How To Buy Games Cheaper on Steam, Blizzard Shop and Other Electronic Software Distribution Platforms
You have probably heard that a VPN can somehow help you save on games. But is it true, how is it done, and is it worth the bother? Well, we’ve tested the idea on Steam and Blizzard shop, and, spoiler alert, the results are tremendous. Keep on reading to see the process in details and use our handy price tables as a reference.
How it works
Many companies that use electronic software distribution method, including Steam and Blizzard shop, offer their products at different prices in different countries. It’s called regional pricing. It essentially boils down to adjusting a price of a product to local taxes and purchasing power of a population. From a consumer viewpoint, it means that if you live in a “richer” country, you’ll have to pay more for the same product than someone from a “poorer” country. Although potentially justifiable, once you know it, this fact can be very hard to put up with.
But then there is a loophole. Since online shops use your IP address to tell where you are connecting from, you can use a VPN to spoof it and thus pretend to access those shops from a different country. You’ll be offered games at prices respective to a country you chose to connect through.Steam GTA V pricing be like: $60 — you, $28 — Brazilians Click To Tweet
What we did
We browsed in Incognito mode, used KeepSolid VPN Unlimited to switch our IP addresses, and observed how Steam and Blizzard shop reacted to that. We found that the pricing principles differ between shops, so we’ll review each of them separately.
In the Steam case, the process is rather straightforward: you change your IP address, refresh the page, and see a new price each time. We’ve analyzed some of the most popular titles and included results in the table below. The USA prices are taken as a reference, green marks lowest prices.
Steam games price comparison by countries (using a VPN)
Blizzard site works a little bit differently. It has several shops, one for each region. Empirically, we’ve found that non-EU European countries like Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova get the games at their lowest prices. In order to be able to purchase the games at those prices, you first need to switch to the European shop; for that, go to the bottom of the page and select Europe. After that, connect to a VPN server in Ukraine, Belarus, or Moldova, and refresh the page.
Blizzard shop games price comparison (using a VPN)
Note: for your transactions to be processed, you might need to inform your credit card company of your intention to purchase from a foreign site.
And for illustrative purposes: imagine you wanted to purchase all the games we’ve tested at once. With KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, you could save a whopping buck: $164 (or 50%, on average) and $76 (or 31%) on Steam and Blizzard shop respectively.
By the way, you can try this same technique on other electronic software distribution platforms that sell internationally. What do you think about regional pricing? Is it fair, is it not? Let us know in the comments below!