Steam Users Restricted Unless They Pay? That’s Not Right

Thanks a lot all you spammers and phishers. Now look what you've done.
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Steam has introduced a new policy where users have to spend a minimum of $5 on games before they’re allowed to use certain features that include:

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  • Send friend invites
  • Open group chat
  • Gain Steam Profile Levels (Locked to level 0) and Trading Cards
  • Submit content on the Steam Workshop
  • Post in an item’s Steam Workshop Discussions
  • Access the Steam Web API
  • Use browser and mobile chat

These are some of the restrictions present amongst others. The new policy came in because of the spamming and phishing that go on in Steam. 

But What About Gamers who Only Play F2P?

Spamming and phishing are serious problems in any online community, none more so than the gaming community where trolls and immature fools are abundant. But this $5 restriction, although it is a small amount, seems somewhat unfair to gamers. 

Yes, you could argue that the gamers who strictly play free to play titles on Steam are on the minority, but let’s be real here and realise that even though they’re the minority, there are still quite a lot of them who play mostly free to play games. 

Heck, one of the most popular games in the world today is free to play. Of course, I’m referring to Dota 2

Every night I check on Steam, there’s always a consistent 500,000 players online. It’s fair to say that some of them are the type of gamers who strictly play Dota 2 only. It would be an annoyance if those players suddenly couldn’t invite their friends over to play or trade their hard-earned items in the Steam market.  

 What steam has essentially done with the implementation of this new policy is that they’re telling gamers: 

Hey, you want to play this F2P game with friends? PAY UP!

Although that statement is exaggerating it a little, I think you get the point. 

Where millions of gamers saw Steam as an official marketplace for video games that were indie, AAA, free to play, etc, it’s become a situation where you have to involuntarily/voluntarily pay a sort of “entrance fee”  to unlock certain features of the application. 

But can you really blame them? 

No, you can’t. 

Who we CAN blame are the spammers and phishers who brought about this new policy. Like I said before, spamming and phishing are very detrimental to a gaming community. They don’t provide any positive value to people and getting rid of them can be quite difficult. 

Sure, you could ban them, but the problem with that is it will just take too much time and effort to get rid of spammers. If you were the one behind the decision making for this move, you’d probably have done the same. 

So to sum this up…

In the end, we didn’t have a choice, really. This money gate was the best solution but it’s one that leaves a sour taste in gamer’s mouths. What do you guys think? was this the right move or was there something better Steam could’ve done to deal with spamming and phishing? Comment below! 

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Farrel Nobel
I've been playing games since I was small but only started to really observe and critique a few years back. Been writing reviews for games (albeit, old games because not everyone can have a crazy fast rig). When I'm not writing about games, I generally do some photography as well, so check that out if you've got some time.