Steam’s gifting system is changing. In a blog post today, Valve acknowledged that the process of sending someone a gift on Steam has had “a bunch of friction in it for a while.”
In an effort to make it easier to give gifts, Valve is adopting a more direct approach.
“Steam Gifting will now be a system of direct exchange from gift buyer to gift receiver, and we will be retiring the Gift to E-mail and Gift to Inventory options,” Valve said.
Users can buy a game “months in advance” and choose when it will be delivered. Valve says gifts will be delivered “on time, every time.”
As for declined gifts (you might decline a game you already have in your inventory), the new system lets you select “decline” and the purchase will be refunded directly to the buyer. Additionally, the updated gifting system now works across countries more easily. However, if there is a “large difference in pricing between countries,” gifting won’t work; you’ll be notified before checkout.
The new gifting system is available now. Any gifts already purchased are not affected.
Earlier this year, Steam reached 14 million concurrent users, setting a new record. The service has more than 125 million members.