This should hopefully lead to more fair regional pricing.

For several years now, users were able to make use of a loophole that allowed them to buy games for cheaper if purchased from certain regions. Users were able to trick Steam into thinking they lived in one region where a price of a game was more favorable to them due to exchange rates. This had the unfortunate side-effect of developers and publishers having to increase prices in these regions to put a stop to those using VPNs to circumvent these price differences.

The increased prices obviously made it unfair to those people that actually lived in these regions. People, often those in poorer countries where prices should be lower, were suffering from significantly higher prices because outsiders were abusing the system. This has been a problem for a number of years now. It really came to light most recently when Horizon Zero Dawn went on sale. In Argentina, for example, the price of the game was significantly cheaper than other locations, leading a lot of people to purchase the game there using a VPN and changing their Steam region. People pretending to be from Turkey or Russia was also quite common due to their typically lower than normal prices on games.

Grand Theft Auto V regional pricing

As a quick example, you can see how much cheaper Grand Theft Auto V is in other regions when compared to the price in the United States. The price for this game is $29.99 (USD), but can be purchased for under $10 (USD) if you bought it from Argentina. Horizon Zero Dawn, not pictured, can currently be had for as little as $14.33 (USD) from Indonesia once the conversion rate is factored in.

Today, Steam Database noticed that Valve has just updated their security a bit. Starting today, if you want to purchase a game from a foreign country, your first purchase must be made using a payment method from that country. That is to say, you can't just VPN into a country and pay with a debit card that is registered for your bank in the United States. That won't work anymore under these new changes.


Your country is part of your Steam account settings. Your country setting affects what you see on the Steam store, the currency you see prices in and the currency of your wallet.

If you have moved to a new country, or are living abroad for an extended period of time, you can update your Steam country setting when you compete your first purchase using a payment method from that country. If your location differs from your current Steam account store country setting you'll have an option to change your store region while you view your card or as you complete your purchase.
With any luck, these changes from Valve will lead to lower prices in countries that are not quite as well off as the rest of the world. It may not be an immediate change, but hopefully it is one that we will see happen over time.