It’ll no longer be possible to purchase and stockpile certain Steam titles in your user inventory, according to new rules and restrictions published by Valve. Games that make use of either Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) or opt-in developer Game Bans can no longer be saved to the inventory for trading purposes.

VAC and Game Ban titles can, as of now, only be purchased for your own account or gifted immediately. If you “directly” gift a game to somebody else on Steam and they get a permanent ban, you will no longer be allowed to gift that particular title to anybody else.

This is Valve’s attempt to prevent a standard cheating strategy: purchasing a stockpile of games (probably during a sale) on one account, and gifting them out to other accounts as and when they get caught and banned. As a side-effect, it may also hinder any third party sites who use the Steam gifting system to distribute games.

“We’ve taken these steps to ensure the integrity of the multi-player experience for those participating in online gaming communities. We understand that the restrictions on buying to inventory may be inconvenient for some legitimate users, but we believe that these steps will reduce the number of cheaters you’ll play against,” Valve state in their post.

An obvious down side to this move is a restriction on legitimate ‘giveaway’ type events (as anybody hosting one of those now risks being unable to ever gift certain games ever again), and making it harder for general Steam game traders to operate.

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