submitted 11 months ago by [email protected] to c/games

What are your thoughts on steam key sites? have you even bought a key from sites like g2a? are they a scam or are they cool, also do you have a story to share about steam keys.

i was planning on getting a mystery pack from g2a or whatever its called but im not sure if its a scam or not.

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[-] [email protected] 94 points 11 months ago

It has been said by many indie developers many times that purchasing games through key resellers is objectively more harmful for the developers than piracy entirely.

Key resellers tend to buy keys in bulk using credit cards. When the bank reports the card stolen, steam issues refunds. The developer of the game is responsible for these charge backs, not the storefront.

Basically, if you buy games from key resellers not only are you not giving developers money that they deserve, but you're literally taking it out of their pockets. Do not buy from key resellers, pirate instead.

Source via BBC News

[-] Bazzatron 49 points 11 months ago

Okay, noted, buy all my Ubisoft and EA games through G2A etc 😂

[-] [email protected] 11 points 11 months ago

you have 300 IQ over here

[-] Crow 3 points 11 months ago

This is a great idea. Now only if they made any games I actually want to own…

[-] Tanoh 34 points 11 months ago

Yes, look at this blog post from Factorio team, it is a few years old by now but still valid


They start talking about G2A about half way through the post. Basically they much rather see you pirate the game than buy it through G2A

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[-] [email protected] 3 points 10 months ago

As a former indie dev, you also get innundated with scams. At least a couple of emails a day pretending to be moderately famous YouTubers or gaming sites.

It was a huge time sink to verify them but we couldn't just ignore them occasionally one of them was a moderately famous YouTuber.

It was a shitty feeling. If you can't afford the game, pirate it.

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[-] gk99 31 points 11 months ago

G2A sells sketchy stolen keys, so does Kinguin. I've never had an issue buying from them, but plenty of other people have.

There are plenty of reputable sites though. When I'm looking for a game on sale, I go to IsThereAnyDeal.com and all the sites they list are legit.

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[-] dhamster 28 points 11 months ago

As a small game dev, I can tell you that I get a lot of emails from people impersonating content creators requesting keys for "review." They then turn around and sell those keys on sites like Kinguin to make a quick buck. If you buy from key reseller sites, that's who you are supporting. Developers don't see a cent.

[-] [email protected] 27 points 11 months ago* (last edited 11 months ago)

No, they are not legit.

Sometimes the keys they sell work, sometimes they don't, and sometimes they start out working but later get revoked. But more importantly...

They are even worse for the developers than pirating the games:

It is better to wait for a Steam/GOG/Humble sale. Price tracking sites like this one can be helpful:


[-] [email protected] 23 points 11 months ago

Some are legit, some are scams.

As a rule of thumb, of it is featured in isthereanydeal.com , then they're safe

[-] suzyq 21 points 11 months ago

I've only ever used Humble Bundle to buy steam games not on steam itself. I haven't had a single steam key issue in the 13 odd-years that they've been around. ¯⁠\⁠_⁠(⁠ツ⁠)⁠_⁠/⁠¯

[-] [email protected] 4 points 11 months ago

@suzyq Correct answer. Other than Humble, key resellers are almost unanimously peddling stolen keys.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 10 months ago* (last edited 10 months ago)

Big difference, humble, like other stores, is a key seller. There are plenty of legit ways to get e.g. Steam keys from stores that have a partnership with Steam. Humble, Gog, and lots of others sell completely legit keys.

Sometimes indie even include a Steam key themselves if you purchase their game from elsewhere, like their own site (like Rimworld) or itch.io (like Dwarf Fortress).

The shady part with G2A etc, the resellers, is that they get their keys from... anywhere really. They buy and resell "second-hand" keys and don't care where they may come from, which is why some end up cancelled when the publisher discovers they were acquired illegally.

And especially among small publishers and indie, the resellers are a huge pain in the ass because in the end cancelling the keys is their decision, and they know it won't be popular. Most of the time the end user believes the game is being unjustly removed from their library because they have paid for it. Many don't even realize that it matters who is being paid.

[-] suzyq 2 points 10 months ago

Thank you for breaking it down and explaining it. I honestly didn't know everything you wrote and I'm glad I do now!

[-] DigDoug 20 points 11 months ago

Gamedevs would prefer that one pirate the game outright than use shady key resellers.

[-] simple 15 points 11 months ago

g2a and similar websites are grey market websites. That means they're not literally illegal, but most of their keys are usually gotten illegally. Sometimes (it's rare, but it happens) people buy keys and they get revoked later if Steam confirms it was stolen. I wouldn't use them at all if you care about giving the developers their money, you might as well pirate it.

Meanwhile there are legit websites like Fanatical that do sell cheap mystery keys. Most of them are shovelware they're trying to get rid of, don't bother.

[-] [email protected] 10 points 11 months ago

Keep in mind that even if some are scams, they might appear to work at first. The problem is that the key you get may be marked as stolen or purchased with a stolen credit card/etc, and then your key becomes invalid even if you've already redeemed it.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 11 months ago

noted, then would the best option to get games, is thru steam sales?

[-] brawleryukon 20 points 11 months ago

There are actual authorized key seller sites out there (Green Man Gaming, Fanatical, GamesPlanet, AllYouPlay, IndieGala, Voidu, etc.), you just need to make sure they're not selling ill-gotten keys. Basically, if the price seems like it's too good to be true (as it always will on grey market keyshops like G2A, Kinguin, etc.), that's because it is too good to be true.

As others have mentioned, use https://isthereanydeal.com/ to find the best prices. They don't let illegitimate sites into their listings.

[-] [email protected] 10 points 11 months ago

Most are scams, but there are reputable ones, like Humble Bundle and Fanatical.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 11 months ago

Mystery packs are always just a scam to get rid of worthless keys by an illusive promise of possibly getting a good game

[-] hogart 6 points 11 months ago* (last edited 11 months ago)

I've used eneba quite a bit. Even for MMOs. Never an issue. If someone knows it's a bad site, please comment. G2A seems to be the devil.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 10 months ago

Often times g2a keys are purchased with stolen credit cards or acquired through other sketchy means and the game risks becoming invalid days or weeks after purchase. Had it happen to a friend a while back with Civilization 5.

[-] drmoose 5 points 11 months ago

I sell my Humble Bunlde choice keys - not everything is stolen. It's my thing, I bought it, I'm entitled to selling it and someone else is entitled to buying it.

[-] grayhaze 5 points 11 months ago

I've never had any issue with CDKeys, and they seem legit. Unlike G2A they're not a marketplace for shady resellers.

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[-] Kaleunt17 3 points 10 months ago

Made severall purchases on G2A and Kinguin and never had a problem. I only buy old games though and only from resellers with a lot of reviews.

Stopped with G2A however when they asked me to upload an ID.

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this post was submitted on 17 Jul 2023
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