Fraud Doesn’t Help Gaming At All
Videogame fraud isn’t your friend. And neither is any other type of fraud.
In a recent issue with Natural Selection 2.0, Unknown Worlds–the developers–had to ask Valve to deactivate 1,341 Steam keys for the game. Players who were once able to play the game were now told that they need to buy it again.
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All the money they spent on the game is wasted, and it’s because the channels were unofficial.
With videogame sales increasing wherever you look, one needs to keep vigilant of what the industry is doing and who is selling what. There’s a limited amount of trusted sites and applications, and those are the ones players should use.
In the case relating to Natural Selection 2.0, 1,342 keys were purchased with credit-cards where the card-holder initiated a ‘charge-back’, meaning the card-holder got the money spent back from the bank. This is a protection mechanism against fraud–however it also allows certain people to commit theft, and or fraud. It’s easy to catch these suckers, though.
The main issue with this is that Unknown Worlds sold the game 1,342 times, where once the chargeback was initiated, they lost roughly $30,000 in charge-back fees. Every time there’s a charge-back, the card issuer asks the supplier for money for this happening. It’s really unfair, and banks are the only ones who win.
This type of fraud is suspected to occur when a bunch of credit cards, or even just one, pays a whole lot of copies of a game. The fraudster then sells these games at a special price, as if it is legit, where you, the user, purchase it. You pay the illegitimate ‘seller’ who bags the money. The card-holder realises the fraud and cancels it.
The studio gets billed, you lose your money, the card-holder is frustrated and scared that his confidential information has been breached, and the fraudster walks away with money. Your money.
This doesn’t help anyone. So, next time you’re buying a game on special, look if it’s legit. Look if you can trust the source. The best place to buy things online are Steam, Origin, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network (once a questionable source, when breached) and other sites such as Humble Bundle. The more prominent the better. Then local retailers with online shops are somewhat safe too, because it’s generally easy to punish locals for acting maliciously–it’s international transactions which cause problems.
Sometimes a higher price is worth it.