Various reports point out that Valve has made some changes to the rules behind the trading of Steam keys. The new rules are designed to limit the quick re-sale of gifted Steam keys, as the company applies a 30-day wait before they can be sold on.
The updated rules, announced on Tuesday, are said to hinder the various key reselling businesses and clamp down on scammers who trade gifts that are purchased illegitimately and later withdrawn due to payment issues.
Steam key resellers and some rival retail sites have notoriously bought up game keys in bulk using fraudulent payment details. This affects reseller customers who snap up these keys on a discount, usually applied to ensure quick sale by the resellers. Then the 'innocent' end purchasers are left out of pocket if Valve fails to process the original payment resulting in the keys being revoked.
"All new games purchased as a gift and placed in the purchaser's inventory will be untradable for 30 days. The gift may still be gifted at any time. The only change is to trading," Valve clarified. "We've made this change to make trading gifts a better experience for those receiving the gifts. We're hoping this lowers the number of people who trade for a game only to have the game revoked later due to issues with the purchaser's payment method."
The rule should not affect those genuine key sellers currently operating in the market, but will bar re-seller websites who are looking to sell dodgy keys and should prevent many users from being scammed. The important thing to note here is that games may still be gifted at any time as the change only refers to trading games via the Steam trading system.
The Steam Black Friday sale is also due to kick off later today, so be sure to keep an eye out for bargains and discounted games.