Purchasing a hugely discounted game from a key reseller like G2A might be riskier than you think.
Well written and researched article, and even statements from those parties involved... Makes a change! On topic... I think it's a mistake for Ubi and other publishers to start deactivating the keys. It creates bad will. I've bought games through G2A and other key sites, and if they get deactivated I will not buy the game again from elsewhere. I also think Publishers are on rocky legal ground here. Quite a few countries are seriously looking in to things like the ownership of digital / intangible goods and services, so someone reselling a key may not be doing anything wrong in some regions.
I'm not enough of a legal wiz to have the legal side of things unfortunately, but I recall reading a decision in Europe that was related. It had to do with the distinction of how a game was sold, I'd have to find it specifically, something having to do with it either being or not being a license allowing people to resell the game. Although, this ruling was more for different forms of media, not quite video games. Either way, it's a crazy situation that you feel like something might not be right. I'm waiting to hear back from Devolver Digital tomorrow as I got a response that they're looking into it. And G2A gave me a quick statement, trying to see if I can get more out of them on their service as a whole. It's definitely unfortunate for consumers to be affected by this situation after purchasing a game and then having to go through the process of either getting a refund or their game back. Not to mention if they lose progress from their game. Thanks as far as the article being well written and researched, that was my goal. I just wish I can get even more known about the situation as a whole!
I know the article you're referring to, and I can't find it either! But I do recall thinking that it may have a big impact on services like Steam operating in Europe - maybe... one day... If we're lucky. Globally we need some big decisions made that are pro-consumer when it comes to intangible goods / services ownership and transfer of rights. Unfortunately it seems like every decision is anti-consumer and is dictated by those with money and influence. I recently saw that Google's policies on music through YouTube has totally screwed Indie music labels, and protected the big labels. So much for 'Do No Evil'! Imagine if you couldn't resell a book, loan it to a friend, or even give it away. And that the publisher could come to your house and take it away at any time. Why digital goods get ridiculous protections is beyond me - and basically boils down to Publishers and Corporations doing it 'because they can'.
The simple answer is, don't buy keys from shady sites. Stick with places like Steam, Amazon, Gamestop, and the legit bundle resellers like Humble Bundle. With websites like G2A, pcgamesupply, and others, you really don't know how they obtain their keys (and why they can sell them at such discounted prices). What if they are obtaining keys with stolen CCs, or laundered drug/terrorist money? Would you want to support those kinds of activities? I totally agree with publishers de-activating keys when they are obtained illegally. It is up to the purchaser, not the publisher, to make sure they deal with legitimate sources for keys. As a purchaser, you should know that if you buy from a shady site, you risk losing your money. The old adage usually holds true: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't a good "deal". Stay away from these shady sites!
I'm pretty sure it's known that a site like G2A buys keys in bulk, which explains their prices. The Marketplace is entirely different on the site, though, because that's not G2A itself but other people.
@ Roccetarius They don't just "buy keys in bulk", read the article. They buy keys from other regions (like Russia) to circumvent regional pricing policies, then resell those keys to higher-cost regions. They are taking advantage of these pricing differences, causing the publishers to lose money. Read this last part of the article: "Those furious about Ubisoft deactivating their codes don’t have Ubisoft to blame, they have G2A or the person they purchased their code from, using G2A. Buying a game on G2A is a risk as you don’t know where you’re actually purchasing it from. G2A isn’t the only key reseller out there, but it’s definitely one of the more known ones. Regardless of how well known the distributor is, its practices are shady and buying a game through them is a risk. Not a guarantee."
@superchiller So somewhere along this process the publisher got some money... Unless the keys really were stolen, which seems fairly unlikely. And yet the Publishers decide that the best way to tackle this 'problem' is to go after the end user rather than the site itself, or find a way to better protect their keys. Great! Punish the people who may have bought in good faith and had no clue G2A etc are not an authorised reseller. Where on G2A does it say they are not an authorised reseller to inform the customer? Where does it say on Amazon that if I buy a game from a third party it was obtained legally? How do I know when I buy a physical game that was traded in at a bricks and mortar store that it was obtained legitimately? Just because the goods are digital, all of a sudden Publishers start strong arming end users. Oh and I lol'd at the '...obtaining keys with laundered drug/terrorist money'. I didn't realise that you got a discount on purchases if you use drug and / or terrorist money!! Good to know, and thanks for the laugh.
I'm starting to wonder what exactly they stand to gain from deactivating the keys. I guess it serves as a warning to gamers who are considering buying Ubi games from anywhere except from Uplay (and obviously Steam and other legit key selling sites). I does worry me though as I'm hearing about people losing access to their Ubi games that they bought in a legit way (or came bundled with a GFX card).
A lot of people have looked at it like Ubisoft is deactivating keys because of a money situation. Which entirely can be one factor but I wouldn't consider that to be the only one. It's likely that they're deactivating them as a jab at G2A, but it's not enough to get them to change anything that's for sure. If people realize hey, any game I purchase from G2A is getting deactivated, they may slowly stop purchasing games from there. Which is unfortunate as you can get crazy discounts from resellers like G2A, but there is the chance of you getting screwed over either tomorrow or a year later. As far as the legit way, that's interesting, hadn't heard about that. If that's the case, that's definitely a problem.
It's pretty clear that Ubisoft are going for the plan of pissing off the end user to scare them off G2A, rather than tackle G2A etc directly... Probably because they know they wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on if they challenged them, and that it would cost them a fortune in legal fees. It's a scummy move.
I haven't supported Ubisoft for quite some time, but if they deactivate a key i bought, i certainly wouldn't use their overpriced and crappy service to put it mildly. Same goes for EA and other companies getting fantastic ideas. Regarding ownership of digital things, i think GOG is doing the right thing. Anything you buy from there can be downloaded and saved externally if you wish to do so. That way you can play the games, even if something happens to their service in the future.
G2A master race
Call me mad but I had to chuckle at that.
Hello, As a party mentioned in the article, we can add that we are doing all we can to ensure that all keys purchased on our Marketplace are obtained legally and will not result in any issues concerning the Buyers. Even if such a situation arises, we always offer the Shield protection that ensures help and resolution in case this happens. We never leave our Customers alone with such an issue. If you have any further questions or doubts, keep in mind that you can always find additional information on G2A's FAQ or by contacting us on live chat or ticket. Our consultants are there for you 24/7. See you again at G2A Peter G2A Team
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