By Michael Fontanini / May 5th, 2017
Valve has announced in their news blog that they are changing the way gifting works on Steam. In the post, they say
“The gifting process has had a bunch of friction in it for a while, and we want to make it easier for you to share the games you love with friends.”
They highlight three of the major things they think are better about the new system, which they say will be a direct trade from gifter to receiver. The three pluses Valve lays out are
- Scheduling a gift even months in advance is more straightforward and will be delivered to a friend “on time every time”.
- Declined gifts resolve as they should. They used to just stay in the gifter’s inventory, but now the gifter will be refunded if the friend that received it declines the gift.
- Safe cross-country gifting. They say there’s no need to worry about gift-to-email or gift-to-inventory not working. You option to gift won’t even be there if there is a large difference in pricing between your country and the one where the friend you’re gifting it to lives.
Most of this sounds fairly good, but users aren’t terribly pleased based on the comments. Take that part where they said that you no longer need to worry about gift-to-email and gift-to-inventory options not working. I personally never once had a problem with the gift-to-email option not working. The reason you won’t have to worry about these options not working is because Valve says they are going to retire them.
Many users are not so happy, as they feel that Valve is making things worse under the guise of making them better. Many of them do not want those gifting options to be removed. Some of these unhappy users are even talking about gifting through GoG.com instead. They’ve also brought up past changes Valve made, such as when they changed the trading system. Many feel it is far more cumbersome than before they changed it, adding delay periods and forcing the use of a cell phone. There was also displeasure that Valve completely ignored the fact that some users don’t have or want mobile phones, yet the system forces the use of one or you simply can’t trade.
Another questionable move doesn’t come as much of a surprise for most, given Valve’s track record and how big companies often seem to be good at making dumb decisions.