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