Valve Invokes further Regional restriction - doesn't want you to use VPN to get cheaper games

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jun 25, 2021.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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  2. Hyderz

    Hyderz Member Guru

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    GTX 1070ti
    used to live in nz and can buy mates games on steam,
    now im living in korea i cant buy them games for thier birthday or christmas.
    Only way i can buy for them is through humble bundle and usually have to email them back to unlock the region.
  3. Silva

    Silva Ancient Guru

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    This is so unfair, I live in Portugal where minimum wage is 665€ and we pay more than countries with double that.
    I don't buy a game at full price for over 10 years now, always wait 1 year or more to get a big discount.
    Legacy-ZA, Undying, Valken and 3 others like this.
  4. rl66

    rl66 Ancient Guru

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    I don't know if it still work with chinese neo banking ???
    (i don't use steam but just wondering)

  5. mackintosh

    mackintosh Master Guru

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    A risky move imo, the EC doesn't take kindly to repeat offenders.
  6. TieSKey

    TieSKey Master Guru

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    Although I think steam has a near monopoly and should be regulated, this one is a really stupid move from the authorities.
    For very poor countries, steam regional prices are the sole thing that makes legal gaming possible. No amount of discount from GoG, Epic or other platforms are usually enough to match regional prices.
    Our minimum wage is 150 freaking US dollars.... an indie/small studio game worth 15 would represent 10% of your monthly income for <insert deity>'s sake.... (ínimo_en_Argentina)

    At the same time, market size in these poor countries is usually small (with exception of India, no, china is not a poor country anymore) so if regional prices would be ruled out, our small markets would be simply discarded.

    I'm not saying prices are perfect for all countries but what the EU is effectively doing in this case is showing the middle finger to all poorer member countries.....
  7. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    I'm confused... I wouldn't be surprised if the increased price in the EU is because of VAT, which is something the government benefits from, not Valve. So, if Valve is trying to prevent people from evading higher prices, why would the EU want to stop that?
  8. mackintosh

    mackintosh Master Guru

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    I believe the issue is that Valve is price discriminating within the EU itself. The EC doesn't concern itself with Valve's practices outside of the EU.
  9. Noisiv

    Noisiv Ancient Guru

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    2070 Super
    That's what they go fined for in January.
    I.e. for depriving "European consumers of the benefits of the EU Digital Single Market and of the opportunity to shop around for the most suitable offer in the EU"

    But the article is very confusing for me.

    It says:

    "Last year Valve already got fined for this behavior in the EU, but apparently, they refuse to listen."
    and then goes on explaining how Valve is trying to conform to EU laws. By adding mechanisms which makes it harder to avoid EU Single Digital Market law.

    Can anyone clear this up?

    Of course its due to VAT, at the very least. I don't get the 2nd part either. Although the article is not claiming EU wanting to stop ppl evading, but Valve "refusing to listen"
  10. Perjantai

    Perjantai Member Guru

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    Meybe its time to change Epic games. I heard games are free there.

  11. beedoo

    beedoo Member Guru

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    I'm sure it's gonna be controversial, but I don't see the problem. Just like how I don't want a/multiple digital libraries, and multiple launchers with lots of social / achievement / bloat features - and many folks said to me, suck it up and stop living in the past, arguing it was good thing.

    Here in Australia, Netflix stopped us watching the U.S. content, which was so much better than our version's library, even blocking popular VPNs from accessing it; then the Government blocked the torrent sites due to mounting pressure over piracy.

    These instruments were always designed to give more control to corporations distributing the media, and providing less control to you. I actually stopped using Steam since Counterstrike 1.5/6 era as I prefer to own physical media - yes I'm old, and even if I wasn't, capped internet plans mean you can't just keep downloading 50GB games whenever you feel like it.

    Further, I used to buy a lot of DVD/Blu-Ray discs and the digital services that came those media were useless, allowing you only to watch your movies on certain devices - they just can't stomach giving up control. This is garbage when you just want to put a digital version on your DLNA device so you can watch on any smart TV in the house. At least two of these services have gone under now...

    Bottom line, I guess, get with the program; you can't continue to circumvent 'the system' for your own benefit.
  12. Neo Cyrus

    Neo Cyrus Ancient Guru

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    That map shows lower prices for Canada than the US? On what and since when? Every single thing I've ever checked to this day always converts to higher than the US costs, for an NA license on Steam, so the same thing they're getting.

    Even when it's not too bad it's always some more, like the standard "TrIpLe AAaayyyy" title being $60 USD makes it ~$73 CAD last I checked, but we get charged $80. In fact the only time I remember getting the same $60 price tag is when $1 CAD was worth between $1.06 and $1.10 USD once upon a time. Not that that's anywhere near as bad as how others get screwed over, but still.
    Valken and Venix like this.
  13. Quicks

    Quicks Master Guru

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    Then they wonder why people say F-it and just pirate their software. If prices were reasonable and easy accessible people will pay with a smile! But noo charge premium price for beta, buggy crap that you basically need to wait another 3-6 months before actually being polished with poor programming and run like crap. Then you do not even get to test it out with a demo or something to see if you would actually enjoy or not, nope pay full premium price if you do not like it your problem...
    Valken likes this.
  14. Venix

    Venix Ancient Guru

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    Then they will start using more denuvo crying about their 70 euro game getting pirated so hard causing issues to legitimate customers while the pirates in a lot of cases will have the game denuvo free enjoying the superior experience !
  15. coth

    coth Master Guru

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    The map is given as example. It does not represent actual AA price tag (40 USD price category) around the world.

    US 60 USD price category
    Argentine Peso - ARS$ 649,99
    Australian Dollar - A$ 84.95
    Brazilian Real - R$ 109,99
    British Pound - £46.49
    Canadian Dollar - CDN$ 68.99
    Chilean Peso - CLP$ 22500
    Chinese Yuan - ¥ 163
    CIS - U.S. Dollar - $27.99
    Colombian Peso - COL$ 82500
    Costa Rican Colon - ₡23900
    Euro - 49,99€
    Hong Kong Dollar - HK$ 258.00
    Indian Rupee - ₹ 1299
    Indonesian Rupiah - Rp 249999
    Israeli New Shekel - ₪224.95
    Japanese Yen - ¥ 6290
    Kazakhstani Tenge - 7100₸
    Kuwaiti Dinar - 9.60 KD
    Malaysian Ringgit - RM95.00
    Mexican Peso - Mex$ 527.99
    New Zealand Dollar - NZ$ 76.49
    Norwegian Krone - 412,00 kr
    Peruvian Sol - S/.102.00
    Philippine Peso - ₱1219.95
    Polish Zloty - 214,99zł
    Qatari Riyal - 114.99 QR
    Russian Ruble - 1085 ₽
    Saudi Riyal - 89.95 SR
    Singapore Dollar - S$49.00
    South African Rand - R 329.00
    South Asia - USD - $19.99
    South Korean Won - ₩ 61000
    Swiss Franc - CHF 57.50
    Taiwan Dollar - NT$ 858
    Thai Baht - ฿699.00
    Turkish Lira - ₺92,00
    U.A.E. Dirham - 155.00 AED
    U.S. Dollar - $59.99
    Ukrainian Hryvnia - 699₴
    Uruguayan Peso - $U1199
    Vietnamese Dong - 480000₫

    US 40 USD price category
    Argentine Peso - ARS$ 439,99
    Kazakhstani Tenge - 4700₸
    Indonesian Rupiah - Rp 169999
    Indian Rupee - ₹ 899
    South Asia - USD - $12.99
    Vietnamese Dong - 310000₫
    Colombian Peso - COL$ 54500
    Thai Baht - ฿469.00
    South African Rand - R 219.00
    Malaysian Ringgit - RM65.00
    Turkish Lira - ₺61,00
    Saudi Riyal - 59.95 SR
    Brazilian Real - R$ 75,49
    Philippine Peso - ₱829.95
    Peruvian Sol - S/.69.00
    Ukrainian Hryvnia - 479₴
    Uruguayan Peso - $U799
    Mexican Peso - Mex$ 367.99
    Russian Ruble - 725 ₽
    CIS - U.S. Dollar - $18.49
    Chilean Peso - CLP$ 14900
    Taiwan Dollar - NT$ 568
    Qatari Riyal - 75.99 QR
    Kuwaiti Dinar - 6.50 KD
    Hong Kong Dollar - HK$ 176.00
    Chinese Yuan - ¥ 116
    Singapore Dollar - S$34.00
    Costa Rican Colon - ₡15900
    U.A.E. Dirham - 105.00 AED
    New Zealand Dollar - NZ$ 49.99
    Canadian Dollar - CDN$ 45.49
    Polish Zloty - 142,99zł
    South Korean Won - ₩ 41000
    Japanese Yen - ¥ 4100
    U.S. Dollar - $39.99
    Australian Dollar - A$ 56.95
    Norwegian Krone - 279,00 kr
    Swiss Franc - CHF 39.50
    Israeli New Shekel - ₪149.95
    Euro - 33,99€
    British Pound - £30.99

  16. Valken

    Valken Ancient Guru

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    Technically, Valve cannot block gifting as that is legally allowed transaction or human right. It circumvents local government taxes to the recipient but then they can allow duty laws to apply if "games" or "software" are stated.

    Valve is essentially doing something illegal in other countries by blocking.

    Good thing there are alternatives such as GOG, Green man gaming and all those key sellers, which I am kinda iffy about.

    One way to feel "not ripped off" is to wait for sales to justify a cost.

    I just apply the Pizza Principle or Economics to my game purchases. Will I enjoy the game if it costs the same price as a slice of pizza (or your favorite food) with drink or meal? If I enjoy it twice as much, then I can justify paying that "price" or etc... It applies to both good times and bad times. Do I eat Pizza or do I starve and game?

    If not, I just find a demo, try it and decide later or if mates are playing it as an MP or COOP game.

    So far, I just bought DayZ SA and some cDLC for ARMA, and enjoyed a ton of Pizza! :D I would kill for a really good Mexican Burrito where I live too...
  17. coth

    coth Master Guru

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    KFA2 2060 Super EX
    What makes you think it's illegal to block gifting? And technically Valve can and that's what they are doing. Many games are only available in regions where you purchased them. Users within those jurisdictions can gift them with no problem.
  18. Valken

    Valken Ancient Guru

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    If I buy a physical item and send it abroad to another country, and the company blocks it for export, unless the items is state sanctioned, that is illegal. It is LEGAL to allow grey imports if a consumer has purchased it locally and sent it abroad as a gift.

    So apply the same theory to "digital" products.

    The only reason they block it is due to loss of taxation to the local governments. So a GIFT tax can added to the destination to remedy this. The sum would still be LESS than buying it locally.
  19. user1

    user1 Ancient Guru

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    it is likely these changes are to appease software publishers and/or governments(tax revenue), I think its important to remember that valve doesn't set the prices , i doubt they care about who buys what game where.
  20. Craigpd

    Craigpd Member

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    It's certainly a difficult position in terms of the EU dispute.
    While as a customer I like to see Valve adjusting the pricing to account for local income levels, even if I don't try to exploit it for cheaper games. The EU are, however, well within their legal right to challenge this in regards to the European single market.

    I don't see region locking sales as a problem, as having a secure sales platform in that regard could enable valve to finer tune their pricing models in regards to income in poorer countries. Seeing how much poorer Hungary and Romania are when compared to other countries in the EU, a stricter region lock may appease the EC and allow them to continue to have the adjusted pricing.

    It's not like the region locking "scandal" is even a new thing for Valve. iirc not long ago there was massive upheaval about it in regards to game launch times and preloads?

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