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Valve has made some changes to the way its online platform Steam handles gifting of games bought through the service. Starting today, any game purchased on Steam will have to be sent as a gift at the time or purchase or not at all.
This means that people will no longer be able to amass giftable games within their own Steam inventory and send them to other players at a later date. Gifting by email is also no longer on the table; recipients will need a Steam account before having a game sent their way.
While Steam users are divided over the changes, this more straightforward gifting system looks to be something that ultimately will benefit game developers. Abandoning inventory-based trading means that resellers won’t be able to stockpile copies of a game during a sale and sell those copies at a profit later on.
Additionally, Valve has introduced new limitations on international gifting that prevents a gift giver in one country from sending a game to a player in another country if there is “a large difference in pricing” between the two regions, though Valve hasn’t defined what constitutes a large difference.
More details on today’s changes can be found over on Steam’s official blog.