Valve has responded to complaints of foreign-purchased Orange Box keys being shut down on Steam by telling owners they are essentially out of luck.
Some U.S. customers looking to save a few bucks by purchasing the game from overseas vendors have recently found themselves locked out of the game. Although the games were purchased legally and activated without difficulty, starting about a week later gamers were met with “incorrect territory” warnings and unplayable games. Further, gamers who attempted to rectify the problem by then re-purchasing the game from U.S. vendors found the new copies still wouldn’t run.
Doug Lombardi, Director of Marketing at Valve, recently responded by telling Shacknews that this is a normal aspect of Steam operation, and that Valve will continue to enforce regional restrictions. “Valve uses Steam for territory control to make sure products authorized for use in certain territories are not being distributed and used outside of those territories,” he said. “In this case, a Thai website was selling retail box product keys for Thailand to people outside of Thailand. Since those keys are only for use in Thailand, people who purchased product keys from the Thai website are not able to use those product keys in other territories.”
“Some of these users have subsequently purchased a legal copy after realizing the issue and were having difficulty removing the illegitimate keys from their Steam accounts,” he continued. “Anyone having this problem should contact Steam Support to have the Thai key removed from their Steam account.”