Valve’s Steam Deck Giveaway Is Already Experiencing Issues

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(Image: Valve)Valve has some pretty grandiose ideas for spicing up this year’s Game Awards. On Wednesday the company tweeted that it would be giving away a Steam Deck every minute of the event. Considering the Game Awards is typically a two-to-three-hour affair, that’s anywhere from 120 to 180 Steam Decks…except we’re a week out from the event, and Valve is already experiencing some hiccups.

The giveaway is supposed to be simple: If you live in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or European Union, you should be able to participate. All it takes to sign up is logging into Steam and navigating to the “Deck Drop” page. Click a big blue button to register, and that’s it—until the actual Game Awards, when you’ll need to tune in via Steam.tv.

In reality, things don’t appear to be that easy. Mere minutes after Valve’s announcement, people began reporting issues with the giveaway’s registration process. Multiple Twitter users responded to Valve’s tweet with screenshots alleging they didn’t reside within a participation-eligible region despite living in the United States. One of the giveaways’ registration requirements is having made a Steam purchase between Nov. 14, 2021, and Nove. 14, 2022, to validate one’s account and country of residence, which some hopeful participants may have missed, although it’s unlikely everyone who’s complaining online has refrained from buying a game through that window.

Those who haven’t been able to sign up for the giveaway can still get the exclusive Steam Pal digital sticker made for the event, according to multiple screenshots. It’s obvious, however, that the (admittedly adorable) dancing Steam Pal isn’t what folks are storming Steam for. Valve isn’t just giving away a Steam Deck per minute—it’s giving away a 512GB NVMe SSD Steam Deck, the most powerful (and expensive) of Valve’s handheld consoles. Although the entry-level and mid-tier Steam Decks became available for purchase without reservations in October, the 512GB version was reservation-only up until very recently, which only added to its perceived exclusivity. It’s only fair that, given the chance to get one of those premium editions for free, people are upset that a simple registration page isn’t working.

Valve responded to Twitter users’ distress Wednesday evening by saying it had fixed a few issues with the registration process. Still, people are reporting that they haven’t been able to sign up for the giveaway despite living in Arizona, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and other parts of the US. Some Steam users have reported fixing the issue by closing Steam and reopening the registration page via the link Valve tweeted out, but as of this writing, others still haven’t been able to sign up.

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