Steam, the US-based online game platform giant, on Nov. 20 abandoned regional pricing in Turkey alongside 26 other countries and switched to dollar pricing for its products. The platform cited “exchange rate volatility in recent years” for the change.
The platform announced the change on Oct. 25 and officially abandoned regional pricing on Nov. 20. The wallet balances of Turkish users were converted to dollars using the exchange rate of 1 dollar = 28.79 Turkish lira.
Steam stated that the move was in response to the difficulties expressed by game developers with regard to fair pricing. The platform added that it experienced problems with payment methods because of “constant foreign exchange fluctuations, fees, taxes, and logistical issues” in these countries, and said that switching to dollar pricing would allow greater stability and consistency.
The switch came to the dismay of Turkish users of Steam, as the new pricing system meant significant increases in some prices. For example, one game previously priced 123 lira ($4) is now offered for $28.97, which amounts to 830 Turkish Lira.
Vice-chair of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Pınar Uzun Okan had blamed the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) monetary policy for Steam’s withdrawal.
"The AKP government once again commits to its mission of being a burden to young people even through these platforms. Games will become more expensive and cause financial hardship for gamers,” she said.
4.5 milyon Türk kullanıcısı olan oyun sektörü devi Steam, Türk Lirası ile oyun satışını platformundan yarın kaldırıyor. Milli para birimimiz ne yazık ki her kulvarda olduğu gibi oyun camiasında da saygınlığını yitirmiştir. AKP iktidarı gençlere yük olma misyonunu bu platformlar… https://t.co/Q8LyALUF5M— Pınar Uzun Okakın (@uzunpinar91) November 19, 2023
Steam currently has 4.5 million Turkish users. The platform started offering regional pricing in October 2014 with a fixed exchange rate of $1=1.5 liras. In 2022, the platform updated the rate to $1=10 liras.