price differences. From 20 November onwards, customers in Argentina, Turkey, and 25 other countries will see prices listed in USD on their storefronts.
This change addresses various challenges like currency exchange fluctuations, fees, taxes, and logistical issues that have affected smooth Steam payments in these areas.
Steam’s change in regional pricing may potentially allow gifting games without regional restrictions. Previously, due to differences in currency values, players were unable to gift games to friends in other regions.
Furthermore, this change goes beyond game purchases and also affects in-game transactions. Ongoing subscriptions paid in lira, pesos, or any other currency will be discontinued. The users will then be required to re-subscribe at the new USD-based rate.
This complete transformation is poised to reshape the economic aspects of gaming for users in these regions. Needless to say, this change will certainly have a big impact on how certain users purchase games on the platform.
During times of inflation, this change will hit like a trainwreck for some people. Many have already begun to consider third-party sites to buy cheaper game keys rather than buying directly on Steam.
As we approach the deadline, it will be interesting to see the ripple effects it brings to the global gaming community.
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