Valve has recently added more regional restrictions to Steam to further prevent customers from abusing regional price differences via VPNs. This comes after the speculated reason behind the price spike for Horizon Zero Dawn last month. Many believe Valve increased the game’s steam price in certain countries because customers were using VPNs to change their location and buy the game at a lower rate.
As pointed out by SteamDB on Twitter, Steam has some new walls up to prevent such a thing from happening again. For a while, customers have had to own a card or other form of purchase from a region in order to get that region’s prices. Now, people will have to actually complete a purchase with this payment form to set their region and get those prices. This restriction will keep users on Steam from using a VPN to change their location and immediately get access to that country’s prices.
Valve has recently made changing your store country more strict, which requires completing a purchase using a payment method from that country.
This should hinder the ability of using VPNs to buy games cheaper. pic.twitter.com/IozwoO6gsi
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) July 29, 2020
Many regional price differences for games are due to the economy and cost of living in an area. Therefore, abuse of this change and forcing Steam to raise prices for games like Horizon Zero Dawn makes it harder for those in the region to purchase the game. But, as PCGamer points out, many are only using VPNs because the pricing for their region is not properly accounted for, making the games expensive. But, publishers have the final say on game prices, not Steam.
You can view all of Steam’s region rules on their support page.