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Steam updates gifting, now only possible at moment of purchase

Catshade

Member
Jul 23, 2009
1,672
0
760
The final stop would be severely restricting the ability of publishers/developes to generate unlimited keys for free, thus killing pretty much every third party stores out there.
 

Pooya

Member
Aug 12, 2009
19,861
0
860
yeah eventually they will kill all keys to stop any grey market resellers too. Actually I'm more surprised it hasn't happened yet. There are still physical copies around I guess but for how much longer.
 

Timeless

Member
Dec 11, 2012
2,105
0
0
The comment section of the blog is going about as well as I expected. How often, historically, has Valve ever undone a change like this to their policies? If they get enough push back, think they'd reconsider?
Only one I can think of is the paid mods fiasco. Maybe some more minor ones with TF2 and / or Dota? They made all hats in TF2 craftable which would've wrecked the economy. They quickly undid this.

The final stop would be severely restricting the ability of publishers/developes to generate unlimited keys for free, thus killing pretty much every third party stores out there.
If they were smart, they would let publishers generate a small number of keys, but not enough to really sell outside of Steam. If they were power mad, they would kill it entirely.
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Jul 2, 2013
13,676
5,311
1,120
Oregon
The comment section of the blog is going about as well as I expected. How often, historically, has Valve ever undone a change like this to their policies? If they get enough push back, think they'd reconsider?
There have been a few instances of this happening - the most recent one I can think of was the "paid mods" scandal for Skyrim.

But it's exceedingly rare and, given the business purposes behind this change I would honestly be surprised to see them roll this policy back.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
3
0
I think most ModBot giveaways are Steam keys rather than gift links. Maybe Stumpokapow has actual stats on that, but just looking at my ModBot loot stash, there's only one gift link I've ever received in a win. We can still use ModBot, though, 100%.
Current ModBot stats:
Total number of giveaways: 78,810
Total number of giveaways including "http" in the unencrypted key: 21,556
Total number of giveaways including "steampowered" in the unencrypted key: 5,228

Not sure which of these is the right metric.

This won't impact game keys, obviously, and technically you'll still be able to do gifts through the roundabout way of having the winner PM you if they're in your region or whatever, but yeah I think this will slow things down a bit.
 

Wonder Peter

Member
Aug 6, 2012
262
0
0
Portugal
A lot of people wanted to solve the gifts seller problem that made games cheaper on g2a and Kinguin and now they're surprised that the solution isn't pleasing to the consumer. It would never be, it was obvious that they would restrict gifting more, and they will the same to cdkeys if they find a good way to do it.
This is the typical problem of consumer and publisher, i bet they had a lot of requests from devs to somewhat solve a part of the grey market.
 

alr1ght

bish gets all the credit :)
Sep 25, 2005
55,616
2
1,440
Valve trying to fix more problems with algorithms, and if they can't, eliminate it all together.

Can we just trade a useless item (crate, etc) for something we actually want?
 

Ventara

Member
Mar 2, 2014
7,385
0
0
Honestly, I can't even be excited about Steam sales now. By being able to store gift items in my inventory, I could justify buying the game despite my huge backlog by telling myself I can just give it away if it comes down to it.

Now, I'll just look at the sale price, look at my backlog, and go "nah."
 

electroflame

Member
Jan 4, 2013
1,930
0
0
Thinking about it a little bit more, a more "consumer-friendly" approach to this would be to restrict gifting to people that have been on your friends list for X amount of time (i.e. two weeks or something).

Anyone buying gray-market gifts isn't going to become friends with a seller for two weeks just to buy a game. Even if they did, it'd make it much easier to track who the gray-market accounts are, as they'd basically have a revolving door of friends (i.e. something no normal user would have). Not to mention you'd have users immediately unfriending the seller account after a successful trade. Both are likely fairly uncommon things that an algorithm could search for, and gift-trade-ban the seller accounts that match the criteria.

You'd still be able to keep gifts for later. You'd still be able to buy DLC to redeem later. You'd still be able to giveaway gifts. It'd just make it much more difficult to operate a gray-market gift selling site. Basically, give it a kind of trading/market restriction.

Jumping straight to this seems a bit rash. I get why they're doing it, but it's a pretty aggressive change.
 

QFNS

Unconfirmed Member
Jan 22, 2015
2,545
0
0
This fucking sucks. Terrible implementation and a removes lots of ways for folks to get access to games.

Steam looks like it has lived long enough to see itself become the enemy. I am starting to wish that more of their market share would move to GOG and other sites so they couldn't continue these shitty practices and would need to improve customer experiences instead of harming them.
 

Kadin

Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,795
15
555
Thinking about it a little bit more, a more "consumer-friendly" approach to this would be to restrict gifting to people that have been on your friends list for X amount of time (i.e. two weeks or something).

Anyone buying gray-market gifts isn't going to become friends with a seller for two weeks just to buy a game. Even if they did, it'd make it much easier to track who the gray-market accounts are, as they'd basically have a revolving door of friends (i.e. something no normal user would have). Not to mention you'd have users immediately unfriending the seller account after a successful trade. Both are likely fairly uncommon things that an algorithm could search for, and gift-trade-ban the seller accounts that match the criteria.

You'd still be able to keep gifts for later. You'd still be able to buy DLC to redeem later. You'd still be able to giveaway gifts. It'd just make it much more difficult to operate a gray-market gift selling site. Basically, give it a kind of trading/market restriction.

Jumping straight to this seems a bit rash. I get why they're doing it, but it's a pretty aggressive change.
I like this idea. It's clear what their motive is here and your solution would still discourage the 3rd party sites that are the big issue here. It would be nice if they could have approached it a little less severe like this first, tried it, and then moved to their current approach instead of just cutting the head off right from the start.
 
Jul 30, 2008
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So maybe I am dense, but what supposed gift giving friction are they fixing/making better for consumers that people legit complained about? Or are we getting fucked and not supoosed to notice? Genuine question. And then what are the actually trying to resolve while not being direct about it in their statement--CD key resellers?
 

Adnor

Banned
Feb 22, 2011
3,924
0
535
The worst part is that this affect especially poorer counties, where in the last few months the bigger publishers have decided to completely ignore Valve's price guidelines and just crap out insane prices that will make everyone ignore the games because of how expensive they are (A game is 20% of the minimum salary here!)

The whole point of adding the currencies for poorer countries was to make it easier for us to buy (most of us don't use credit cards, just debit) and to expand the market with cheaper prices, which was how Russia became one of the biggest markets for Steam.

How the price conversion should work according to Valve guidelines:


(All Koei Tecmo games, the only big publisher still using the recommended prices)


CoD: WWII prices, but basically the prices for all the big publishers for at least the last three months.

Makes 0 sense. It's bullshit and now even worse with these new gifting restrictions.

(Thanks lashman for the screenshots and the timeline of the new prices <3)
 

MUnited83

For you.
Dec 14, 2013
26,825
1
570
Sorry, could you explain those charts? I'm a little confused on what it is showing exactly.
Prices of games. The first one reflects a game that follows the suggested conversions by Valve. The second one reflects publishers going batshit crazy and making games more expensive on poorer countries.
Someone in India or Colombia can't even get the game at the US price now. It's fucking ridiculous.
 

Adnor

Banned
Feb 22, 2011
3,924
0
535
Sorry, could you explain those charts? I'm a little confused on what it is showing exactly.
They're showing regional prices. The first picture is Valve's recommended conversion rates, so a US$60 game is, for example, in Chile CLP$26,000, which is equivalent to US$39.62. Valve recommended those prices because poorer countries have lower income, and that way they can create a market in those poorer countries.

Most big publishers decided to ignore Valve's guidelines and up the prices of their games for no reason, so, same example, a US$60 game is now CLP$44,900, or US$67.12 in Chile, for no apparent reason. Which, again, makes no sense because of the lower income.

Before this you would ask someone from the US to buy the game for you and you paid him with PayPal, so you would pay US$60, but now you can't do that.
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,759
2
0
37
I don't know how Valve calculates the "recommended" price conversion, but to be fair, I don't think it realistically represents market forces entirely. It's certainly a good idea to have a guideline in case a publisher with zero international economic data wants an idea of whether they should price something higher or lower in a different region, but it's also important to look at how much games cost in the actual country on average and whether there is a market for games at that price in that region.

For example, the recommendation for Valve for a 60 USD game in Singapore Dollar is 55. That's pretty wildly off. If companies price it at that, I sure as hell won't complain since it's a killer deal, but that's not a reflection of how much a 60 USD game generally costs here. The expectation is 70-80 SGD for a 60 USD game, depending on the local distributor/publisher. And games certainly sell at that price, so that's more representative. 55 SGD is what I would consider an aggressively competitive price for PC only software maybe... 5-10 years ago. Nowadays the average price has definitely inflated to console levels which has always been 70-80 for products originating from the US. JP titles tend to be closer to 90-110.
 

Dream_Journey

Member
Oct 23, 2015
957
0
0
Declined gifts being an automatic refund is nice.

I don't know who is going to schedule a gift far off in advance when most people wait for sales to gift games though.

No more Modbot giveaways though. :(
Wait, with old gift system you can buy a gift and share for any country? Even with regional prices differences via email?
 

texhnolyze

Banned
Aug 13, 2014
17,738
1
405
Indonesia
Wait, with old gift system you can buy a gift and share for any country? Even with regional prices differences via email?
If your country is region-free like US, then yes. It's the only way for us to get games that are region locked in our countries.

But it doesn't work the other way around, as games in our region are locked within. So gifting outside is not possible.
 

I H8 Memes

Member
Jun 19, 2011
11,405
1
0
Why be snakes about it? Just come out and say why instead of wording it like anybody wants this. I used to love this company but Valve has turned slimy over the last few years. It's almost every news story to come from them lately is some new angle for them to make more money. % for content creators, paid mods, this crap. Am I missing anything?
 

shotgunbob04

Member
Aug 2, 2014
1,046
0
295
This sucks so much.

It was already pretty straightforward—buy a game as a gift, it goes into your inventory. Then, share it with a friend when you want them to receive it as a gift. I will miss not being able to gift games to people on my own schedule.

This just seems like Steam instating more control over customers and presenting it as a solution to a problem.
 

graywolf323

Member
Jan 19, 2008
9,329
1
945
Midlothian, VA
Steam just keeps getting worse, it's sad really :(

I used to buy four or five copies of games during Steam sales so that I could give them to friends on random occasions later. I am too frugal (thrifty? cheap?) to do this kind of thing at full price, but sales rarely coincide with said random occasions, so this just basically means I'm not gifting things anymore.

I'm a little sad about this, but I guess it'll save me money.
Yep exactly, no more buying birthday gifts in advance (or on Steam at all most likely)
 

Tizoc

Member
Jun 23, 2010
81,146
13
850
32
Oman
Does this go against any certain laws in Europe by any chance?

Most of you already posted my grievances on this matter. Sometimes I'd buy games when they are cheapest in advance to gift to people at a later time.
I really wish this thing would go away just like the paid mods thing from months back :S
 

kami_sama

Member
May 30, 2011
4,915
0
0
www.steamcommunity.com
WTF, that's one of thw worst policy changes ever.
What if the game is on sale, and mi friend's birthday is a month later? Does that mean that I cannot wait for the perfect moment? That's bullshit.
 

Dream_Journey

Member
Oct 23, 2015
957
0
0
If your country is region-free like US, then yes. It's the only way for us to get games that are region locked in our countries.

But it doesn't work the other way around, as games in our region are locked within. So gifting outside is not possible.
Thanks! This is really sucks. :/
 
Mar 16, 2011
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0
590
I wonder if the gray market of reselling gifts is actually bigger than people actually using the inventory for late gifting. I assume they must have run numbers but it is still kind of hard to believe that it is THAT huge.
 

patientx

Member
Sep 24, 2011
847
0
475
Turkey
hasanaslan.info
For example in Turkey 209 TL is 1/7 th of basic income of most workers. A teacher for another example earns 3000 TL. Think in American dollars, basic worker salary 420 dollars a month and a teacher earns 900 dollars a month. And most of the people earns between this two and higher earners are considered "somewhat wealthly" in the eyes of the public. Now think about this, can you buy new full AAA games if you were to earn this kind of money most of your life ? Also consider basic necessities of life such as bills for electricity, gas , water etc. , rent prices -in cities they are most of the time starts about 600-700 TL- ...
 

Catshade

Member
Jul 23, 2009
1,672
0
760
WTF, that's one of thw worst policy changes ever.
What if the game is on sale, and mi friend's birthday is a month later? Does that mean that I cannot wait for the perfect moment? That's bullshit.
When you buy the game on sale, you can schedule it to be delivered a month later.

Scheduling Gifts Is Even More Straightforward
Go ahead and buy a gift months in advance and have it delivered to a friend on time, every time.
 

Krappadizzle

Member
Oct 4, 2011
12,375
809
895
This sucks as I have been buying games to gift to my pops who I plan on building a computer for this year and was gonna surprise him with a bunch of games we'd play back in the day. Just found you can't do it anymore when I went to buy Empire at War.

I'll buy games on discounts just for giveaways or to maybe get to later or gift randomly and this new rule will now affect that. My wallet will be thankful I guess.
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Jul 2, 2013
13,676
5,311
1,120
Oregon
For example in Turkey 209 TL is 1/7 th of basic income of most workers. A teacher for another example earns 3000 TL. Think in American dollars, basic worker salary 420 dollars a month and a teacher earns 900 dollars a month. And most of the people earns between this two and higher earners are considered "somewhat wealthly" in the eyes of the public. Now think about this, can you buy new full AAA games if you were to earn this kind of money most of your life ? Also consider basic necessities of life such as bills for electricity, gas , water etc. , rent prices -in cities they are most of the time starts about 600-700 TL- ...
One thing to take away from this is that Valve lets publishers on Steam set their own pricing by region, and many regions (such as Turkey) have their Steam store priced in their local currency. I feel like a lot of people here are upset because Valve closed a loophole that allowed you to personally exploit it to lower the cost of your game purchases. In a large part, this anger needs to be directed at the publishers who set their prices too high in the first place.
 

MulderYuffie

Member
May 13, 2015
2,957
0
280
27
That's shitty. Completely kills being able to get removed games from traders in the future. Valve keeps fixing problems that aren't really problems and making Steam worse.
This exactly I "collect" these steam games and this really has a hand in killing the rarer stuff to come.
 

Capitan

Member
Dec 11, 2012
809
0
0
sometimes i grab a good game when it's on sale so i can give it to someone later, but i guess that's gone.
 

Vamphuntr

Member
Dec 5, 2008
13,792
0
0
QC
One of the reason behind this is the obvious stock piling of cheap games for reselling and grey market resellers.

It seems they are slowly and gradually feeling the pressure of big publishers. It started with cross region trading restriction and we are now at this step.

Comments section of the blog post is already turning like I expected.
 

Coreda

Member
May 27, 2013
7,732
2
0
What a blow to SteamGAF giveaways. Sure, most of the bundle stuff was just keys, and some of the more generous giveaways were from places like GMG/etc, but there were still those who bought them directly from Steam using the email method for ModBot.

Seems now you're required to have a pre-determined recipient at the time of purchase (and restrictions based on regional pricing?). RIP
 

FLAguy954

Junior Member
Jan 27, 2012
5,155
0
0
USA
What a stupid thing for valve to do. They are making steam worst instead of better with decisions like this.
Exactly.

That's why it's important that we speak out against bullshit like this, especially from a non-DRM-free platform holder.
 

tsundoku

Member
Dec 8, 2014
1,397
0
0
this is amazing

inconvenient for regular consumers but it will deal deep blows to all those sketchy fucking key reselling sites and to the people propping up garbage shovelware for cards for steam cents for steam wallet and then using it to buy keys en masse and sell
 

Locust

Member
Oct 19, 2011
821
0
0
this is amazing

inconvenient for regular consumers but it will deal deep blows to all those sketchy fucking key reselling sites and to the people propping up garbage shovelware for cards for steam cents for steam wallet and then using it to buy keys en masse and sell
Except it won't do anything to either of those?