Valve Bans Gray-Market Modern Warfare 2 Keys

Illustration for article titled Valve Bans Gray-Market Modern Warfare 2 Keys

Some who bought CD keys for Modern Warfare 2 - no physicial media in other words - from import resellers have seen their access to the game vanish, as Activision has apparently asked Valve to ban such keys.

A poster in Valve's official forums complained that a key he bought through no longer lets him open and play the game. A Valve representative, BurtonJ, called such sales "illegitimate" and confirmed the ban. He recommends buying a full version of the game - maybe through Steam? Hint hint.

VE3D, which spotted the thread, points out that calling the key sales "illegitimate" is not entirely true. The keys are typically sold legally in Asia and other territories and while game makers try to ban it, their ability to do so is not absolute. Of course, the interest is clear: The keys being sold cost less than the full game, and both publisher and digital distributor stateside want to protect their bottom lines.


Valve's only advice to gray-market key buyers is ask for a refund and get a "legitimate" copy of the game.

Valve Banning Grey-Import Modern Warfare 2 CD Keys [VE3D]

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"Oh, the keys must have been fake!"

"You didn't buy the disc so it's not yours!"

You people have no idea how it works, and are bitching at the people who do. It's a pain in my ass.

Here's the deal, in a nutshell:

In countries like Taiwan and China, where piracy is rampant, consumers would be, to say the least, hesitant to buy a game for $50-$60 when that place down the street is selling it for $10. And understandably so!

To combat this, and raise the number of legit sales, publishers over there sell their games for much less than publishers over here.

Now, some Asian dealers have figured out that people over here are willing to pay WAY more for the games than what they payed for it. The only thing stopping them from turning a gigantic profit on international sales would be the cost of shipping... But, oh, wait! Steam doesn't need the box! They just need the key!

So, clever retailers over there, or people who buy from these retailers, began online shops that sell the CD-Keys from their games at Western prices! Clever!

But, now, Activision, being the giant monkey house that it is, got upset because of this.

How dare you buy a game we sold to a retailer!?

And pull the product from the consumers who were nothing if not innocent.

And, here we are.