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Valve has a plan to stop key sales outside of Steam


We all know that there are dozens of third-party sites out there that offer games for sale at a cheaper rate. When it comes to PC games especially, you can get them much cheaper weeks before the game even launches at around R200-300 at times through sites like G2A and CDKeys. Well, the way this works is that developers of their game request codes from Steam for “third-party” use like review codes, promotional use, and of course listing the games on other sites like the ones mentioned above. 

The issue now is that these developers are requesting a lot of codes and throwing them all at cheaper sites that list them at 30-40% off. Valve now loses money as they are not getting sales from these codes, and let us not forget that it costs money for Valve to provide the bandwidth for a code that is being redeemed and downloaded through Steam. Basically, Valve loses money as these keys are being sold at a lower rate and downloaded through Steam anyway at a cost to Valve. 

Valve, however, has a plan to cut down on these Steam key sales outside of Steam by no longer automatically fulfilling key requests by developers who have their games listed on Steam. The news comes from SteamSpy's Sergy Galyonkin, who spotted a post on the developer forums on Steam. A perfect example is given where a developer's game would sell a few thousand on Steam but requested 500,000 keys. 


In cases where developers request a disproportionate amount of keys, Valve will deny the request and take a look at where these keys would go. This move would combat the loss to Valve in certain circumstances where the company makes no money from “game bundles” due to the developers being able to throw a few hundred thousand keys at a retailer for a much lower cost, and then consumers use Steam to download the games.

While I have to praise Valve for this move as it means developers will actually make money off their games, it will affect smaller devs who don't have the marketing budgets to make sure their games are seen and sold through the massive AAA games. It also means that developers might need to lower their game prices in order to push sales only on Steam.

This move by Valve also means we might see fewer titles being bundled into say Humble Bundle as the keys simply won't be available to do so. Could we see a third-party-less future thanks to this move by Valve? 

What do you make of this announcement? Let us know in the comments below. 

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