Valve has made additional changes to Steam gifting which looks, among other things, to stop resellers taking advantage of price differences between regions. The changes mean that a game bought in a region where there is a large price disparity over other regions cannot be gifted to the more pricey regions. This will especially affect countries like Australia where they are over charged for games due to local taxes and often look outside of the country to get games at a more reasonable price point.
Safe Cross-Country Gifting
No more worrying if a Gift to E-mail or Gift to Inventory is going to work for a friend, gifts sent through the new system will always work on the receiver’s account. When there is a large difference in pricing between countries, gifting won’t be available and you’ll know before purchase.
Whether this is used or not is down to the game developer and/or publisher. If they want to allow cross region gifting they still can but they will need to adjust their regional pricing to be more in line with each other.
On the plus side of the change, it does mean that sites like G2A will find it more difficult to operate, a system which some developers have been highly critical of in the past.
As part of the announcement for the changes, Valve writes
Steam Gifting will now be a system of direct exchange from gift buyer to gift receiver, and we will be retiring the Gift to E-mail and Gift to Inventory options.
If, when you send a gift, the item is declined or the recipient already has the game in their library, the game will be returned to Steam and the buyer will get given a refund. This is a change over how it used to work where the game would go back to the buyers inventory.
These changes haven’t gone down so well with some Steam users in the blog posts comments section. Some comments range from simply commenting that they dislike the change to others saying how their only option to get games now if via piracy all the way up to expletive loaded comments directed at the company.
On the other end of the spectrum, there at those glad that the changes have been made with comments like “the 3 letter scam shop won’t like this at all. Good.”
The comments are at 124 pages and counting, so there are plenty of varying opinions being shared.