Valve has updated its gift trading policy on Steam. From now on, games that are bought as a gift and stored in the user inventory will need to stay there for 30 days to become tradable.
During this period, gifts won’t be available for trading, though they will remain usable as one-way gifts. With the new move, Valve wants to counter nefarious traders.
In particular, the gift update will affect those who receive trades from dubious sources. Tony Paloma of Valve stated the following:
We’ve made this change to make trading gifts a better experience for those receiving the gifts. We’re hoping this lowers the number of people who trade for a game only to have the game revoked later due to issues with the purchaser’s payment method.
Some traders buy up sale items in bulk with suspicious sources. When someone trades a game gift with them, there’s a possibility that the one receiving has the game taken away later on, as Valve detects issues with the original payment.
In the previous version of gift trades, this would mean that only the legitimate customer would have their game sent over, while the suspect account would give up nothing.
Naturally, this means that temporary sales won’t be available in the Steam trading circuit anymore, at least not in their immediacy. There are entire rings run under swapping titles, which will probably have to restructure a sizable portion of their organization, due to the update.
This could also affect people from different regions exchanging games, as one location may have a certain title up for a higher discount than the other. And how convenient; the change rolls in just before the leaked holiday sale.