Hot on the heels of Valve detailing its new customer support improvements, the company has now overhauled the Steam gifting system. The new changes completely do away with Steam's ability to store games in a user's inventory for later use, with Valve saying in its announcement that "Steam Gifting will now be a system of direct exchange from gift buyer to gift receiver."
The previous Steam gifting system transferred a declined gift straight into the buyer's inventory, where it could be gifted again or even traded with other users. But, from today, if a gift recipient declines a Steam gift or already happens to own its contents, the buyer will receive a full refund.
This change means that gifts can no longer be stored in a recipient's inventory either, removing some useful options such as re-gifting a received game. Be aware that gifts already present inside a user's inventory will remain functional as before, since the new changes are only applied to new gift purchases.
The gift to email option is also a casualty of the new changes, where now only users with a Steam account can receive gifts. In addition, when a Steam user tries to gift a game between countries with a large price difference due to regional pricing, its purchase will now be blocked on the checkout page itself to reduce any mishaps.
Meanwhile, gift scheduling has been improved, with users now being able to schedule a gift to arrive at a specified date and time, even months in advance.
All in all, the Steam community hasn't reacted well to the new gifting system, with the announcement's comment section and relevant Reddit posts highlighting a large amount of criticism regarding the changes.