Steam will no longer allow its users to change their regions on the fly in a bid to stop them from exploiting cheaper regions.
Taking to Twitter earlier today, third-party tracker Steam Database noted that the digital platform (and marketplace) will now be limiting its users to change their regions only once every three months. Purchases made will be completed through payment methods of the currently selected region.
In a further crack down on people buying games in cheaper regions, Valve added a limit on how often you can change your Steam account's country.
Country may not be updated more than once every 3 months. Purchases can be completed using a payment method from your current region.
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) June 23, 2021
Steam previously had no such limit and hence, users were free to switch regions whenever they pleased. Due to varying regional pricing, users were often switching to regions which offered the same games at a cheaper price. While users did have to rely on virtual private networks to fool the system, many made it a habit to jump region from region to avail attractive discounts.
Russia and Argentina for example are two popular regions which boast cheaper games. The new update will make it a bit difficult or frustrating for that matter but it will not completely stop users from exploiting cheaper regions.
Valve will continue to take such steps in future to find a workable and efficient solution to limit users to their own regions. For the time being though, users will have to choose a single region to remain in for at least three months before returning home.
Steam has grown tremendously over the years. The popular PC digital platform reportedly saw around 120 million monthly active players in 2020, a sharp increase from 95 million monthly active players in 2019. The increase can largely be attributed to the COVID-19-led global lockdowns which saw many users embracing gaming to pass the time.