Gaming is a super expensive hobby on its own. But it’s made even more costly if you happen to find yourself in certain countries, like, for example, one country down at the southern tip of Africa. Whether it’s because of brutal exchange rates, logistics, or some other impenetrable voodoo, some regions worldwide get slapped with high prices while others get things way cheaper. This sucks, but it is what it is. Luckily, if you were getting your games via the Steam store, there was a workaround for this. Unluckily, Valve is now taking that workaround away.
Previously, if you used a VPN to fool Steam into thinking you’re connecting from a different location, you could then access the version of the Steam store native to this new country. Usually, savvy gamers would change their country in this manner to whichever country had the cheapest price for the game they were looking for. However, as SteamDB revealed in a tweet, “In a further crack down on people buying games in cheaper regions, Valve added a limit on how often you can change your Steam account’s country.” As the tweet continues, SteamDB explained that while you can still change regions – because people obviously move around for real – “Country may not be updated more than once every 3 months. Purchases can be completed using a payment method from your current region.”
This issue of different prices made headlines last year when a PC version of former PlayStation exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn debuted on the Steam store with a much lower selling price in Argentina. This resulted in gamers from other countries frantically changing regions to access the Argentinian Steam Store. Unfortunately, once this made news, the blowback was that HZD’s Argentinian price was then just raised to match the US dollar price.
Valve has since been trying to patch this particular loophole (it previously restricted allowing you to use a credit card from outside of the Steam store country), so this isn’t too surprising but it still sucks a little for anybody just looking to save a buck where they can. Knowing how resourceful gamers are though, it’s probably only a matter of time before somebody finds another way to get their fix a little bit cheaper.
Last Updated: June 24, 2021