Out of the 3 Changes Steam is Making to Game Gifting, Only 1 Is Actually Useful
Article by George Norman
On 05 May 2017
On Thursday, Valve announced that it is making 3 changes to how game gifting works on Steam. Since change #1 is an improvement to the existing scheduling feature and change #3 hinders cross-country gifting, the one change that's actually useful is #2, which alters the way declined gifts are resolved.

Declined gifts no longer return to your inventory and don’t stay on your bill anymore. So if you gift your friend Bob a game and he declines it, you’ll get a refund.


A closer look at the 3 changes Valve is making to Game Gifting on Steam

1. Easier gift scheduling

Gifting games on Steam isn’t new and neither is the option to schedule gifts. I once purchased a gift for my colleague Frederick Barton and I purposely scheduled it to be delivered at 7:05PM, knowing very well that he had somewhere to be at 7PM. He’d get the notification, get all excited, and… have to wait until later to play the game. Mwahahaha!

Valve is refining the way that gift scheduling works, allowing you to schedule a gift months in advance. You can even schedule a gift to be delivered next year.

2. Declined gifts are refunded

If I buy someone a gift and they decline it, I don’t want to be stuck with it, I want to get my money back and be done! That’s precisely how Valve decided to change gift declines. You’ll get your money back if your gift is declined.

"In the old system, a declined gift would sneak back into the giver's inventory and remain on their bill. Now, if a recipient already has the title, or just doesn't want it, they can click decline and the purchase is refunded directly to the gift giver," explained Valve.

Valve is also doing away with the "Gift to Email" and "Gift to Inventory" options. These options are being retired in favor of a direct exchange system.

3. No cross-country gifting for large price differences

It is a well-known fact that game prices vary from country to country. Sometimes they vary so much that it’s well worth it to get someone from another country to buy a game cheap and then gift it to you. Unfortunately, Valve’s taking measures to ensure that you won’t be able to do that anymore.

"When there is a large difference in pricing between countries, gifting won't be available and you'll know before purchase," said Valve. What the company didn’t say is exactly how large the price difference has to be for the gifting option to be removed.

The Steam community isn't taking this well. The blog post announcing these changes is full of angry comments that berate Valve for hindering cross-country purchases.

The new gifting system is available now. Pre-existing gifts will be unaffected by this change.

Tags: Valve, Steam, video game, gift
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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Out of the 3 Changes Steam is Making to Game Gifting, Only 1 Is Actually Useful
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