Got a game that you want to sell on Steam? Well, Valve have revised their stance on Steam keys. Reads like a bunch of jargon when you go to that site, but thankfully SteamDB has a before-after list of the changes made to the document.

Key takeaways are as follows:

  • previously, you could request as many Steam keys for your game as you’d like. Now, you’re only allowed 5K, and when that number is reached, you’ll have to get in touch with Valve to see if they’ll offer any more
  • if you’re selling your game on say, Humble Bundle, you can’t give the customer a better deal there than on Steam itself. The Steam sale price has to be equal to or lower than the price on Humble (or any other place where you sell your game)
  • Valve seems to be cracking down on low-cost Steam key sellers: “If you request an extreme number of keys and you are not offering Steam customers a comparable deal, or if your sole business is selling Steam Keys and not offering value to Steam customers, your request may be denied and you may lose the privilege to request keys.”

So now the question arises…what’s going to happen when a game dev sells their game on Humble, and they’ve reached the 5K limit? Will Humble simply not be able to sell any more keys at that point, until the dev gets the OK from Valve to get more keys?

Seems like it’s going to impact both developers and consumers alike.

Also seems like it’s a way for Valve to ensure they get their 30% cut earlier on, by forcing developers to sell their game only on Steam after 5K keys have been sold. As Valve continues to remain the king of PC gaming, and likely always will be, they can get away with this. It’s disgusting, but I guess it’s a sign of the times.

WARNING: LGC will be shutting down March 7, 2024. See this post for more details.