$5 Minimum To Graduate From Steam Limited Account Now

In their ongoing attempts to crack down on scammers and spammers using throwaway accounts on Steam, Valve have further tightened the restrictions on who can and can’t message folks. For years, new Steam accounts have been unable to add friends, open group chat, vote on Greenlight or the Steam Workshop, write reviews, leave comments, and whatnot until they owned a game. Seems that wasn’t enough, as now Steam accounts are limited until the owner spends $5 US.

“And why should I care?” you may ask, rolling your eyes as if you think I won’t hit you. Well, on one hand: huzzah! Hopefully we’ll have fewer spammers around Steam. On the other, it’s a bit of a bummer for folks who live cheaply on Steam with free-to-play games, gifts, and activated bundles.

Before, folks who’d accepted gift copies of games from pals would become proper users. I suppose gift copies of some games aren’t expensive to come by nowadays, so that no longer kept ne’er-do-wells at bay. As for that new minimum spend, folks will need to slip $5 into their account, either by buying a game costing at least that much or by adding $5 to their Steam Wallet.

Valve explain:

“Malicious users often operate in the community on accounts which have not spent any money, reducing the individual risk of performing the actions they do. One of the best pieces of information we can compare between regular users and malicious users are their spending habits as typically the accounts being used have no investment in their longevity. Due to this being a common scenario we have decided to restrict certain community features until an account has met or exceeded $5.00 USD in Steam.”

The change in the Limited Account policy seems to have happened on Friday (here it is on Friday morning, and it’s changed by Saturday morning.

It’s a small change, I suppose, but it’s still worth noting when the barriers to entry are raised a little. And it’s worth noting when someone kicks spammers and scammers square in the teeth, the ‘orrible gits.

From this site

119 Comments

  1. JonClaw says:

    Hopefully this will lower the number of Level 0, private accounts that keep trying to friend me on Steam.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Thank god for my avoidant hermit ways. I never clicked a single one

    • April March says:

      I don’t think I ever got any… what am I doing wrong? :-(

      • Marley says:

        not having an expensive enough backpack or using trading websites

      • AngoraFish says:

        Basically, they have to be able to find you. Things that expose your user name include such things as posting in popular groups (eg any of the bundle or steam groups) or forums, writing a review on a prominent game, being friends with someone else who accepted a scam request, etc.

      • Vin_Howard says:

        Have an unusual in your inventory…

    • SuicideKing says:

      Yeah, got a few requests like that ever since I changed my profile visibility to public (limiting it to steam users didn’t seem to work properly).

    • RealWeaponX says:

      Hilariously I got another Level 0 invite again today…

    • JB says:

      The last couple of weeks I’m getting at least one every other day. Ugh.

    • HidingCat says:

      Hmm, it’s not working? I got another friend invite this morning from one of those spammers.

      • Caiman says:

        I’ve started getting one or two a day now, whereas before this announcement I was getting maybe two a year. I’m not sure it’s working as intended.

        • rabbit says:

          So I’ve only had probably two of these invites, maybe four, in total in nine or ten years of steaming. So maybe a noob question (never really participated much in the community side of steam) but :

          What do these scammers do once they are on your friends list? Just the usual Nigerian businessman / hot babe / gimme £5 and I’ll give you every steam game that exists type scam? Or do they hack accounts? Or?

          Can they not just be identified by username? I remember in EVE when I used to play that , the spambots would be pretty easily identifiable by having usernames like g09asugjadgn

  2. Mitthrawn says:

    Huzzah! I applaud this change. As someone who declines maybe 4-5 spam friend a week, this is a problem in the community (even more so for those who actually fall for the scams), and something that was only going to get worse.

  3. jasta85 says:

    add friends, open group chat, vote on Greenlight or the Steam Workshop, write reviews, leave comments. Would anyone who hasn’t spent $5 on steam actually be interested in any of these things?

    One exception I could see is if someone buys their steam keys exclusively from humble bundle or green man gaming or something, but then if someone is really desperate to post comments and reviews, spending $5 on steam isn’t exactly a hard thing to do. And if a person can’t afford to spend $5 then they probably shouldn’t be spending their time playing computer games

    • PancakeWizard says:

      “add friends, open group chat, vote on Greenlight or the Steam Workshop, write reviews, leave comments. Would anyone who hasn’t spent $5 on steam actually be interested in any of these things?”

      It’s possible for people to lobby greenlight votes from people outside of the gaming sphere: “Just sign up to Steam, and vote – it’s free!”

      Not sure Alice is correct that that’s been the case ‘for years’, but I’m happy to be wrong.

    • April March says:

      Wait, are you also forbidden from doing those things if you’ve claimed $5 worth of retail keys?

    • Nice Save says:

      Personally, I have over 300 games in my Steam library, and according to my account details only 16 of my purchases (not even 16 games, the purchase list includes individual DLC) were bought from Steam directly. Of those 16, at least 7 of them were almost certainly less than a fiver, and I could swear another four or five are just listed incorrectly.

      All the rest of those games were bought from Gamersgate, Humble, Nuuvem, etc.

      There’s also the household library sharing thing – I assume you can only do that with someone who’s spent the fiver, but it seems like the sort of feature that would be significantly hindered by theis restriction. You’re much more likely to share your library with your mum or sister than one of your gamer mates.

      • stonetoes says:

        How do you check how much you’ve spent? Is there a way to do it through steam?

        • blastaz says:

          No.

          Thank God!

        • Artiforg says:

          Yes there is. Sort of. You’ll have to do some maths though. Open the Steam client and click your username in the top right hand corner (between the mail and big picture icons). Click Account Details from the drop down menu then click “Store Transactions”. It’ll show you a list of everything you’ve ever bought on Steam and how much you paid for it. Alternately you can use this link Account

          • Cederic says:

            Took me 5 minutes and a copy-paste (via a text editor) into a spreadsheet.

            Rather than totals, my average monthly spend is £30. So less than the cost of a single full price AAA game every month, half the cost of Sky TV and less than I spend on broadband.

            Feels fairly reasonable, given I’m average 8 games or DLC a month added to my steam account and 15% of my expenditure is on gifts for friends.

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          The Enhanced Steam addon for chrome and firefox will sum all spendings automagically on the transaction history page thing.

          • wu wei says:

            Also worth mentioning is the Enhanced Steam Standalone, which integrates the plug-in’s behaviour into the Steam client via a small proxy that modifies all traffic to/from the Steam store site.

    • Sirius1 says:

      “add friends, open group chat, vote on Greenlight or the Steam Workshop, write reviews, leave comments. Would anyone who hasn’t spent $5 on steam actually be interested in any of these things?”

      There are many games where the most active forum is on steam, even if you bought it elsewhere. That could definitely be a negative of this.

    • Ascendant God says:

      It’s not fair. I’ve played a game on steam for 869 hours for around 6 month and then 2 days ago I bought Rp.16000 worth steam wallet (1 US$ – it’s worth quite a lot for me especially on my country and for someone who still a minor). just to add all my friends because I tought I only have to spend a tiny bit of money to get rid this limited account thing.Now I feel so sad and dissapointed since I can’t add any single friend of mine :(.And the worst part is I spent my own money on it since my mom wouldn’t agree to buy it for me.
      — sorry for my bad English —

      • Ascendant God says:

        Just to clear things up It’s Indonesian Rupiah not Indian Rupee.

      • Cantisque says:

        I believe this only affects new accounts anyway. Likewise, the friends you already added wouldn’t just disappear.

    • khalilravanna says:

      add friends, open group chat, vote on Greenlight or the Steam Workshop, write reviews, leave comments. Would anyone who hasn’t spent $5 on steam actually be interested in any of these things?

      Spammers. They’re not really people. They’re essentially bots who go around posting “My sister made $80/hour using google click here to find out how!” as comments. That and they spam friend invites, presumably to send these messages in private chat.

      I could also imagine a system by which you develop a system of spam accounts and use them to fudge Greenlight so games that wouldn’t normally get any votes get a huge amount of spam votes. I’m not sure this would matter considering the amount of garbage games that get through Greenlight anyway (lol) but I’m sure Valve isn’t about that.

  4. Setroc says:

    Does this mean that if two new customers bought retail copies of portal 2 for example, that they wouldn’t actually be able to play together?

    • MrUnimport says:

      Until they drop a fiver into Gabe’s coffers, apparently so. A bit of a headscratcher.

      • jrodman says:

        Well the intent is to speedbump the scammers. That part makes perfect sense.

        However denying purchasers of valve software seems… broken.

        Were there even spammers in multiplayer games?

    • Czrly says:

      At the time that Portal 2 was released, I bought a deal that included a gift copy. I set up a second Steam account and registered that Gift copy on that one so that I could “lend” the account to various friends who wanted to play coop. I logged into that account to see what its status was and it appears to be level 3 even though I never made a transaction from it. It does not appear limited.

      I can completely understand how this cripples retail copies, though. I don’t think I’d bother buying a retail copy, today, but it might be a problem for others.

      What’s $5 in pounds, for this case?

      • El Mariachi says:

        £3.36 assuming Valve uses standard currency conversion instead of “Five units of whatever your gaily particoloured local money is called.”

  5. wraithgr says:

    I think the $5 mark is actually pretty well priced. As others said, if you have enough disposable income to be playing pc games, you can find one game above the five dollar mark to buy.

    Spammers on the other hand just had their per bot cost increased by at least 500% which can only be a good thing.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Though if their cost per bot was 0, then, mathematically speaking, it’s increased by an infinitely large number. So I guess mathematically it’s unsustainable lol.

      • Jeroen D Stout says:

        Mathematically, it is increased by an undefined number, x / 0 = undefined.

        The axioms for this are that if x / y = z, then z * y = x. If x / 0 = infinite, then infinite * 0 = x, which cannot be true for all values of x. Hence, there is no valid value for x / 0.

        • Bereil says:

          I love this.

        • Valkyr says:

          What? You can’t divide by 0. However lim(x->0+) C/x=+infinite if C>0, where C is here 5 dollars and x (bot cost) is a small positive value.

          y is forbidden to take the value 0 in x/y. The axiom should read: if x / y = z AND y different from 0, then z * y = x.

      • wraithgr says:

        Of course, you all missed the part where you already need to own a paid-for game, most of which cost at least a dollar outside of sale periods, hence my 500% ballpark calculation and my “at least” hedge.

  6. Sandepande says:

    Works for me.

  7. Text_Fish says:

    This is great news for the CS:GO community who are plagued by hackers and smurfs, who buy up multiple gift copies of the game when it’s on sale and gift it to throwaway accounts so that they can do their evil deeds anonymously and without the risk of having a VAC ban on record on their main account, which prohibits them from trading items.

    Good job Valve.

    • robby5566 says:

      If they’re already willing to buy multiple copies of CSGO to smurf and hack, I doubt a $5 speed bump is gonna hold them up. It’s like, instead of $10 an account, they’re spending $15. Really not that big a deal. Hell, a lot of hackers are already sinking big money into skins and stickers anyway, because they think it makes their “skills” appear more legitimate.

      Though I’m sure Valve is fine with it – Hackers having to sink an extra $5 into every account is more money in their coffers.

  8. Stellar Duck says:

    Speaking of Steam and things changing, I had a couple of copies of Witcher 1 and 2 in my inventory for doling out to random friends. Anyone know why they seem to have gone the way of the dodo?

    • Stellar Duck says:

      Edit: Nevemind, they’re back today. I’ll assume it’s all Steams fault for making them vanish for a day.

  9. DrManhatten says:

    Steam has become more and more an unfriendly place all thanks to Gabe’s paranoia and ego. The more people turn their back on Steam the better its the only way they learn. I stopped buying any game on Steam for the forseeable future

    • Lord_Mordja says:

      lol

    • Diggidy says:

      WTF are you on about? Does anyone know what this dude is talking about? Paranoia? Ego? Trollers gonna troll.

      • DrManhatten says:

        You are all just puppets sifting more money into Gabe’s thick DRM laden pockets

        • OscarWilde1854 says:

          If it wasn’t for all of us “puppets” Steam (as well as PC gaming with it) would have died off a long time ago… while no longer SOLELY responsible for the status of PC gaming, without Steam the market certainly looks a LOT more bleak… I’ve already shelled out WAY more than 5$ on Steam and if making that a requirement gets rid of even 50% of the spam accounts then it is more than fair! We aren’t “lining coffers” we’re enhancing Steam as a whole, and eliminating a nuisance in the community. Worth every penny.

          • Emeraude says:

            I call bullshit.

            PC gaming would certainly be different, but it wouldn’t be dead. Steam would though (obviously for lack of customers).

            Which is reason enough for people who don’t like what it did to PC gaming to not harbor much love for so called “puppets” I guess.

          • DrManhatten says:

            While I agree at the beginning Steam was good for PC Gaming. The tides have long turned they are bleeding and hurting the gaming community now with their zero quality control, arcane DRM, zero customer service, introducing half arsed features into a more and more bloated client and dubious sales practices. They have become the Microsoft of the gaming world. Luckily alternatives stores have appeared in the meantime and ensure that the PC community doesn’t sink in the mud of Steam.

          • Andrew says:

            Let us be fair, here: Microsoft are definitely the Microsoft of the gaming world.

          • Emeraude says:

            @Andrew

            Indeed. The Valve apple didn’t fall far from the Microsoft tree though.

          • malkav11 says:

            Quality control: how is this the responsibility of a store?
            DRM: Steam offers it, it’s not arcane, and it’s entirely optional. Blame the publishers and/or developers who choose to use it. GoG shows pretty clearly why Valve offers it: they’d have a tiny fraction of the catalog if they maintained a hardline anti-DRM stance. Not that DRM isn’t bullshit.
            Bloated client? If you say so. It’s still pretty lightweight and system-friendly, it just has a bunch of useful features that justify its existence at all that it didn’t, back in the day.
            Questionable sales practices? You mean encouraging deep discounts and making it possible to continue to have a rich panoply of gaming options while having a limited budget and other expenses? Gosh, the horror.

            They definitely need to have better customer service and a better (i.e., any real) refund policy, but that’s true of a lot of companies that are much more likely to require you to deal with their customer service. And hardly qualifies them as a blight on PC gaming.

          • fish99 says:

            If you buy a game from Steam, they as the retailer are legally responsible for the quality of that product and not the publisher or developer.

          • malkav11 says:

            Under what madhouse logic? Valve has no hand in developing, testing or patching anything it sells that’s not actually made by Valve.

          • Llewyn says:

            Under the very simple logic that the customer’s contract is with Steam, not with the developer, publisher or anyone else.

            It’s exactly the same logic as buying, say, fruit grown in South Africa from a store in the US or Europe, getting home and finding it’s rotten inside, and returning it to the store you bought it from rather than to the grower in South Africa.

            Steam are not responsible for quality in the sense of being expected to carry out their own quality control, but in the sense of being liable (to a limited extent) for the consequences of their supplier’s quality control (and so on up the chain). It’s entirely up to them whether the most cost-effective way of doing this is to carry out their own QA.

          • jrodman says:

            Well, maybe they’re responsible in the sense of “fitness for a particular purpose”, like games that don’t run at all.

            I don’t think they’re responsible if the game isn’t any fun.

          • Llewyn says:

            Agreed, but then in a consumer protection sense neither are the developer or publisher. Alas.

          • MellowKrogoth says:

            DRM entirely optional. Yeah right. It’s not as if Steam are agressively pushing Steamworks and tying all interesting features of the platform (cloud, workshop, etc) to it, isn’t it?

            Steam is overall incredibly handy, but if GOG.com were to release their own client with a solid subset of the features, I’d switch in a heartbeat. I gain nothing from Valve’s DRM and it has occasionally caused me trouble, with my internet being down and offline mode refusing to work. At least with GOG you can download your game at a friend’s house and install it offline at home without hassle.

          • malkav11 says:

            Steamworks offers an optional DRM component. Using all the useful components of Steamworks does not require using the DRM component.

            And Valve can certainly be held accountable for their refusal to have a worthwhile refund policy in the event that something they sell you fails to function for you (or, arguably, fails to deliver the product that was advertised in the store copy, but I think that’s going to be a lot more subjective and difficult to claim), or if they were to sell a product that is clearly no longer operational like a defunct MMO or a purely multiplayer game whose servers have shut down. (That being the only real digital equivalent to perishable products spoiling.) But that’s not really quality control, to me. To me, quality control would be, e.g. taking steps to ensure that products do function, or to have employees that test products, or things like that. And that’s up to the people that make the games.

        • Emeraude says:

          DRM: Steam offers it, it’s not arcane, and it’s entirely optional. Blame the publishers and/or developers who choose to use it.

          Blame both users and provider. Each to their faults.

          I certainly blame Valve for making the practice stick on PC. And for providing it in the first place.

          • malkav11 says:

            Steam didn’t invent it and is vastly less onerous than all the bullshit disc-protection crap companies were using before, like Starforce and SecuROM. They also certainly haven’t been the ones pushing it or making it stick. Again, it’s an optional component of Steam. Games can be on Steam without using its DRM. It exists because publishers are stupid and greedy (or at least, their shareholders are), not because of Valve. I mean, sure, I’d like them to have stood on principle like the GoG folks did and seen if they could muscle people into not using DRM but Steam never would have taken off for anything but Valve games and some indies and decade+ old titles if they’d done that. They might – MIGHT – be able to push that now, with their current market share, but you’d probably see all the big publishers that haven’t already jumped ship do so if they did.

          • SavageTech says:

            The practice of DRM had already “stuck” on PC long before Valve was even a company. At first it came in the form of puzzles that could only be solved with information from the game’s physical manual or an included code wheel. That system eventually gave way to the CD Key, which was later supplemented by software DRM like the odious SecuROM system. Valve contributed to the process, of course, as Steam was essentially a bulky piece of garbage DRM for Half-Life 2. That said, they didn’t make it any worse nor any more ubiquitous than it already was.

            If anything, Valve’s DRM has made life easier for gamers. We don’t have to contend with a variety of draconian procedures to play most games since anything with Steamworks DRM handles that stuff in the background. I’ve never once had a game on Steam fail to start due to DRM reasons, but in the past I had to download cracked EXEs quite frequently to circumvent malfunctioning DRM systems. If Steam’s DRM was fetid trash like Uplay or GFWL then I might agree with your sentiment, but right now it’s the only DRM system that’s ever worked without pissing me off.

          • Premium User Badge

            basilisk says:

            SavageTech, indeed. Valve’s contribution to DRM was spearheading the transformation from machine/hardware based DRM to user account based DRM, which is without any doubt the far more consumer-friendly option (though not as 100% consumer-friendly as going DRM-free, obviously). It is quite possible that we wouldn’t have unlimited redownloads, unlimited reinstalls and platform-agnostic purchases as the de facto industry standard if it was someone else than Valve who became the main player, so in this respect at least, things turned out pretty well.

            Believing that without Valve, the industry might have gone a DRM-free route seems in all honesty extremely naïve. There’s a far higher chance we’d end up with a worse system than what we have now. Which isn’t perfect, but it generally works and makes most parties satisfied most of the time.

          • Emeraude says:

            @ malkav11
            They also certainly haven’t been the ones pushing it or making it stick.

            “Pushing” is beside the point. They created the platform and its DRM solution. They’re the ones providing it.. As for making it stick: point me to who’s leader on the on the DRM providing market ?
            Oh, yes, It’s Valve.

            Other thing I need to correct: the DRM was first created for Valve itself, not for third parties – having to register Half-Line 2 online ?

            @SavageTech

            It existed. It hadn’t stuck. There was active consumer resistance against those. They were reviled at the very least. Your post is the the very example of what I’ve been saying: Valve made the practice *stick*.. It’s made it acceptable and accepted.

            As for the rest of your post, “It hasn’t been an issue to me, so it’s not an issue”. I get it. Fair enough.

            @basilisk

            I don’t really see what’s naive about believing so. When people massively boycotted Ubisoft because of always online, did Ubisoft suddenly decide to stop producing games and go another business ? Did it cave in and stop using it ? Had people massively resisted other forms of DRM, I do believe companies would have done the same. What are they going to do, close their doors ?

            If anything what’s naive I guess is trusting people to defend their long term interest when there is a needed effort that isn’t matched by an equivalent immediate gain.

          • Cantisque says:

            This “DRM” that lets me install to all my PC’s and download the game as many times as I want and automatically patches them? Not all DRM is a bad thing, plus it’s not like the DRM is forced, publishers can choose whether to use Steam’s DRM or not.

          • Emeraude says:

            @Cantisque

            The platform does this. It could do just as well without forcing its DRM components on people who do not want it..

          • malkav11 says:

            @emeraude:
            So, Valve is responsible for publishers choosing to use DRM because they’re the largest PC gaming store? That’s some pretty twisted logic. If anything I’m inclined to thank Valve for providing DRM because of the various types of DRM on offer, Steamworks’ DRM component is by far the least onerous and and in many ways does the least to compromise consumer rights.

            And there has never been widespread resistance to any sort of DRM or other antipiracy/copy protection measure. There’s been a small, vocal minority (of which I was one for many years) that’s had zero impact on anything, and there have been certain localized flareups in response to particularly awful implementations, like always-online DRM. Sometimes that’s worked out. Ubi did back off that particular version of uPlay (although I’m not sure they patched it out of every game that used it), and EA much, much later patched the server requirement out of SimCity. On the other hand, sometimes it hasn’t. Diablo 3 is just as DRMed as ever and sold a million jillion copies. Because fundamentally, this is not something that most consumers are even aware of, much less care about. If it were, DRM wouldn’t still be a thing. It certainly isn’t anything Steam’s caused. It just represents a level of consumer rights violation and ineffectual paranoia that the average consumer is apparently okay with. Which fucking sucks, but there you have it.

            (I am not a member of that minority anymore, at least not for the general level of corporate fuckery, because it gets really bloody tiring sustaining that level of outrage for decades and having no one else give the slightest shit, or when they do, often actively argue against their own interest.)

        • Josh W says:

          Why is gabe using puppets to do his sifting? That’s no labour saving at all, just an ungainly control mechanism. Is he playing some kind of octodad game?

    • Jenks says:

      I remember when I used to walk into Steam and everyone there (including the studio audience) would shout my name in unison, it was fantastic. I wish Gabe’s paranoia and ego hadn’t ruined everything.

    • SuicideKing says:

      DrManhatten for president!

    • gunny1993 says:

      If i turned my back on steam Gabe would probably stab me in his paranoia and ego

    • Rindan says:

      …he said, before pooping into his hand and flinging it the nearest person passing by, and then continuing to rant madly at a fire hydrant.

  10. Greggh says:

    I have fueled a friend of mine’s account with all their 20~ games.
    They haven’t spent a single dime on Steam, but is an avid user and enthusiast…

    I’d give a 7/10 for the effort in fighting spammers, Valve, but you’re pushing it…

    • Yachmenev says:

      Then perhaps it’s time for them to pay for themselves a bit? :)
      The only real practical implication is the restriction that they cannot add friends themselves, but must be added.

      • that_guy_strife says:

        As a ”member” you cannot see accounts who haven’t paid.

        As a ”free” account you cannot add friends.

        Caused a bit of a headache when my pal was over with his PC and we wanted to play TF2 side by side.

    • iniudan says:

      I would guess you can gift them a steam gift card or wallet code for the next game and tell them to buy it themselves.

      • Ungenious says:

        Hmmm yeah, if you’re helping a friend gifting games, can’t you just gift them an extra $5?

  11. specialsymbol says:

    Should have been $200 minimum. Keeps all the poor schmucks at bay.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Maybe we could have a Steam Platinum account subscription. Pay a monthy fee, get shielded from the lower classes.

    • Distec says:

      Steam really needs a club for the upper crust of its user base.

      Gabe, I have an ungodly amount of titles in my library. Give me a top hat and a seat in the drawing room so I can feel better about it.

  12. Mabui says:

    I wonder what this means for people who buy games from outlets other than steam. I mean, you could have a library of hundreds of games just getting them from Humblebundle and likeminded services.

    • Sandepande says:

      It means that if you haven’t bought anything from Steam directly, the aforementioned activities are verboten.

    • Emeraude says:

      My understanding is that retail games don’t count either.

      Which to me is just icing on the cake: you’re forced into using Steam whether you like it or not, and then you’re cut off from its infrastructure as a second rate citizen for not wanting to do business with Valve (which I agree is only going to be an issue with third party games that uses Valve’s tools for their multiplayer, but that’s too many already if you ask me).
      I mean, I know I like to joke that technically Valve’s customers are the publishers, to which the captive audience is being sold as convenience… but they didn’t have to take it to heart to prove it otherwise.

      All in all? I’m not going to claim this is evil or greedy – this isn’t, I don’t think so.

      This is just a consequence of what many of us have considered since inception a bad set up trying to deal with problems with patches that then cause other problems, because it can’t or won’t rebuild from the ground up as would probably be needed.

  13. Bodylotion says:

    All fun and games but I just received 2 invites of fake accounts again……..

  14. Tayh says:

    Wow, they’re really milking that cash cow.

  15. cylentstorm says:

    Apparently, this new policy isn’t retroactive, because I have never spent a single penny on Steam and I still have access to all of those “features.” Then again, I haven’t gone out of my way to be a douche, so perhaps the Valve Overlords have decided to give me the benefit of the doubt. Either that, or I’m going to be ambushed with their little “random” virtual strip-search when I least expect (or care about) it.

  16. rochrist says:

    The crying about having to spend a -grand total- of $5 over the LIFETIME of an account is pretty hysterical.

  17. Jakob91 says:

    It has nothing to do with scammers, it’s about getting your private infos (phone, address, real name). Now that you’ve invested on Steam, they know you have no choice but to walk the line. If it would have been about a said anti-scam hunt, they would have allowed retail keys in their new policy. Now every users on Steam need to give their private informations to a company that can scan every bit of data they have in their computer. Those that tried to warn gamers of such a restrictive platform must be laughing their asses off.. if they’re not on the Steam wagon by now. It’s always about getting information, step by step.

  18. Duoae says:

    Wait, so now my Dad is retired I can’t just set up an account and gift him the games for him so we can play games together over the internet?

    He won’t put his credit card details into steam – doesn’t trust stuff like that. So we’re basically screwed.

    • CCninja86 says:

      Not necessarily…I believe you can buy Steam vouchers that allow you to add money to your Steam Wallet without a credit card, so you could just buy one of those, add the money to his account via the code and the features should unlock.

      • Duoae says:

        If this works then it’s the preferred option. I don’t want my CC details spread across multiple accounts, especially when I can’t guarantee his computer security (he’s no so up-to-date with anti-spyware/malware etc).

        Thanks for the suggestion! :)

    • Yachmenev says:

      You can. The only difference now is that he himself can’t send friend invites, but he can accept your friend invite.

      That is the only real practical implication, until he has added or spent the astronomical sum of $5 on his account.

    • Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      Well, if you trust your dad, you can give him your details over the phone or skype to enter and buy something for $5, assuming you trust Steam with your info. If you don’t want to do that, have him temporary change his password, then you log into his account, enter your details yourself, buy something, then press another payment option so that Steam forgets your details on his account and then he sets a password you don’t know on his account again.

      • Duoae says:

        Sounds doable but I’m dubious as to whether Steam would flag this as suspicious. I mean, I already have to log into steam via a special webpage because I live abroad! They don’t trust me otherwise!

  19. Fellhuhn says:

    They should raise it to $1000. That should prevent all the childish and evil spam.

  20. Unruly says:

    You know what would be just awesome? A way to keep the scammers from seeing my inventory and trying to friend me based on it!

    Oh wait, there is! And since I set my inventory to Friends Only or Private, I haven’t gotten a single spam/scam request. What a shocker!

    But what’s that you say? How are you supposed to trade with people you actually intend to trade with? Well, this may be something hard to grasp, but you could always friend them once you’ve determined them to be honest in their intentions, thus allowing them to bask in the glory of your hats. Then you just unfriend them when finished, and all is well in the world!

    • jrodman says:

      I made all my steam info friends only about 2 years ago, and was getting multiple spams a day. My friends list is 4 people who i know in real life.

  21. Voqar says:

    It’s $5 whole dollars. Why is the author making even any big deal about it. If you’re that cheap that you can’t even pony up $5 then you should have other priorities beyond gaming. In fact, $5 is so low that it may not discourage abusers.

  22. Emeraude says:

    @malkav11

    I can’t be more precise than my original statement: each to their faults.

    Blame the publishers for making use of the DRM solution.

    Blame the companies that deliver said solutions for doing it.

    In case it’s needed blames the legislators for not doing their job..

    And blame the people for not doing their part, especially when at the same time they’re complaining.

    Each to their faults.

    As for the difference between then and now: there was passive-aggressive resistance at least. People would pirate and patch. People would bitch Everyone was doing it.

    Nowadays it’s considered business as usual. The deed is done.

    • malkav11 says:

      People still pirate. People still complain about DRM. It makes as much difference as it has ever made. Which is to say pretty much zero.

      • Emeraude says:

        Except for paying customer who’ve lost the ability lo gift, lend or quite simply sell games.

        Oh and have to get permission to access their game after having paid for it.

  23. Widthwood says:

    Funny thing is, even retail boxed versions of CSS and Half Life 2 don’t count as spending money.

    Though I’m sure their system is able to deduce that account from 2005 is probably not a spammer…

  24. heartnotes says:

    I think this change is fine because there are a lot of good games you can get on Steam for $5 and it will cut out a good percentage of spammers/scammers.