Steam’s gifting system has been tweaked, preventing users from trading between certain regions.
Steam users in Asia, South America and Eastern Europe can no longer freely trade Gifts with users in other territories.
Although Valve hasn’t made an announcement regarding the change, Reddit users have gathered screenshots of notifications warning users of the restrictions in a large number of countries.
There’s no confirmation as yet, but we assume Valve is looking to block users from taking advantage of major currency fluctuations through Gifts, trading and proxy purchases.
As Gamespot notes, the recent collapse of the Russian ruble motivated Apple’s decision to close the Russian App Store, so it’s quite likely something similar has happened here.
This is the second batch of changes to Steam Gifts and trading in as many months. With these actions Valve is gradually chipping away at a slightly dodgy culture of occasionally unscrupulous traders – sort of like cracking down on gold sellers. It’s a bit of a shame for those who bend the rules to access cheaper prices (say, transferring money to a friend in another country where a game is cheaper, who then buys the game and Gifts it to you) but it may help prevent scams, too.