You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page.
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. See more here.

Changing your country on Steam has been made harder to battle VPNs

By - | Views: 35,335

Something that has been happening for years now, is that people have been switching around their country on Steam and using VPNs to get cheaper prices - Valve looks to have put a stop to it.

Why was this a thing? Thanks to regional pricing, countries that typically have lower incomes can enjoy the same games as others with lower prices to match. Being able to get around that to buy cheaper games using a VPN was a bit of a loophole, which has been sorted by Valve.

Spotted by SteamDB, It's not entirely clear when this actually went live for everyone. Checking it myself, changing country on Steam is now a bit more involved. Previously it was quite easy with a VPN but if you did it too often, Valve would put you on a cool-down from doing so for a while. Now it seems everyone has the same full enforcement. After changing country, you then need to make a purchase from a payment method registered to that country.

It makes sense for Valve to sort it, otherwise developers have had to adjust prices in other regions to match resulting in people from countries with lower incomes ending up with higher prices. This is apparently exactly happened with Horizon Zero Dawn according to VG247, and when you check on SteamDB you can see the prices across countries like Argentina and Turkey rocket upwards.

Using a VPN or proxy to get around it, was actually already against Steam's Terms of Service, with Valve saying if found out they may place "restrictions" on your account.

What are your thoughts on this?

Article taken from
Tags: Misc, Steam, Valve
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
See more from me
The comments on this article are closed.
Page: «6/6
  Go to:

x_wing Aug 2, 2020
Quoting: The_Aquabatfunny I worked for a call center (a very big company) that sells pc parts in the USA here in my third world country and never fell exploited. USA or western countries exploiting others it's just a stereotype, globalization is good and have brought progress to the world economy like never before, global poverty is record low. I'm not saying that explotation doesn't exist but when you account and balance globalization, the benefits surpass the negative stuff.

I live in Argentina too and we probably read the same history so, we both know that we had many episodes were USA and other big countries did nasty things in order exploit us (we even had a murder inside the senate related to this actions). "USA or western countries exploits others countries" != "USA or western countries inversions in other countries are always for exploiting them". Subtle but a big difference.

I can understand that many are upset by having to pay a different price in their countries, but always remember that the minimum wage and life standards can be VERY different between your countries and the ones that are paying less. The problem is not that someone is asking too much money for their product, the problem is that in other countries we get way less income per month.
lvlark Aug 4, 2020
I definitely think this is not a fair use for VPN's. In countries with lower standards of living, people shouldn't need to pay as much for their games as me. Employees supporting local communities/running local servers/etc is more expensive here in western Europe, and consequently we pay more. So Steam battling this is definitely fair.

However, differing pricing schemes is a completely different topic to me from geoblocking.. If I want to watch a certain sports event, but no broadcaster from my country broadcasts it, but I'm not allowed to watch it from a foreign broadcaster, that's just plain idiocy. Being behind on a certain TV-show while you want to discuss it on the internet, or while you may get spoilers on the internet, just because another Amazon Prime has the rights in your country but Netflix has exclusive rights for the first week, that's just plain stupid. It goes against (one of) the promise(s) of internet. Internet should be a way to give as many people as possible access to as much information/content as possible. Bringing content to lower-income regions for lower prices does exactly that.
Cyba.Cowboy Aug 5, 2020
Quotebtw, as I said "Third World" is an outdated definition from the Cold War, per definition Ireland, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Yugoslavia, are "Third World". It's just as awkward as using "Axis" and "Allies" from the 2nd world war to categorise countries. The Berlin Wall has fallen it's ridiculous to still use that definition.

You have a point.

I remember reading an unrelated news article the other day, that was saying China is technically a "third-world" country, based on the outdated definitions of a "third-world" country... But we all know that in reality, this couldn't be further from the truth (which was part of what the article was talking about).

A better term would be "country with lower wages"... Some of the countries in which call centers operate actually have a lot of money (not as much as say, America; but a lot), so even if "third world" still was technically an accurate term, it wouldn't necessarily apply all cases where call centers operate.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
The comments on this article are closed.