Ubisoft Restore Games After Key Reseller Mess

The eagle represents... let's say key resellers? Ubisoft? Video games? I'm not very good at these satirical captions.

Ubisoft have returned Far Cry 4 and other games to the accounts of folks who’d unknowingly bought game keys from resellers selling a load obtained “using fraudulent credit card information.”

Cast your mind back to January, when Ubisoft up and removed games from people’s Uplay accounts without notice or warning, only explaining later that the keys were iffy, bought from Origin with wonky details. Ubisoft’s initial stance was that folks should seek a refund from the reseller who sold them the key, but they’ve changed their minds. Folks who activated their iffy key and had started playing now have their game back.

“After further investigation into the matter of keys that were fraudulently purchased on EA’s Origin store, we are reinstating keys for consumers who already had successfully activated and started playing the games,” Ubisoft told Game Informer yesterday. “Any remaining fraudulently obtained and resold keys have been deactivated.”

Ubi repeated their advice to only buy games from Uplay or “trusted retailers”. They don’t offer a list of quite who those retailers are, but I suspect folks can sense what might be iffy.

I understand Ubisoft are none too pleased about folks using dodgy keys, but silently pulling games from people’s libraries and not explaining it until a mass of complaints formed was a pretty unpleasant approach.

76 Comments

  1. melnificent says:

    They never did prove the keys were fraudulent. Just pr statements from ubisoft and ea.

    legitimate direct purchasers from ubi were also affected (check neogaf).

    It’s just posturing and flexing of muscle illegally so far.

    • SquareWheel says:

      And what do you want as proof, a police report?

      • melnificent says:

        Well I have a key, so maybe show the chain from them to the seller.

        As it stands they are saying whatever they feel like, like someone claiming £1,000 from everyone that looks at a sign they put up themselves.

        • aldo_14 says:

          Er, if it was bought using a stolen credit card the likelihood is you’d just get the name of the defrauded cardholder.

          Plus, they probably can’t track the keys. A key boils down to an alphanumeric string; all the data they have would be EAs logs for that specific key, and the name on and details of what turned out to be a stolen card.

          Moreso, what exactly would you expect? IP addresses? Emails? Names? D.O.Bs? If you think they’re (UBI) faking it already, what makes you think they can’t fake that?

      • MadMinstrel says:

        A report? Gosh, that’s just, like, the police’s opinion!

        I want fingerprints, DNA evidence and enhanced video footage of the crime!

      • All is Well says:

        Sorry if I’m misunderstanding something here, but why would a police report (or equivalent) be unreasonable to ask for? If, say, Ubi loses a bunch of keys because someone uses a stolen credit card to buy them and the transaction is reversed, wouldn’t it be proper to report this to the police? And wouldn’t this imply some sort of documentation of the event? I mean sure, it might be too much to ask for “proof” in the sense of irrefutable evidence, but not in the sense of some indication of what fraudulent activity has been committed and at what time – e.g. specification.

        • aldo_14 says:

          Because the person buying the stolen key wouldn’t be the victim. And if there was a police report, then I think that would need to be confidential until any legal process concluded or at least went to trial.

          • All is Well says:

            I don’t quite understand your first point there – I wasn’t trying to say that the end-user is a victim, rather that the entity that felt it had been defrauded would probably lodge some sort of complaint.

            Anyway, I think what made me question SquareWheel was that we (or at least you and I) are talking about different things – you (and probably s/he as well) meant “police report” as in the report the police make while investigating a case, i.e. a documentation of facts, evidence etc., whereas I was thinking of “police report” in the sense of a report filed to the police, i.e. some communication notifying the police of a crime. The first is (or should be) of course be confidential (but then why would anyone assume that’s what’s being asked for?), whereas the second one isn’t.

      • Dean478 says:

        A Police report would do, yes.

        EA did a similar thing to me with Origin. Removed a game without evidence. After 12 months and the Victoria Consumer Commission threatening them with a business tribunal for an illegal act, the game was reinstated.

        12 months. No evidence (very very illegal under Australian consumer law). And a huge support hotline cost. And a poorly written apology e-mail that didn’t even address my issue properly.

        I have not used Origin since. Didn’t even bother to finish the game they reinstated. I’m glad Ubisoft have been so swift to quickly assess each case individually and restore the games.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        I’d want more than a police report for a manufacturer to break into my house and take my TV because I bought it from a store which had actually stolen it from the manufacturer.

        I’d want a judgment of a court confirming that this is what in fact happened and confirming that the manufacturer has the legal right to do this (which they wouldn’t have, incidentally).

        Why is this behaviour suddenly ok when it’s a digital item?

        • Skrallex says:

          I guess because you don’t own the product, you simply have a license to use it which can, under certain circumstances that you should be aware of prior to purchasing said license, be revoked. Not saying I like this idea, but fineprint…

      • P.Funk says:

        Proof? Why should they provide proof when claiming malfeasance and follow on action to deprive a person of a product which they paid for?

        If you paid for a gym membership through a voucher you got from somewhere and they suddenly one day said “oh your pass is not valid, it was rescinded due to unspecified malfeasance” you’d damn well expect some explanation beyond vague statements that do not nail down the reason.

        Everyone jumps to the conclusion that its a stolen credit card but my impression was that it was more likely someone providing false billing details with a credit card in order to buy under a specific regional price tag. Hardly the same as outright stolen goods is it? Unless someone can show me where Ubi said otherwise.

        They likely didn’t want to be specific to that degree because people would be very upset that they’re being put out of pocket for that reason. Maybe they have no reason to be upset, but they do ahve a reason to expect the explanation.

        Only in digital distribution of software would you ever see this kind of take back from a company. Only in digital consumerism would you see people defending the exclusion of a basic consumer right thats taken for granted in any other sphere.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Let me translate this post for the readers:

      “I won’t stop buying games from G2A and others given their incredibly good deals, and i won’t ever stop trying to convince you ( but most importantly myself ) that such too-good-to-be-true scenarios have nothing weird going on and are just the by-product of a saintly reseller that loves it’s customers, unlike other so called respectable ( pah! ) outlets that are nothing more than a big conspirational evil lobby.

      My personal cheapness and greed has nothing to do with my opinion at all and it may or may not play nice with my moral compass in the assumption that i’m still better than a pirate, because the damn pesky criminals don’t pay anything at all while i DO actually pay something, disregarding the fact that i’m financing a money laundering operation. BUT THAT’S DETAILS.”

      There.

      • JSoi says:

        I hardly think 20€ for a new(ish) game is a deal too good to be true. I bought Dragon Age Inquisition from Ukrainian Uplay a week after its launch for 20€. Didn’t see anyone crying foul back then.

        Anyway I’m glad I got my game back, but probably won’t buy anything from Ubisoft again – unless it turns up on GOG.

      • melnificent says:

        More like I follow eu law on selling rights and can provide a trail that shows I purchased in good faith. If you want to say the key is dodgy in some way then please provide the proof. Until that point posturing and pr statements amount to nothing.

        Also if your terms and conditions say that you will inform people if you remove games from their libraries, then inform them. Don’t do it on the sly and hope no one notices, somebody always notices.

      • Lachlan1 says:

        You realise you’re commenting on a site that advertises G2A…..and before you say the ads are organised by someone else apply your argument about looking into it first :)

    • AngoraFish says:

      I’m still waiting for ubisoft to actually use words like ‘illegal’ and ‘stolen’, however I suspect that ubisoft’s definition of ‘fraud’ might not be quite the same as one a court might come up with if a court was actually given an opportunity to make a determination on the issue.

      No doubt, however, ubisoft is absolutely thrilled at all the white knights jumping to their defense and making all sorts of extreme inferences from ubisoft’s own carefully chosen double-speak.

  2. WiggumEsquilax says:

    So what happens to the people who activated their keys, installed the game, but had not yet started playing? Because the corollary of your article seems to be thousands of gamers who won’t again be buying a Ubisoft product.

    Ever.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      After all i’ve read and heard on this, I think that is on them, not Ubisoft. Sure, Ubisoft could’ve handled things differently, but if those are fraudulent keys and if people buy those from key resellers I’d say they only have themselves to blame.

      • Kingmarzo says:

        Only themselves to blame? Nice attitude. CJS Keys was one of those resellers and they were winners of Lloyds TSB Enterprise award not so long ago so its not really fair saying buyers are to blame.

        • stvornikus says:

          So what if business received some award. Key resellers are shady, and if you buy from shady people you might get burned.

          I still don’t get how people can defend resellers that sell key that were bought using stolen CC.

          Essentially you are condoning CC theft.

          • mejoff says:

            Where does it say they wee bought with a stolen credit card? Nowhere. Ubi’s definition of fraudulent will be significantly different from any legal code’s, trut me.

            Awards like that don’t get given to shady credit card fraud outfits, they get given to businesses that the bank has checked out and been impressed with. The bank will actually suffer if it is seen to be giving awards to illicit business. so it’s a pretty good indication that they will have inspected thoroughly and not found anything wanting.

    • airmikee99 says:

      Considering that three years ago Ubisoft CEO, Yves Guillemot, said that 95% of PC gamers playing Ubi games have pirated the games, PC gamers that still buy Ubi products pretty much deserve exactly what they get.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Yep, now even more messy. What constitutes “started playing?” and what about people who did what Ubi said, and got refunds from the re-sellers, who now have keys that work again? The re-sellers then have to somehow re-charge the customers they refunded?

    • shutter says:

      Given that these are people who bought stolen property from a dodgy reseller, it seems a bit of a stretch to assume they were buying any Ubisoft products in the first place.

      • P.Funk says:

        Has this been confirmed? Last I read it wasn’t confirmed as stolen credit cards.

        • El_Emmental says:

          It’s attached to the birth certificate of you know who and the death certificate of you know wot.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    The eagle represents “Ah, i got you in my sight*… huh, wha* AUGHMYEYES!”.

    • pepperfez says:

      “DEBT.” The eagle, like all inexplicable objects in satirical cartoons, represents “DEBT.”

  4. Sakkura says:

    Well done Ubisoft. The people who obtain keys by fraud are the ones that should be targeted, not the people who pay real money for real keys (that happen to have been obtained by fraud).

    I suspect this is an exception they’re making for PR reasons though.

    • Rizlar says:

      Yeah, clearly this is a PR thing, an attempt to reconcile the bad publicity they got from cancelling keys.

      But in principle it seems a bit wrong to be returning to customers their resold, fraudulently obtained goods. Hopefully those ‘folks who’d unknowingly bought game keys from dodgy resellers’ are now a bit more wary. And hopefully publishers continue to cancel fraudulently obtained keys.

      • stvornikus says:

        I agree that it feels wrong, because it sends wrong message.

        It could lead to even more people will buy keys at shady resselers, and even more people who steal CC info will supply stolen keys.

  5. Emeraude says:

    A sensible attempt at trying to mitigate things with a gesture of goodwill. The missing list of “trusted retailers” remains a glaring mistake they should probably address if they don’t want the thing to become cyclical. Not to mention a tightening of the delivery and management of keys on their end.

    Still, I think the harm is done for many consumers… it’s not wise to make your customers understand that you kept to yourself the power to take everything from them, and you will use it , because you can.

    • All is Well says:

      Yeah, forseeability is like, a basic measure of how reasonable (and effective) any system of principles or practices is. Withdrawing keys isn’t going to be an effective deterrent if people don’t know where they ought to buy from (people might have some idea, of course, but there’s bound to be some confusing cases). Restoring the keys is doubly confusing in this sense, because suddenly it’s okay again to buy keys from dodgy retailers, if you manage to activate them? Now I, as a consumer, don’t really know what’s safe to do. Not that I’m likely to buy a Ubisoft game, mind, but still.

    • Awesomeclaw says:

      It’s not really an issue of key management though. Ubisoft (say that they) sold some keys to Origin. Those keys were then bought by stolen credit cards. Those keys were then sold on grey market sites. The credit card company then woke up and took the money back from origin, who then took it back from Ubi. If any other consumer product had been bought in a similar way, you wouldn’t be surprised if it was confiscated.

      • Deano2099 says:

        If that’s right, then it’s not quite as you say. The legitimate sale was from Ubisoft to Origin. That’s not disputed. Someone then made fraudulent purchases from Origin. I don’t see how Origin could “take the money back”. If your physical goods get nicked from your warehouse, you can just say “that’s a shame” and take the money back from your supplier!

      • airmikee99 says:

        Do you honestly think there’s a way for a retailer to confiscate a physical good that I’ve already taken home? If Wal-Mart found out that they purchased hot Sony products from a third party salesman that had stole them from Sony, do you think it’s even possible for Wal-Mart to get those products back from the people that bought them? Do you really think that Wal-Mart would even publicly admit they were victimized in such a way?

        • Emeraude says:

          That’s the crux of the issue though isn’t it ? If a consumer buys from a store goods that are actually second hand stolen from another, the issue is to be solved between the two stores and justice. No one bothers the consumers.

          Here, as holders of a service infrastructure trying to replace consumers goods, Ubisoft sends the message that it can and will just cut their loss at the expense of their customers. And the customers don’t care about the details of it, what they see is that the proposition is worse for them. And why would they want worse ?

          So again, sensible gesture. The issue is that this is still a “I am altering the deal. Pray I do not alter it any further” situation.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            What? If you buy goods from a store that are actually stolen. then the police most certainly do bother you to get those stolen good back and returned to the rightful owner. Nowhere in the world do police allow you to keep stolen goods.

          • airmikee99 says:

            RE: emeraude

            I couldn’t agree more. I’d already stopped buying Ubisoft games after I found out I’m in the 5% of PC gamers that actually paid for their Ubisoft games, but if I were ever to consider it in the future, this would stop me cold.

            RE: stupid_mcgee

            In counterfeiting busts law enforcement will seize any illegal products they find on hand when they make a bust, but you’re incredibly naïve if you think they track down individual purchasers after the fact to seize those items as well. In bootlegging operations they will go after the smugglers and complicit shop owners that sold the smokes, but if you think any law enforcement agency in the nation has the ability, manpower, or budget to track down individual purchasers of those illegal cigarettes you haven’t got a clue about how law enforcement actually works.

          • TheMightyEthan says:

            @stupid_mcgee:

            Under US law if you buy something in good faith and in the ordinary course of business (i.e. in the typical fashion you might expect to buy that thing) you are what is known as a “bona fide purchaser”, and you become the actual, rightful legal owner of that product, regardless of how the seller obtained it. The police can’t confiscate it from you because you actually own it. If the product had previously been stolen from someone else then they can try to recover the value of the item from whoever stole it from them, but they can’t actually get the thing itself back.

        • Premium User Badge

          DelrueOfDetroit says:

          You don’t leave Wal-mart with a thread leading back to the store attached to your item.

          • airmikee99 says:

            That’s exactly why I was refuting the claim of “If any other consumer product had been bought in a similar way, you wouldn’t be surprised if it was confiscated.”

            Very few other consumer products carry such strings leading back to the creator. Digital content is different in that we don’t actually buy the game to play it, we buy a license to play the game, giving the creators some control over their creation.

    • Vandelay says:

      The fact that the trusted retailer list is still missing after people have repeatedly asked for it suggests that there is no such list and it is a load of bollocks.

      Of course, buyers should probably be suspicious of buying from random people on an online key marketplace, in the same way they would not have trusted someone at a marketstall selling games in blank CD cases out of a cardboard box 10 years ago, but I don’t see why the likes of Simply CD Keys should not be trusted.

      • airmikee99 says:

        On the main page of Simply CD Keys, they’re selling a 10 Euro Xbox gift card for 8.99 Euros. Gamestop, Wal-Mart, and Microsoft themselves all sell Xbox gift cards for the exact face value of the card. Now how is it that some rinky dink website can sell them for less? Are Xbox gift cards popular enough to be a loss leader? Do legitimate retailers have WHOIS info hidden from the public?

        “Registrant Name: Identity Protection Service
        Registrant Organization: Identity Protect Limited
        Registrant Street: PO Box 795
        Registrant City: Godalming
        Registrant State/Province: Surrey
        Registrant Postal Code: GU7 9GA
        Registrant Country: GB
        Registrant Phone: +44.1483307527
        Registrant Phone Ext:
        Registrant Fax: +44.1483304031
        Registrant Fax Ext:”

        ^^Yeah, that’s a retailer I’m going to trust.

        • Emeraude says:

          Gamestop, Wal-Mart, and Microsoft themselves all sell Xbox gift cards for the exact face value of the card.

          They do go on sale and are sold for far cheaper at retailers. Hell, a local supermarket sold some less than a fourth of the price.

          • airmikee99 says:

            But sales are temporary, not the every day price. They’re either treating them as a loss leader, hoping that people will buy tons of other stuff while they’re gobbling up discount Xbox cards, or they’re simply buying the cards from legit retailers sales and then marking the prices up hoping to find a sucker that can’t wait for a legit retailer to have a sale.

          • P.Funk says:

            Or they acquired them on sale for less than face value and are able to resell them at a higher price thats still lower than face value?

        • Moraven says:

          Target all the time has iTunes and Xbox cards on sale.

      • JB says:

        I too suspect that the list is more a state of mind than a physical thing.

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Given that G2A is a marketplace, does it fall under the category of a “retailer?” Is it possible they are being overly unassertive in saying, “Don’t buy second-hand keys.”

        Do any of these to-good-to-be-true sites actually claim to be retailers?

  6. Jimbo says:

    Even Ubisoft must have known the backlash was inevitable, so I’m not 100% certain this move is about PR. I suspect they may have belatedly realised that they aren’t legally allowed to just revoke keys en masse because some *might* have been obtained illegally.

    Re-selling software isn’t illegal in the EU. Ubisoft disabling that software because they don’t like key re-selling might have been.

    • shutter says:

      It’s less ‘might have been obtained illegally’ and more ‘were definitely obtained illegally’. It’s a unique product key, so it’s pretty easy to connect where it came from to the end user that registered it, even if it’s not possible to track all the steps in between.

      • AngoraFish says:

        I keep hearing words like ‘illegal’ and stolen’ tossed around casually in these forums, yet ubisoft itself has not used either of those terms. This suggests, not unreasonably, that ubisoft’s definition of ‘fraud’ might not be quite the same definition as one a court might come up with if actually given an opportunity to make a determination on the issue. ‘Fraud’ might just mean that someone entered a Russian street address when buying keys, even though they really lived in Birmingham.

        • airmikee99 says:

          Even if the ‘fraud’ were as simple as entering in a false address, that’s still ‘illegal’ and the goods can then be considered ‘stolen’. You’re welcome to check the legal definitions of ‘theft’ and ‘fraud’. Here’s Ohio, for example: link to codes.ohio.gov Notice the many mentions of ‘computers’ throughout the definitions. If you can read a statute like that and come away thinking that falsifying an address in order to obtain goods at an artificially lower price due to a nations economic downturn, then you don’t understand the law well enough to comment upon it on the internet.

          • AngoraFish says:

            It’s pretty simple: contractual disputes are not theft. A great many omissions and misrepresentations, both deliberate and inadvertent, are held by courts to be insufficiently material even to justify voiding the terms of a contract. Money changed hands, both parties had a duty to assure themselves of the bonafides of the other party and took such steps to verify those bonafides as they considered reasonable, case closed. Buyer beware works both ways. Of course, it’s possible that the law in Ohio is different, and the US is notorious for its weak consumer protection, but it’s largely irrelevant since Ubisoft are based in France, not Ohio.

    • El_Emmental says:

      “Re-selling software isn’t illegal in the EU.”

      Re-selling software is illegal in the EU. You simply read a very shortened, simplified and misleading report on the CJEU ruling regarding Oracle (US company), that invalidated – in that case – some terms in that B2B license contract, on the ground that the license had an indefinite length in time, and therefore could be considered a “sale” (instead of a license).

      That very controversial decision was only based on the way the B2B sector works: a company cannot keep a control over another company for an indefinite amount of time (unless the controlling company owns the controlled one). The goal is to prevent a company from jeopardizing the business profitability and ability to adapt of another – the worse case scenario would be a stronger company taking another (smaller) one hostage, forcing it to pay up or sell its shares (at a lower price) to be allowed to change its business model/activity (something that is often necessary to simply survive).

      In the case of that ruling, it means Oracle can not remain in control of all the companies using its softwares, by preventing them from moving to another sector or branch of activity. The idea is that a company should be able to move from activity A, then if that sector is slowing down or another sector is booming, move to sector Abis or B (with an affordable transfer cost). That means selling the machines, laying off the people who aren’t needed for that new activity, moving to a new area, and – according to that exclusive ruling (no repeat so far) – also including the licenses in the package. That’s the only thing that ruling said.

      That problem of changing activity is also a problem of scalability of a global rule regarding business mobility: a larger company will be able to transfer the assets it no longer wants to a smaller independent branch (or move all its other assets to a new one), then sell/transfer (partially or fully) it to another company/group. Meanwhile, a smaller company will have a much harder time doing that because of the cost and expertise involved in reorganizing an entire activity and negotiating with another company/group for the transaction. That ruling is trying to establish rules allowing small-medium company to be as flexible and mobile as the bigger ones.

      I would recommend avoiding global or gaming news websites when it comes to reporting on court rulings, the topic is much harder to decipher and analyze than what media make it look like.

      “Ubisoft disabling that software because they don’t like key re-selling might have been.”

      Keys that were stolen or acquired with stolen credit cards are not legally resellable. The new owner might be legally excused depending on the legislation ruling the purchase – it can go from “not knowing the goods were stolen” to “not having a reasonable amount of signs indicating the goods could be stolen”. The purchase is still illegal.

      If the price is around 70%-90% of the normal price, the seller seems professional, and the availability of products is regular, it seems likely the consumer *can* be considered of good faith by most courts.

      If there is no clear credible explanation in the case of an irregular supply or much lower price, while the seller is not registered anywhere or only registered in countries known for delaying or flat out blocking legal proceedings, then it seems likely the court will be much harder to convince that the consumer never suspected something was wrong.

      In this situation:
      1) Ubisoft disabled keys that were acquired on Origin using stolen CC information.
      2) G2A is well-known (it’s been going on for years) for acquiring keys from any kind of sources, without ever verifying if their supplier (some are regular business partners) is a criminal. Several people reported their stolen CC informations were used to purchase keys on the asian market, then sold to G2A (who gladly provided their money laundering services in exchange of much cheaper keys), effectively blocking any attempt at recovering the money (now lost by the victim and/or the bank depending on their CC fraud insurance). Why the blocking? See 3).
      3) G2A are based in Honk Kong, one of the very few countries/states known for being a huge counterfeiting marketplaces, reinforced by the legal cover provided by the corrupt justice system there. It’s extremely difficult to sue a company located there.
      4) The latest batch of keys they’re selling on the front page are priced at 25% to 30% of the standard market price.

      That’s exactly like buying an iPad Air 2 from a known fence, at the back of a truck in a criminality-ridden area, for only 90 quids when the product is priced at 350 quids in all stores. Pretending there was nothing shady going on in the deal is terrible bad faith and no court will ever believe someone saying they had no idea these were stolen goods.

      Footnote: to the people who are proudly saying “That’s it! I’m not buying a Ubisoft product again! I’m done with them!”, your decision actually doesn’t really matter.

      The money you put into these irregular keys never went to the developers. It went to the hackers stealing CC informations, to the key resellers’ pockets, to the people exploiting the hardware promotional offers – all the people who participate in that key reselling market.

      Very little money actually reached the rights-holders, who then still had to cover the bandwidth cost (for distributing the games attached to these keys), the support for all these additional users, and – last but not least – the cost of tracking down each illegal transactions, identifying the keys, and refunding the money to the banks. Several indie developers suffered from that, having to cover five-figures bills from their own

      • Jimbo says:

        Do you have the longer version clarifying that it would only apply to those very, very specific circumstances then? Because every report I can find on it interpreted it unambiguously as the ECJ clarifying that licensed software sold without a time limit amounts to a sale, and that it should be treated as such re exhaustion doctrine. I don’t see why this logic would only be applied to one specific form of software but not to others, unless they specifically said so. It would seem somewhat unfortunate if all of these reports from the time interpreted the ruling to mean the exact opposite of what the court intended it to mean. Perhaps it’s been clarified or revised since then.

        Personally, I think Ubisoft’s ‘upon further investigation we decided to backtrack as fast as we possibly could’ stance speaks volumes, but I suppose we all see things differently.

  7. Dale Winton says:

    I got my ACU key back , thanks UBI.

    Green light to keep buying them off random blokes from Turkey. At least people are shopping around for keys rather than pirating their games

    • El_Emmental says:

      Most of these keys cost more money to publishers/developers than it actually gives to them – the people selling these keys acquired them in bulk through illegal or non-legit ways, with no money in the system actually reaching the rightsholders (who have to cover the cost of tracking down these transactions and refunding the victims/banks).

      Piracy is a much better choice, really.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Precisely.

        A pirate is not something i’d suggest people to be, but at least you’re skipping the “financing criminal activities” part. Oh, and you’re also saving money.

  8. stupid_mcgee says:

    “I understand Ubisoft are none too pleased about folks using dodgy keys, but silently pulling games from people’s libraries and not explaining it until a mass of complaints formed was a pretty unpleasant approach.”

    Hey, where did my game go that I bought from a shady-as-hell reseller?

    If you honestly can’t put two and two together in such a situation, then you have more problems than just your game being pulled from your library.

  9. montorsi says:

    I got my Far Cry 4 Season Pass returned to me, so all’s well I suppose. The whole situation feels shitty, though. As far as the “HURR DURR SHADY DEALER DERPADERP” nonsense, literally one key out of dozens I’ve bought from G2A was deemed suspect, so feel free to stuff it.

    • airmikee99 says:

      You think 1 suspect purchase out of “dozens” shows they’re not shady?

      I’ve got 300+ games between Steam, Origin, Gog and physical discs purchased from stores, and ZERO of them have been suspect purchases.

      1 of “dozens” being suspect is actually evidence they’re shady, especially compared to 0 in 300 at legitimate stores.

      g2a’s WHOIS info is actually available. Go ahead and find their physical address, plug it into google, and look at how many strange businesses share the exact same address, go to Street View and tell me you’d go into that building to buy a video game from a company located there. Do a google search on the owners name, and find out he is a self proclaimed “expert in the field of Psychology of Achievement, Effective Communication and Effective Management.” Why does the owner of the company have a page full of mentions of his successful, legitimate companies, and g2a has no mention anywhere on his own personal website? He even directly mentions Anthony Robbins being one of his own trainers. People that sell speeches and tapes of their speeches at the Airport Ramada conference room B aren’t the kind of people I would ever entrust with my credit card information for video game purchases. You may be different, but I’m guessing that’s because you didn’t research who you’re giving your credit card information to for video game purchases.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        In most cases, I am sure people do not typically look up such details about a retailer or e-tailer prior to making a purchase.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          They don’t, no, but if they clearly see ( and they do ) that something smells funky in there given all the prices on the last super blockbuster that just got released yesterday, and such prices happen all the time, they should surely ask some questions.

          Ultimately this is a case of overstretching the meaning of good faith, and i’m willing to bet a fair share of cash that many people defending such businesses are just trying to get some self validation.

          • SanguineAngel says:

            Hrm, I guess I just disagree with you: I can easily see how shoppers might purchase in good faith. Not you or I perhaps; we clearly spend enough time listening to the news here and presumably elsewhere to have an understanding of the issues surrounding these sites. But there are plenty of people buying games in a bubble with no concept of industry news, never heard of gamergate, for example, or key re-selling specifically. They just see a reasonably priced game on a lesser known site. They probably found it through google shopping and google would give them a bum steer, surely?

            And if some customers are buying in good faith, I think you have to apply the reasoning across the board and instead of punishing these customers go after the parties who perpetrated the crime.

          • El_Emmental says:

            Exactly, G2A has AAA titles priced at 25% to 30% of their prices, for no legitimate reason at all: no sale is currently going on, the product were just released, that price never showed up on any other distributors’ platforms.

            There’s a minimum amount of responsibility and awareness that we should expect from a consumer – a shady shop selling you something for a fourth of its current price is clearly suspicious. Pretending that everything is perfectly fine is just bad faith.

          • SanguineAngel says:

            Well, displaying just how easy it is to be ill-informed: I was under the impression that it was not just games sold through G2A that were de-activated but also by other vendors and even some freebies from Nvidia.

            In my very limited experience some sites appear vastly less legitimate than others while many sites who participate in key-reselling sell games at closer to 60 – 90% on the RRP. Some are harder to spot than others.

            If this whole thing is limited to G2A then I have less to say on the matter as I believe that site operates in a strange way to begin with, so I apologise for sticking my nose in

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            A couple freebies and other isolated cases here and there might be explained by some trigger happyness or in general some false positives that came up with their own method of tracking the various keys.

            Ultimately i wouldn’t be surprised if Ubi pulled back their “attack” just because they damaged other perfectly legit sources which opened some extra unwanted cans of worms.

      • Lachlan1 says:

        Should I not trust RPS then? They have ads for G2A running here

  10. Lachlan1 says:

    “They don’t offer a list of quite who those retailers are, but I suspect folks can sense what might be iffy.” I get ads for G2A on RPS………………