Home Gaming Steam has new pricing rules in place to prevent regional exploitation

Steam has new pricing rules in place to prevent regional exploitation

2 min read

Here’s a funny story for you: When it first hit Steam, Horizon: Zero Dawn’s pre-order was priced stupidly low, evoking memories of what it was like to buy video games in 2011. It was a fantastic price for a fantastic game, and one that locally we were only too happy to pay for a title that had a proven track record on PS4. Everything changed, when the First World Video Game Consumer Nations attacked.

Loading up their VPNs, they descended on our marketplaces and snapped up codes for cheap, forcing Steam to nix that behaviour by raising our prices to mirror those of other regions. Did I say this was a funny story? I meant tragic, thanks for jacking up gaming for us jerks. Anyway, Horizon: Zero Dawn isn’t an isolated case, and the practise of hopping over the geofence to score a bargain isn’t uncommon. Heck we’re all guilty of it, but Steam has clearly had enough.

The biggest platform for digitally distributed PC games has some new rules regarding regional pricing. According to Steam Database, you’ll now need to make a purchase using a payment method that was issued in the country that you want to change your store to. So if you wanted to take advantage of a Zambian pricing on Age of Empires HD, you’d need a Zambian credit card to do so before you can get your WOLOLOLOLOLO on.

“If you have moved to a new country, or are living abroad for an extended period of time, you can update your Steam country setting when you complete your first purchase using a payment method from that country,” Steam’s updated policy explained.

If your location differs from your current Steam account store country setting you’ll have an option to change your store region while you view your cart or as you complete your purchase.

This isn’t an unusual policy, as even The Epic Games Store locks your store country to the one where you made your first original purchase. Will there be ways around this? Undoubtedly. But having additional hoops to jump through will most likely deter most would-be fence-hoppers from screwing over consumers in poorer regions who would benefit from lower pricing more than these people would.

Last Updated: July 30, 2020


  1. Still stoked that I went against my usual “DON’T PRE-ORDER” and got the cheaper price.


    • Skyblue

      July 30, 2020 at 22:21

      Very nice. What did you pay if you don’t mind my asking? I see it’s currently R 680,00 so I’m not in a rush. F1 2020 is still R 329,00 on Steam while R 800,00 everywhere else. I thought it was bizarre until this article.


      • PoisonedBelial

        July 31, 2020 at 09:47

        R275 minus the R60 odd I had in my Steam wallet.
        So good deal 😀


        • Skyblue

          July 31, 2020 at 11:12

          Great deal! With the reviews the pre-order was a no brainer at that price. Wish I had seen it.


    • For the Emperor!

      July 31, 2020 at 13:09

      I don’t think it should count under normal “pre-order” rules due to how massive the game was on PS4…but I missed my chance 🙁


  2. D4m@E

    July 31, 2020 at 08:57

    Okay, so they changed it so that it can’t happen again AND then hiked the price anyway?
    It’s a great game and well worth the price, but did they admit that it was an error or something?

    MK11 and Gears 5 were also both dirt cheap in the beginning. Only reason I pre-ordered them.


  3. CrAiGiSh

    July 31, 2020 at 09:07

    Now if they could change the pricing back … YEAH, THAT’D BE GREAT.


  4. For the Emperor!

    July 31, 2020 at 13:09

    “Heck we’re all guilty of it” – you dirty bastards! I have never done this! Only hopped the fence to watch RWC2019, not for games…yet…


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