Steam is making it harder for users to change their regional setting in order to purchase cheaper games from another.
For many years, Steam has been the go-to place for buying digital games. Aside from the convenience of being able to buy games without having to leave home, the platform’s catalog is often up-to-date. Whether it is old games and new ones alike, Valve’s digital storefront has something that the consumer is looking for.
But aside from accessibility to a large library of PC games, Steam is sometimes preferred for its relatively cheap titles. This notion is especially true during instances of promotions or sales. However, other times it is real for the platform simply enabling consumers to buy their games from a different region. Particularly, by letting the effect of a VPN “slide” and ignoring the fact that a user’s account makes sudden geographic alterations.
A Frugal’s Exploit
So authentic the method is, in fact, that many are willing to go through lengths in order to get the bang for their buck. More specifically, by opting to change their account’s regional setting for a disparate country. One that especially holds games at seemingly substantial pricing.
For instance, a country like Argentina makes for a perfect place to be in when comparing prices of games with other regions. Due to the nation’s devalued currency, it’s one of those that literally has the cheapest catalog of digital games out there.
In a further crack down on people buying games in cheaper regions, Valve added a limit on how often you can change your Steam account's country.
Country may not be updated more than once every 3 months. Purchases can be completed using a payment method from your current region.
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) June 23, 2021
For a long while, that process has helped many users save a fraction of their money and has been a staple for those aware. But Steam is now making it more difficult for users to exploit this apparent flaw, according to Steam Database. Specifically, by limiting how many times users can switch between regions to just once every three months.
In addition, players are now also demanded to pay using money from their region. Meaning, unless you live in the states, the US dollar will not be the currency you’d be using for a purchase. Even then, making someone pay for some other country’s currency at an impulse is itself a security measure on its own. Primarily, because it would either be a conundrum or downright impossible in most cases.
Ultimately, while this implies that Steam will not be missing on its anticipated revenue, it won’t be devoid of latent repercussion. Most probable of which being users opting for a different digital platform that allows for the same exploit. Good Old Games (GOG), CD Projekt Red’s own storefront, being among a likely choices.
Image used courtesy of Valve/YouTube Screenshot