On 10 November 2015, Steam’s prices for South African users will no longer be displayed in US dollars, but instead in South African rands. This change has been a long time coming, with the inklings of local currency support popping up earlier this year in a Steam beta update that had support for local currency built-in, but not active. This will surely change a lot of the deals and prices we pay for games currently, but unless Valve is up to the task of setting finite prices for games for our local economy, it might just be a straight currency conversion.
My thanks goes out to NAG forumite and personal friend Jeronkey, who sent me the mail (I’m not sure why I didn’t get it). The details are fairly straightforward – all prices will now be reflected in rands and your current balance in your Steam wallet will be converted using the currency values as they stand on 10 November.
But while this is a welcome change for some users who would now be able to buy games using debit cards (that functionality exists for Steam users in other countries where the currency reflects locally), there are other changes that you need to be aware of. Because Steam’s prices will be reflected in rands, that also means that we’ll see another change already made in territories across the globe – games purchased on Steam will be region limited. In addition, buying games from sites like Green Man Gaming or G2A might not work after the switch, because those are Steam keys for accounts made in the US.
If you have friends overseas buying games for you, they might also want to gift those to you before the switch happens, or just top up your Steam wallet instead, because gifting games between countries is no longer allowed according to Valve’s terms and conditions.
Still. Yay, Steam will use local currency! We’ll be sure to keep an eye on pricing before and after the switch to see how things change, if at all.