- Jan 23, 2013
I, too, think most region locking is stupid and gouges people in many wealthy countries when comparing to equally wealthy countries like Japan and the US. It is pretty greedy and lazy for companies to turn the $ into £ or the euro sign and call that the new price of something. Nintendo is especially bad about region locking their portable systems, the kind that might cross borders often.Flames66 said:I think I see where you are coming from here, but I disagree. The system should be completely unrestricted by region and every game should have a universal global price. Locking things by region is severely outdated and needs to be forgotten more thoroughly than using mercury to treat headaches.
I just proposed that policy because I watched a Total Biscuit video weeks back where he explained how low prices can be for games in poorer parts of the world. I had the general idea things could be cheaper in some regions, but TB made me think about it and opened my eyes to see more of the world's game economies. Dropping region coding entirely invites the scumbags to take advantage of lower prices in poorer nations, which in turn means the companies will just raise to prices to the point where the scumbags are defeated but the honest people in those areas can't afford anything. I do agree that segregating regions that (should) pay about the same (Japan, North America, most of the EU, etc) needs to die.
It's good to hear you didn't have too much trouble. It seems like they do follow some of what I said (or better thought out policies.) I guess everyone's best bet when going on a long trip is to go offline at the last possible minute, maybe research what happens in situations like theirs to prepare for any problems, and hope for the best. Most users should be fine.KingsGambit said:I've never had any trouble with Steam, online or off. Okay, I have a couple of times some time ago but for the last couple of years it's worked fine for me.
My credit card is registered to NY, USA. When I initially visit the site, I see everything in GBP. When I login, it switches to USD. I'm in London, UK but buy in USD from US store without issue. I just came back from three weeks in HK and Indonesia. Steamguard kicked in when I tried to use the site (despite my laptop's browser being authorised previously), but let me in once I put in the code (Holy crap are games cheap in Indonesia! I wish I had an Indo credit card for the amount I'd save!). I'll admit I did go online once or twice (installed some small, indie games over slow, free WiFi) but mostly offline.
There was one change I noticed. Previously, once switching to offline mode Steam would simply always start offline thereafter until manually going to Online mode. Now every time it's started it asks which mode you want, if it was offline previously (or if it was online previously but no Internet connection is available). I used the client to buy GTA5 and a couple of other things while I was away.
So I think any such suggestions are rather unnecessary. Saying that, the restrictions on gifts actually came in some time ago. I think I got lucky with timing when I traded some TF2 keys for a Mafia 2 DLC not available in the West, with a player in E. Europe who could buy and trade it. I didn't see there was an issue with "playing" said games till this post.
For the overwhelming majority of people, this won't be an issue. Most players buy from the store and play from their library. Those that trade, usually do so within the "regions" so there's not so much crossover. And these restrictions likely only apply to few games. I expect it's to do with third party sites selling russian keys (I think my copy of BL2 on Steam came from one of those).
The article linked in the OP does make the issue a bigger deal than it is. The gifting/trading restrictions make sense. I think there was an Escapist article a while back (Maybe it was the Total Biscuit video mentioned above?) saying Steam was cracking down on abusing trades and gifting to get lower prices. What I find interesting is the OP article mentions a user who moved back to the US from Ukraine. He couldn't use his Ukraine purchased copy of Skyrim and had to get Steam Support to delete it from his account so he could rebuy it as the US version. Maybe they are stricter with certain areas and activities.