Valve restricts country switch on Steam to prevent VPN use for ‘discount’

Steam users can only change which country they reside in once every three months. Presumably that’s a move by Valve to counter users who use this option in combination with a VPN to purchase games for lower prices than in their own region.

The change was noticed by Steam Database . The change limits Steam users’ ability to purchase games at discounted prices in regions where they do not reside. Some developers adjust the prices of their games according to the income of people in certain countries. Steam games are often cheaper in India, South America and Russia than in Western countries.

Last year, Valve already made it difficult to purchase games in other regions where players are not themselves, by requiring a payment method from the relevant region. In the Netherlands, players can pay with iDeal on Steam, but if users change their country and use a VPN to buy a game in Argentina, for example, that is no longer possible.

Using VPNs to purchase games at a ‘discount’ has long been a thorn in the side of developers. Last year, the price of Horizon Zero Dawn on Steam suddenly skyrocketed in several regions. In less prosperous countries, this involved price increases of up to 300 percent, while the euro price remained unchanged at 50 euros. Presumably, Sony adjusted the price worldwide to prevent users from purchasing the game cheaply with the VPN trick.