CD key resellers are websites that earn commissions for putting whatever game or software keys their users want to get rid of. They do this without asking many questions, meaning that they’re shady at best, full-on scammy at worst. The only thing separating many of these stores from a full-fledged black market is them calling themselves a gray market. There are instances of resellers selling stolen keys – and even admitting to it– only for them to then brush it off since they’re not the ones doing the actual stealing. They’re just like what the poor Galactic Emperor is to Darth Vader.
The good news is that resellers are now branching out from selling keys they got from innocent devs or clueless gamers. The bad news is that they’re now offering awesome discounts on … keys for games that are completely free-to-play.
Check out this sweet deal for Bloodhunt, a brand new Battle Royale game set in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe that’s just $19.59. Whoa, that’s $1.40 cheaper than the site’s original price of $20.99, sure, but also $19.59 more expensive than the game’s actual price because you’re not meant to pay to play it. Players who learn about the new Vampire game from the official channels will certainly be able to pay the correct amount of no dollars to play the game, but the shady tactics employed by these stores guarantee that a non-negligible amount of players will fall through the cracks and end up directly financing some e-vampire.
These ghoulish practices actively abuse the outdated cd-key model. Maybe it’s time someone presses Steam and other storefronts to just switch to a system where you pay to unlock the game directly on your account instead of allowing for the possibility of getting infinite keys. Otherwise, they’ll end up fooling us into spending money on keys for games they don’t have or games that don’t even exist yet. Oh, wait, they’re already doing that.
Top Image: Sharkmob