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Steam is region-locking PC games to thwart low currency value exploits

Timothy J. Seppala, @timseppala
December 17, 2014
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Apple isn't the only one making changes to how it deals with the Russian ruble. Valve is taking measures to protect PC game publishers on its Steam platform too, as spotted by NeoGAF's ever-vigilant eyes. The online storefront is region-locking games in an effort to prevent users from exploiting low currency values. For example, you could buy a Russian game on Steam for a few bucks as opposed to, say, $40 to $60 when purchased through the US storefront. Now, that's a little harder to do and it's causing a bit of an uproar because PC games have typically not been subject to region locks the way console games, on the other hand, have. The move has an impact on areas outside of Putin's backyard too, with reports that Brazil, Indonesia and their neighboring areas are affected too.

Unless you have a legitimate reason for buying games outside of your region though, you likely won't notice any changes -- this, like the tweaks Steam recently made to how game gifting works, is a measure to quell the amount of people taking advantage of its system for personal gain. We've reached out to Valve for additional information and will update this post should we hear back.
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