Earlier in the decade, Valve’s store front, Steam, allowed people to purchase gift cards that would add funds to a users account to make purchases. It is a great way for gamers to add funds to their Steam wallet without attaching a credit card to their account. Ever since then, users have wanted to purchase these cards digitally as to supply funds to their friend’s accounts. Valve announced today on Steam that these wishes have become a reality.
Digital gift cards will work similarly as the physical cards do, and the physical cards will still be sold and operate the same way as well. Users can purchase these digital gift cards right now by going to the main store tab on the game client and clicking on the gift card option at the top left of the store page. There are gift card options for $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 respectively. Once you select your amount, you may simply select the recipient of the gift card, write a small message, and then pay to send off the money to your Steam friend. It has the basic system of the old Steam gifting options.
Since the changes to Steam’s gifting options were changed back in May of this year, users have not had the ability to simply “give” games to others; it evolved into a direct-exchange with another player. Now, a user can purchase the game as a gift and give the other user the option to accept or decline the game. If the user accepts the gift, it’s added to their Steam library. If they decline, the funds for the game are added back to the buyer’s account. These changes were made to combat Steam key websites, which do not always guarantee a working Steam key when purchased. These types of websites were able to have many copies of one game at once in their Steam inventory. Now that you have to directly choose who to gift games to before purchase, hoarding is no longer an option.
Although this also disrupted users who use this method to purchase game in countries where the base cost of a game is gouged, some hope that this update is a step in the right direction to help alleviate these troubles. Now, users who purchase the digital gift cards can essentially give other players the funds to buy their own games whenever they please. Others wish Valve would continue making strides to fix the still existing problems with Steam gifting, and these changes might not bring back saving games to hand out on Christmas, but users can at least hand out the funds to those who want to buy the games instead.
Digital gift cards are the perfect gift for any PC gamer with a wishlist full of strong upcoming titles, or they are for someone that does not have a set wishlist or one who prefers microtransactions and DLC.