Steam Cracking Down on Spam and Phishing with $5 Minimum Purchase

Steam has locked certain features from users who haven't spent $5.

Phishing and spam are becoming a real problem in the Steam community, and the digital games distributor is fighting back. 

Users must now spend at least $5 in the Steam store in order to access the following features: 

  • Sending friend invites
  • Opening group chat
  • Voting on Greenlight, Steam Reviews, and Workshop items
  • Participating in the Steam Market
  • Posting frequently in the Steam Discussions
  • Gaining Steam Profile Levels (Locked to level 0) and Trading Cards
  • Submitting content on the Steam Workshop
  • Posting in an item's Steam Workshop Discussions
  • Accessing the Steam Web API
  • Using browser and mobile chat

This isn't a ploy to get users to spend more money, however -- it is Steam's answer to the growing number of trolls on the platform. As stated on the Steam Support page: 

We've chosen to limit access to these features as a means of protecting our customers from those who abuse Steam for purposes such as spamming and phishing.

The networks data shows that when comparing regular and malicious users, the accounts being used for foul behavior often have no investment in the platform or its games. After all, why have a Steam account if not to play games? 

Many users are commending Steam for setting up the money gate, as they hope it will limit unwarranted negative reviews, among other things. However, as always, a loud few are calling for its immediate removal. Granted, some users have legitimate reasons for their disapproval, such as the fact that they only use the platform to play free games. 

Which side are you on?

Featured Contributor

Amaad Delmar is a senior double majoring in Game Design and Creative Writing (May 2015 graduate). He's an avid gamer, and narrative creationist. Amaad's favorite game is the best game ever made (whether you like it or not): The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Published Apr. 19th 2015
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    If you make it through a Steam sale without spending $5, you have nerves of steel.
  • Si_W
    Whilst Steam supports so many free to play games, this will always be an issue.

    I support the $5 minimum but a decent standards of behaviour policy and administration of that policy would be better albeit more expensive from Steam's perspective to police.
  • The Slow Gamer
    Yeah, this is a cheap way of dealing with scam accounts, rather than getting people to report them and then Steam staff investigating. It's a good move, but definitely not the only option.
  • amaadify
    Featured Contributor
    I agree, it's cheap, and will probably work. The amount of genuine users negatively affected by this is probably minimal. I mostly play free-to-play games on Steam but have definitely ended up buying a small game or two on the cheap--easily $5.

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