Natural Selection Dev Warns of Steam Fraud

Natural Selection Dev Warns of Steam Fraud

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Over 1,300 fraudulently-purchased Steam keys for Natural Selection 2 have been deactivated, with Unknown Worlds taking a financial hit.

Unknown Worlds Entertainment, the developer of the Natural Selection games, has issued a warning to consumers about buying Steam keys from unauthorized sites. Unknown Worlds acknowledged that gamers often use these sites to get around regional pricing (though that wasn't the case for the uniformly-priced Natural Selection 2) or just to get a good deal, but states that "the source of keys used by these websites is often unclear." Because of this, it was easy for someone to use a stolen credit card to purchase 1,341 Natural Selection 2 Steam keys and turn to these unofficial channels to sell them, resulting in frustration for gamers and a financial penalty for Unknown Worlds.

After the developer discovered the fraudulent activity, the Steam codes had to be deactivated, with players being unable to use them after buying them from the shady seller. Those players were able to get their money back by disputing the transactions, for which Unknown Worlds was thankful, but the developer was charged around $22 for each dispute (on top of losing out on actual game sales). That means purchasers of the keys have gotten their money back, and the original credit card thief still has all of the money he got from those players, leaving the relatively small developer to bear the entire financial burden.

Unknown Worlds posted a full account on its website to serve as a warning for gamers considering getting Steam keys from unofficial sites. "Through no fault of their own, gamers can end up out of a game key and out of pocket. We hope that this example might serve to make gamers more vigilant about who they buy their keys from," the team stated in an email. Keep this in mind for future Steam purchases, and always try to go through official channels.

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It really sucks they are getting penalized because of thieves and cheap ass consumers...

seriously 30k in costs to an indi developer because some people didnt want to pay 25 dollars (less on a sale) for a fun game...

Well frankly this just sucks, by all accounts it's a genuinely awesome and fun game to play.... Shitty deal for the dev really

I'm surprised Valve doesn't have any accountability in this situation. It was Steam keys that were essentially stolen in the first place. There's was the system that was manipulated.

vrbtny:
Well frankly this just sucks, by all accounts it's a genuinely awesome and fun game to play.... Shitty deal for the dev really

Steam burns hurt the worst.

Fappy:
I'm surprised Valve doesn't have any accountability in this situation. It was Steam keys that were essentially stolen in the first place. There's was the system that was manipulated.

Actually it was the credit card system that was manipulated. The keys were legitimately purchased using a stolen credit card. Obvious counterpoint: Maybe Steam should have a limit on number of copies of a game purchased before flagged for attention? No real player legitimately purchases 100+ copies of the same game. (Well, certainly not a large number of them, I'm sure somebody somewhere has done it for some reason)

I was considering getting this game before, but now my mind is set: They are going to shut up and take my money, because it isn't right for them to be shafted like this after making a pretty damn good game (at least, according to my friends).

I hope there's some way of finding the asshole that did it and bringing him to justice. That likely won't be the case, but it would be very satisfying to see these devs get back what they're due.

They're struggling as it is, being an indie dev whose competitive community seems to be tearing itself apart between NS1 and NS2. Even more of a reason to support these guys.

Even if you don't want to play their game, at least buy it so you have access to their in house Spark engine. It's very moddable, and they encourage it.

It's really great that this developer is looking out for his costumers, but did they really have to pay for the dumb mistakes of 1300+ people?
In what other field would the legitimate content creator be fined for being counterfeited through no fault of their own, while the consumers who were dumb enough to fall for the con get their money back?

Zombie_Moogle:

In what other field would the legitimate content creator be fined for being counterfeited through no fault of their own, while the consumers who were dumb enough to fall for the con get their money back?

Pretty much all of them? It's a bank thing, not an industry thing.

I really wonder how responsibility for this falls on the dev when the one that got hustled is Steam, there is some fucked up murky shit going on with this.

Kopikatsu:

Zombie_Moogle:

In what other field would the legitimate content creator be fined for being counterfeited through no fault of their own, while the consumers who were dumb enough to fall for the con get their money back?

Pretty much all of them? It's a bank thing, not an industry thing.

I don't know about that

If I bought a fake ticket to an event, I seriously doubt the promoters would repay the money I spent

Isn't the deal usually "buyer beware" when purchasing through less-than-reputable sellers?

& why did Steam deactivate the keys at all, for that matter? Shouldn't the credit card company (who pays insurance for this kind of thing) be reimbursing the stolen card holder instead of all this?

Lil confused by the whole situation

Mr.K.:
I really wonder how responsibility for this falls on the dev when the one that got hustled is Steam, there is some fucked up murky shit going on with this.

Agreed

Zombie_Moogle:

Isn't the deal usually "buyer beware" when purchasing through less-than-reputable sellers?

Not with a credit card. Call the bank and have the charge nulled. There is a fee that comes with that, but it's not put on the card owner.

That's why companies like Steam and EA will perma-ban you if you try that, because there's not much else they can do.

Kopikatsu:

Zombie_Moogle:

Isn't the deal usually "buyer beware" when purchasing through less-than-reputable sellers?

Not with a credit card. Call the bank and have the charge nulled. There is a fee that comes with that, but it's not put on the card owner.

That's why companies like Steam and EA will perma-ban you if you try that, because there's not much else they can do.

My point is, why did Unknown World Entertainment have to recoup these loses?

Zombie_Moogle:

Kopikatsu:

Zombie_Moogle:

Isn't the deal usually "buyer beware" when purchasing through less-than-reputable sellers?

Not with a credit card. Call the bank and have the charge nulled. There is a fee that comes with that, but it's not put on the card owner.

That's why companies like Steam and EA will perma-ban you if you try that, because there's not much else they can do.

My point is, why did Unknown World Entertainment have to recoup these loses?

Because life isn't fair, basically. The card issuer can't charge the card holder, because they're disputing the charge due to fraud. Steam can't be charged because they're a third party to a third party in this case. As the only one left, UWE is considered liable for the chargebacks, and so they were fined. The site who sold the keys in the first place is unofficial and wouldn't be able to be held liable because they can just pick up shop and move which would leave the bank in a position they'd rather not be in.

The moral of the story is, there is such a thing as going too far with consumer rights. Sometimes, people don't need or deserve to be protected.

If the customers were able to get their money back, does that mean that the credit card company was able to get the money back from the sites selling the fraudulent cards? Or did the thieves already cash out and the banks have to eat that cost?

Nielas:
If the customers were able to get their money back, does that mean that the credit card company was able to get the money back from the sites selling the fraudulent cards? Or did the thieves already cash out and the banks have to eat that cost?

The bank can cancel charges, just like with credit disputes. I don't think the people who sold the keys got anything. Could be wrong, though. Depends on how quickly they acted after getting the payment and how far the card issuer is willing to take it.

Kopikatsu:

Nielas:
If the customers were able to get their money back, does that mean that the credit card company was able to get the money back from the sites selling the fraudulent cards? Or did the thieves already cash out and the banks have to eat that cost?

The bank can cancel charges, just like with credit disputes. I don't think the people who sold the keys got anything. Could be wrong, though. Depends on how quickly they acted after getting the payment and how far the card issuer is willing to take it.

I was asking because the OP said "the original credit card thief still has all of the money he got from those players". Of course, the OP might be simply wrong on that part.

Kopikatsu:

Zombie_Moogle:

Kopikatsu:

Not with a credit card. Call the bank and have the charge nulled. There is a fee that comes with that, but it's not put on the card owner.

That's why companies like Steam and EA will perma-ban you if you try that, because there's not much else they can do.

My point is, why did Unknown World Entertainment have to recoup these loses?

Because life isn't fair, basically. The card issuer can't charge the card holder, because they're disputing the charge due to fraud. Steam can't be charged because they're a third party to a third party in this case. As the only one left, UWE is considered liable for the chargebacks, and so they were fined. The site who sold the keys in the first place is unofficial and wouldn't be able to be held liable because they can just pick up shop and move which would leave the bank in a position they'd rather not be in.

The moral of the story is, there is such a thing as going too far with consumer rights. Sometimes, people don't need or deserve to be protected.

What chaps my tits is that credit issuers are insured for fraud; didn't cost them a thing

Fappy:
I'm surprised Valve doesn't have any accountability in this situation. It was Steam keys that were essentially stolen in the first place. There's was the system that was manipulated.

There were no Steam keys stolen though, while they were bought with stolen credit cards Steam has really nothing to do with it. What boggles my mind is how many idiotic people out there would buy a Steam key through somewhere that's not Steam. If you can't really see problem with that, you shouldn't be given your money back.

Just as a PSA you should all buy this game. It's great and you support a small-time developer that made a much better game than any of the huge multi million dollar corporations

 

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