Are Gray Market Game Key Sites Legit?

Ludak021

Posts: 571   +429
You know, they don't give you a physical copy or a key that you can sell along once you are done playing the game. All for a singular purpose of publisher making more money. So now, everything is digital, they don't have the packaging fee, shipping fee, storage fee, yet, they kept the price tag and some of them are complaining that users can get them for cheaper.
What's next? Buy the game for 59,99 and be allowed to play it for a month before you have to buy $10 bonus month extension card?
And I am supposed to take their side?!
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,852   +2,205
TechSpot Elite
Lolno on both counts.
Well, all the games that I've bought in the last five years have either come from Steam, Uplay, Origin or Epic. A friend of mine gave me an original disc of Assassin's Creed 1 from back in the day because I'd never tried it and it wouldn't let me play it because it said that the key was registered to someone else. If there's some new trick to pirating games, I'm unaware of it.

Since you seem to know, how is it done when everything seems to be a digital download?
 

Pastuch

Posts: 101   +93
Gray market is the only way to go for Origin games because they charge sales taxes in Canada. Steam does not. Why on earth would I pay 15% sales tax for no reason
 

jpuroila

Posts: 389   +236
Well, all the games that I've bought in the last five years have either come from Steam, Uplay, Origin or Epic. A friend of mine gave me an original disc of Assassin's Creed 1 from back in the day because I'd never tried it and it wouldn't let me play it because it said that the key was registered to someone else. If there's some new trick to pirating games, I'm unaware of it.

Since you seem to know, how is it done when everything seems to be a digital download?
Have you ever heard of GOG.com? Also, despite the best efforts of malw- er, DRM distributors, just about every game that DOES have some form of DRM gets cracked within days(when no-one manages to crack a game, it can actually make news!) and only features that require internet connection(such as multiplayer and sometimes achievements) won't work. If you just google "torrent <name of a game>" you'll easily find dozens of results some of which will, presumably, even work.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,852   +2,205
TechSpot Elite
Have you ever heard of GOG.com? Also, despite the best efforts of malw- er, DRM distributors, just about every game that DOES have some form of DRM gets cracked within days(when no-one manages to crack a game, it can actually make news!) and only features that require internet connection(such as multiplayer and sometimes achievements) won't work. If you just google "torrent <name of a game>" you'll easily find dozens of results some of which will, presumably, even work.
Thanks for telling me, I mean that. I had no idea that this was still going on. To be honest, I used to play a lot of pir8 games back in the day (and Windows 10 is the first Windows version that I ever paid for) but when I found sites like Kinguin, CDKeys, Green Man Gaming, etc. I stopped paying attention to piracy because if I can get a game for <$30CAD without any of the hassles that come with piracy, I'd rather do that. I seriously doubt that anyone would be lenient to an employed guy in his 40's engaging in video game piracy if I ever got caught. :laughing:
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,852   +2,205
TechSpot Elite
I am against those grey market stores, not for games and even worst got software, many sell Windows 10 and office keys very cheap, as the article says the keys are legit but from a different source.

Where I work as IT I am suffering from those grey sellers selling the windows and office volume license keys that should be only for work:
The local ministry of education offers all local schools access to volume license keys (mak keys) for many Microsoft products, shared among all schools, and when I need to activate new installs of office or windows I suffer to find a working key because somebody else at another school abused the agreement and sold the keys and exhausted their install count...
So, instead of being against those who abuse the agreement (behaving ILLEGALLY), you're against the sites who are purchasing them who aren't aware of what's going on.

That makes no sense.
 

jpuroila

Posts: 389   +236
So, instead of being against those who abuse the agreement (behaving ILLEGALLY), you're against the sites who are purchasing them who aren't aware of what's going on.

That makes no sense.
That would imply they're not perfectly aware of what's going on. Do you also suppose that sites like Pirate Bay think the majority of their traffic is totally legitimate?
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,852   +2,205
TechSpot Elite
That would imply they're not perfectly aware of what's going on. Do you also suppose that sites like Pirate Bay think the majority of their traffic is totally legitimate?
No, it implies that they may have suspicions but no evidence, just like we don't have any hard evidence either way. If they were selling stolen keys, that would make them a fence and they'd have been shut down or blocked from North America by now. That hasn't happened, has it?

It would be like eBay selling stolen goods, they wouldn't have been around long if they did that either. Claims are being made with no evidence to back them up whatsoever. It has about the same amount of hard evidence as Trump claiming that the election was stolen from him (aka none).

Without evidence, I call BS. Pics or it didn't happen!
 

jpuroila

Posts: 389   +236
No, it implies that they may have suspicions but no evidence, just like we don't have any hard evidence either way. If they were selling stolen keys, that would make them a fence and they'd have been shut down or blocked from North America by now. That hasn't happened, has it?

It would be like eBay selling stolen goods, they wouldn't have been around long if they did that either. Claims are being made with no evidence to back them up whatsoever. It has about the same amount of hard evidence as Trump claiming that the election was stolen from him (aka none).

Without evidence, I call BS. Pics or it didn't happen!
It's called plausible deniability. It doesn't matter whether they know, what matters is whether you can PROVE that they know.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,852   +2,205
TechSpot Elite
It's called plausible deniability. It doesn't matter whether they know, what matters is whether you can PROVE that they know.
That's a bit of an oversimplification. I'm quite certain that the Pirate Bay is fully aware of what is going on (they are called The Pirate Bay after all) but with millions of transactions going on pretty much at all times, they couldn't properly police it even if they wanted to. It's the exact same reason that trolls exist on platforms like YouTube and Facebook. There's so much going on all the time that any attempts to gain control of it would be a very expensive exercise in futility.

In the case of these sites, I don't think that it's so cut-and-dry because from what I've seen, the overwhelming majority of what goes on is legal. I've purchased many keys and they've all worked 100% without exception or time limitation. I think that if ANY of these sites sold actual stolen keys, it would seriously hurt them because people are already suspicious as to how they're able to do what they do.

Imagine if you bought a key and were informed that it was a stolen key. You'd probably feel rather embarrassed, angry and extremely apprehensive about EVER buying ANYTHING from that site again. At least, I know that I would. To give it a test, I ordered Windows 10 Professional x64, bundled with MS-Office from Kinguin several years ago. There have been no adverse reactions from either Microsoft or from law enforcement. So I got some games like Injustice 2, Rise of and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Far Cry 4, Far Cry 5, etc. and to this day, no problem. I only paid an average of about $25CAD per game and they have all worked perfectly.

My personal experience over the years has been that these sites are extremely trustworthy and they have to be because the second that people stop trusting them, they die. It's why I don't ever worry about ordering from eBay despite their rather checkered distant past. I know that they're extremely motivated to shed any stigma that they may have been stuck with.