As you’re probably aware, Steam prices can be dramatically cheaper depending on the region that the browser is in, which has prompted unscrupulous bargain hunters to score deals by faking their locations with a VPN. With this being such an obvious terms-of-service violation (and a generally lame thing to do), Valve is cracking down on the loophole with newly implemented payment restriction: going forward, users won’t be able to change their account’s country setting unless they make a purchase using a payment method belonging to that region.
Valve has recently made changing your store country more strict, which requires completing a purchase using a payment method from that country.— Steam Database (@SteamDB) July 29, 2020
This should hinder the ability of using VPNs to buy games cheaper. pic.twitter.com/IozwoO6gsi
Again, region-faking with a VPN is a very lame thing to do because it could affect gamers from other, less fortunate regions with lower average incomes. What happened recently with Horizon Zero Dawn’s PC port illustrates this extremely well, as ResetEra’s Hikari-Ryu explains:
I know there’s a thread about HZD coming to steam, but this is more about regional pricing and how people from rich countries can screw over poor counties by taking advantages of it.
So, when steam open up preorders on HZD, the price of the game in Argentina was 539 pesos (about 7 dollars). Overnight, that price went up 2100 pesos. This is because of the amount of people buying the game using a vpn to get game cheap Sony decided to up the price.
For everyone that doesn’t know, here in Argentina we have high inflation numbers every year. Due to customs, buying hardware here (consoles, PC parts, etc) can cost 2 or 3 times more than in the US. Gaming is an expensive hobby and here even more so. The only good thing we had in the last couple of years is having some stores on pc with competent regional prices, but if people in other countries keep abusing this, we won’t even have that.
In the end, I just wanted to vent a little and bring awareness that if you’re in a first world country and abuse regional pricing to get games cheap you’re actively hunting people that most likely have a lot less income than you.