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Steam Gifting changes hit code resellers

But it has not gone down especially well with the Steam community

Valve has made a number of changes to its Steam Gifting system, which may help in the crack down on key resellers.

The firm's new system only allows for a direct exchange from a gift buyer to a receiver. Consumers can still gift items from one region to another, but if there is a significant price difference between regions then gifting will not be available. Customers on the retailer's forum report that Valve has set an acceptable price difference of 10%, although this hasn't been stated directly by the company.

Steam users can no-longer do 'Gift to Email' or 'Gift to Inventory' (which allowed customers to buy games that they could then pass on at a later date).

This is a potential blow to key resellers and marketplaces such as G2A. It means consumers will be unable to buy games from countries where the prices are cheaper and then sell the code on to higher-priced territories - because there is no-longer an option to receive a code. This code reselling is controversial and widely disliked by developers, as we saw during the recent Reboot conference.

Unfortunately, Steam's community is not so happy with the changes. The comments thread under the update - which now has over 1,600 comments - is full of disappointed gamers.

One user wrote: "This is ridiculous. While I probably understand why they did this (Unauthorized gift sellers from other regions? Price glitches?), this heavily impacts the Steam User experience. Unplanningly buying a game on sale for a future event, as example a birthday, is not possible anymore, now you have to plan sending something for a future event."

Another said: "This is nonsense in my opinion. Steam has real problems, but taking away features that people use and enjoy like storing games to gift later is just silly and sad. I bought 5 copies of Titan Quest Gold when it was $5 and gifted them to random friends on my Friend's list over time as surprises, it's always a really cool feeling to hook someone up with something they wouldn't have bought themselves, but will usually try it out as a gift."

However, there were some commentators that understood Valve's position. One customer wrote: "Too many people buy games with stolen credit cards and sell them on for quick cash on dubious sites. this was bound to happen sooner or later."

While a user with the name Shizalk wrote: "I don't get why you guys are so surprised about this change. It's been being abused for so long, so Ateam, developers, companies are losing money because of it."

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Latest comments (4)

Aleksi Ranta Product Manager - Hardware 2 months ago
Im sure some of the people complaining are the code resellers themselves trying to stir up unneeded negativity. Under 2000 comments from around 13million concurrent users...a drop in the ocean if you ask me. If there was a thread devoted solely to people liking this change, it would put this into perspective.
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 2 months ago
@Aleksi Ranta: To be fair - what's the point in complaining? It wouldn't do any good anyway (as history with Valve has shown us).

To be honest, I've been moving away from buying games on steam for a while now. They were pretty anti-consumer fron the start but had good community features that were built-out really well. However, though they've slowly (very slowly) improved their customer service this removal of the ability to send games after purchasing them and (less recently) changing the way that sales worked means that the community present buying that used to go on in various forums that I've frequented has been limited and will now be stopping.

That sort of thing was great to experience and I remember buying 100+ worth of gifts that would then be parcelled out to various acquaintances over the period of the sale. It was also nice to see viral hits like 'secret of the magic crystals' gain more sales because of events like that.

Yes, this hampers the grey market but there are always two sides to a story...
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Aleksi Ranta Product Manager - Hardware 2 months ago
@James: If the complaining is warranted or not, it seems to have generated this article, so there must be some point to all this right? :) 0.00001% of total steam users have commented so this is surely an issue that needs some thorough slicing and dicing.
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Guy Technologies, Plarium2 months ago
Complaints actually do work with Valve sometimes... see the "charging for mods" they attempted with Skyrim.

But in any case, the correct measurement isn't "who complains VS who doesn't" but rather "who complains VS who commends". As it stands, I don't see any real benefit from this change, for customers or sellers.
If blocking email gifting means that even 1% of the player base will stop buying gifts, that's 1% revenue lost. And in any case most resellers sell keys and not steam gifts in the first place.
(Edit: from reading the article again it seems there's actually some serious confusion here between keys and gifts. Valves is only stopping the latter)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Guy on 9th May 2017 10:52am

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