Even though Steam regularly offers deals and sales for digital games, some people are not happy with the prices and head over to third party key sellers, for cheaper prices. It looks like Steam is not happy with these key sales from other regions, taking thousands of digital keys from poorer regions and selling them for a profit in the West.
To counteract this, Steam is now region locking some of the poorer regions, to make sure Western gamers pay the appropriate amount for the game. Region locking has been a controversial tactic before, the Wii U and Xbox One have both been slammed for using the technology. It can cause problems when moving countries and for people who travel often.
Steam is the largest distributor of PC games by a large margin, meaning when it makes a decision it affects the vast majority of PC gamers. The region locking decision may not affect so many people, considering it still allows Western players to move from country to country without issue.
It also allows Australian gamers, typically given higher prices for games, to move over to the U.S. market and pick up games cheaper. Valve is still allowing some leeway in the system for customers.
Steam continues to grow at a rapid rate, with over 100 million gamers signed-up and over 2.5 million concurrent users at any one time. The Steam Winter Sale is one of the biggest sales of the year, bringing in millions for developers and Valve.