Most of us have spent ungodly amounts of money purchasing games on Steam, but if you only use it to play free-to-play games, you might now be shut out from gaining full access to Valve’s gaming platform.
In an effort to combat people who make and discard free accounts for illegal activities like phishing, Valve has now instituted a restriction on accounts until they spend at least $5 with Steam. Among the features you’ll be locked out from include sending friend invites, participating in the Steam Market, voting on Greenlight games, and opening group chat. Activating a game on Steam that you purchased elsewhere or received as a gift will not remove these restrictions — you need to spend money directly with Steam.
Valve’s rationale for making this change is explained thusly:
Malicious users often operate in the community on accounts which have not spent any money, reducing the individual risk of performing the actions they do. One of the best pieces of information we can compare between regular users and malicious users are their spending habits as typically the accounts being used have no investment in their longevity.
Like I said, I’d imagine that just about every legitimate player using Steam meets the $5 requirement, but there will be outlier cases. Is this going to affect you?