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Thread: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

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    Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    To prevent buyers exploiting low currency values and market differentials.
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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    Looks like I will be waiting for the sales more often and paying less then I currently am prepared to pay then. Everyone losses.
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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    I don't do this often on steam as the steam sales keep games cheap anyway - Origin is where buying from other countries has basically become a requirement.

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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    I never really buy games off steam until the sale as I buy it elsewhere... steam is stupidly overpriced and the sales are only old games .
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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    Quote Originally Posted by shaithis View Post
    Looks like I will be waiting for the sales more often and paying less then I currently am prepared to pay then. Everyone losses.
    I don't think that bothers them - if you were using foreign key sellers, they'd have been making pennies compared to what they make when you buy a game at 75% off UK price. Assuming legit keys in the first place.

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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    Quote Originally Posted by directhex View Post
    I don't think that bothers them - if you were using foreign key sellers, they'd have been making pennies compared to what they make when you buy a game at 75% off UK price. Assuming legit keys in the first place.
    Most new releases can be bought for ~£20-25 at the moment, I doubt Steam are making less when I buy that (albeit via a reseller) compared to waiting for it to be £5-10 in the steam sale. Especially when you consider how many resellers are competing against each other.
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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    Hmmm I just skimmed the article but is this region locking to PLAY the game or just activate it? If its just activating then nothing really changes.

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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    Quote Originally Posted by Dooms View Post
    Hmmm I just skimmed the article but is this region locking to PLAY the game or just activate it? If its just activating then nothing really changes.
    The TOS essentially say they can ban your account if they find you activating over a VPN. I would bet that they will enforce that a lot more than they currently are, else these changes wouldn't be worth a damn.
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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    Quote Originally Posted by shaithis View Post
    Most new releases can be bought for ~£20-25 at the moment, I doubt Steam are making less when I buy that (albeit via a reseller) compared to waiting for it to be £5-10 in the steam sale. Especially when you consider how many resellers are competing against each other.
    Let's do some maths!

    Let's go with The Talos Principle. It's a new game, and it demonstrates my point.

    The UK price on the game on steampowered.com is, right now (10% off RRP) , £26.99. If you buy it at that price, Valve makes £8.10 from the sale.

    The Russian price on the game on steampowered.com is 539p. That's £5.70. If a Russian buys it at that price, Valve makes £1.71.

    But we're not talking about direct sales on the store, we're talking about key resellers. They "obtain" keys from anywhere they can - retail boxed products in poor counties, keys nicked out of graphics card bundles, £0.01 payments for pay-what-you-want bundles, etc. Those sales? Valve makes £0.00 - even if you pay somewhere in the middle, as is typically the case.

    For The Talos Principle, that's £13.58 from one major key site, for a Russian key. They're selling to you at more than 100% markup versus Valve's price, Valve makes £0.00 (Valve make nothing from key activations, only direct sales).

    If you buy the game in a sale at 75% off RRP, that's £7.49 sale price so £2.28 for Valve.

    So. yeah. They are DEFINITELY making more from sale prices than resellers (£something versus £nothing).

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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    Good breakdown Directhex. Are your numbers correct for values cut on steampowered.com sales or just using them as an example?

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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    Quote Originally Posted by shaithis View Post
    The TOS essentially say they can ban your account if they find you activating over a VPN. I would bet that they will enforce that a lot more than they currently are, else these changes wouldn't be worth a damn.
    Which is one example of why, personally, I will not buy games requiring Steam. The mere fact that they have the ability to invalidate the residual value of everything I've paid them, at any time, pretty much for whatever reason they deem fit, virtually without any recourse to me, ensures they ain't getting a penny from me in the first place.

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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    Quote Originally Posted by Dooms View Post
    Good breakdown Directhex. Are your numbers correct for values cut on steampowered.com sales or just using them as an example?
    Valve's cut is a trade secret.

    IT MAY OR NOT HAVE BEEN WIDELY REPORTED TO BE 30% THOUGH. THIS INCLUDES ALL DLC OR MICROTRANSACTIONS, WHICH IS WHY EA DROPPED STEAM

    I should add that *keys*, Valve makes no money from. *gifts*, which some key resellers use instead of keys (as they're easier to obtain), Valve makes their 30% cut on that seller's country's original sale price. In my example, Valve makes £1.71 if you buy a Russian copy of The Talos Principle for £13.58 from a Russian reseller.
    Last edited by directhex; 18-12-2014 at 01:27 PM.

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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    This is bad news for me, I've bought quite a few Steam codes for games from Ebay etc. I'll probably just wait for the sales like most people, I guess. There aren't many games I'm prepared to pay full price for these days! Although 'Fallout 4' would be one of the few exceptions

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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    I very rarely get excited enough about new games to generally just buy in sale snad humble bundles.

    I can see why they do this, you have resellers getting very cheap keys and selling a little under the UK price making a massive profit.

    It all very well saying valve get paid at the lower rate in say russia, but what has the reseller done to deserve such profit? I would rather the profit form me goes to valve than to a cheap key scalper.

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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    Quote Originally Posted by directhex View Post
    The UK price on the game on steampowered.com is, right now (10% off RRP) , £26.99. If you buy it at that price, Valve makes £8.10 from the sale.

    The Russian price on the game on steampowered.com is 539p. That's £5.70. If a Russian buys it at that price, Valve makes £1.71.
    The problem with that is that the vast majority of keys on key stores are NOT Russian. The Russian keys have been specially flagged for a while now as they have needed VPN activation for a while.

    The majority of re-sold keys are EU or Americas....and the supply is way too good to be "stolen from graphics card bundles".

    And my understanding is that valve makes money on all keys. It's the reason EA, UBI etc want to move away from them. Valve charge for a game to be delivered via steam.
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    Re: Valve starts to 'region lock' Steam activations

    Quote Originally Posted by shaithis View Post
    The problem with that is that the vast majority of keys on key stores are NOT Russian. The Russian keys have been specially flagged for a while now as they have needed VPN activation for a while.

    The majority of re-sold keys are EU or Americas....and the supply is way too good to be "stolen from graphics card bundles".
    There is no region locking on activating EU or US keys on UK Steam.

    Publishers didn't wise up to what people were doing until relatively recently - keys didn't contain any region information (i.e. the keys used worldwide were US keys).

    And my understanding is that valve makes money on all keys. It's the reason EA, UBI etc want to move away from them. Valve charge for a game to be delivered via steam.
    Nope. Valve don't charge for delivery. It's a "first hit is free" strategy to get more people into the Steam store. EA/Ubi was about microtransaction fees (prior to a certain date, you could delivery microtransactions/DLC via your own platform without paying Valve a cut, them enforcing an all-addons-sold-with-our-cut rule is why EA bailed).

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