Steam Is Region-Locking PC Games

A post on Twitter by Steam Database reported that Valve Software has region-locked Steam games in some areas. That means items purchased in a specific region cannot be traded or gifted to individuals in other regions. The post said this move is in direct response to the recent Ruble drop, which has hit an all-time low.

"What we're doing immediately in response to the Ruble drop is limiting trading and gifting from Russia to prevent people from taking advantage of the situation," the post read. "We have been applying a gifting and trading lock of this type on all newly created packages on Steam since mid-2014."

The post said that as of Wednesday, the new change will be in effect for all packages on Steam. This change does not allow packages to be unpacked on an account if they are gifted or traded from a lower-priced region to a higher priced region. This change only affects new purchases, the company stated, and does not affect gifting/trading within the same region.

The post added that Steam customers in the affected regions will receive a warning during checkout prior to purchasing a gift. Meanwhile, Valve will keep an eye on the situation and make the necessary changes accordingly.

The region lock was first noticed by a NeoGAF user on Wednesday, who reported that all games purchased in Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are region locked. The same lock applies to Brazil and the surrounding regions, as well as Indonesia and nearby regions.

News of the change arrives after Valve updated its gifting/trading rules in November. The company said that gifts purchased and placed in the buyer's inventory will be untradeable for 30 days. However, customers can send gifts at any time.

"We've made this change to make trading gifts a better experience for those receiving the gifts," Valve said. "We're hoping this lowers the number of people who trade for a game only to have the game revoked later due to issues with the purchaser's payment method."

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  • Queenslander
    Isn't everything on Steam converted from USD anyway? So if I buy a $30USD game for 120,000 Rubles, or whatever, and sell it to my mate in Australia where the game is $45AUD, aren't Steam still getting the equivalent of $30USD? I'm confused...
  • OTrigorin
    Quote:
    Isn't everything on Steam converted from USD anyway? So if I buy a $30USD game for 120,000 Rubles, or whatever, and sell it to my mate in Australia where the game is $45AUD, aren't Steam still getting the equivalent of $30USD? I'm confused...


    Sort of. Say that $30USD game is 120,000 RUS. You buy it for that from a Russian Steam Account. But now that 120,000 RUS is actually only $20USD because the price of the Ruble has fallen off a cliff. So you take that $20 game and sell it to your friend in the US for, say, $25USD. You make the equivalent of $5 profit, your friend pays $5 less for the game, and Steam loses $10.

    Multiply over thousands of users, and it could be a problem.
  • alidan
    russia versions are usually far FAR cheaper, and if they don't do a good job localizing it and removing the english parts a 60$ game here could be enjoyed for 5$ if you know how to shop russia.