Valve’s apparently updated its account policies to allow banned players to access their games. Previously, users who had been banned from their Steam account were locked out from playing their games, bringing up complaints about Steam’s DRM.
Valve’s change in policy was quietly implemented, according to a recent forum post by Steam forums Volunteer Moderator Heffebaycay, about two months ago. Heffebaycay’s response spawned out of a thread regarding EA’s recent policy change also allowing banned players to access their game.
Under the new policy, banned Steam members no longer have their accounts disabled but now have “account locking” set, meaning that while they’re able to access their games, they will be unable to buy games, redeem codes, or trade items.