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Steam Bans Grey Market MW2 Keys

Steam users who purchased keys for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 through what turn out to be grey market sources have found themselves banned from playing the game. Apparently users have been able to buy discounted keys from sources that buy them in bulk for cyber cafes, foreign sales, and similar setups, only to find this is a no-no. A post to the Steam Users' Forums by Valve's BurtonJ says: "If you purchased just a cd key for the game then you purchased from an illegitimate seller and the game has been revoked." In a later post he clarifies: "I am sorry but you all did not purchase from a legitimate retailer. It is recommended that you contact the seller to request a refund. In the future, you should only buy unopened retail boxed copies from legitimate retailers or purchase via legitimate digital download services such as Steam and Direct2Drive." We saw a note about this yesterday with no working links to evidence of this, but found the sources today courtesy of a post on Voodoo Extreme.

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111. Re: MW2 Key Bans Nov 24, 2009, 15:43 Gdiguy
You do not blame or punish the consumer for resale, you punish the resellers. It's like this in every major market in the world. Banning GoGamer isn't completely different by the way, you just have no response to it. If Steam decided that GoGamer wasn't allowed anymore, I'm sure we'd see you here finding a way to defend that decision too. The bottom line is that you are anti-consumer, every post in this thread by you is about blaming the consumer and forcing the consumer to assume responsibility. Where is the responsibility on Valve's part for allowing keys to be used outside of their supposedly intended regions? Which coincidentally they have no protection in place to protect these supposed restrictions?

First of all, your claim that people would be defending them if they banned a company selling US keys cheap is garbage, and it adds nothing to the conversation to make baseless bullshit insults at people.

Further, how far does that extend? If it's a little stand in the mall selling knock-off SNES's with game roms, yeah, Nintendo is going to shut them down but not go after people that purchased them. But again, we're talking about a situation with no limit on sales and no shipping / transportation costs. If 10 people bought their keys this way, then Valve would probably not bother, but where's the cutoff? Is it 1,000 people doing it this way? 100,000? There's a point at which the money they lose on each sale by having people purchase the heavily discounted Asian version over the US version outweighs the desire to not blame consumers.

The other part to that, it used to be that importing games was naturally limited by language barriers - there's a limited number of people that are going to want to play a Chinese language version of a game in the US, regardless what price it's sold for. If it's the exact same product, there's no reason not to buy it from an international source
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