Valve has announced that it will be making changes to the way in which users send gifts to each other.
In case you’ve never sent a gift to a friend via Steam here’s how it used to work. After selecting the game and making a purchase the gifter was presented with two options: Gift to email and Gift to Inventory.
Gift to email would send the receiver an email notifying them they had a new game while gift to inventory would put the game into the buyer’s inventory for distribution at a later time.
“Steam Gifting will now be a system of direct exchange from gift buyer to gift receiver, and we will be retiring the Gift to email and Gift to Inventory options,” Valve said in a blog post.
Simply put, Steam users will no longer be able to hoard games and instead will now need to gift a game to a friend immediately.
Before you fly off the handle and scream blue murder about how unfair this all is let’s pause and take stock.
There is a long history of game resellers such as G2A abusing the old gifting system. Users have bought games as Steam gifts through resellers only to discover that the payment method for the game was declined and the game now needs to be removed from the recipient’s library.
This new gifting method could put an end to instances such as that.
Remember that special day, even if you forget
One nifty little feature Valve is introducing is the ability to purchase a game months in advance and have it delivered to your friends inventory on a specific day.
Of course by doing that you risk the person buying the game in the interim but Valve has thought of how to deal with that.
“In the old system, a declined gift would sneak back into the giver’s inventory and remain on their bill,” explains Valve. “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.”
The old fear of buying a game for a friend in a foreign country only to have that game no longer work has also been dealt with. Now a game will warn you if it can be gifted or not before the purchase.
The changes to gifting are currently in effect.[Image – CC BY SA taintfair]