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Retailers reselling humble bundle keys for profit

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We’re big fans of the Humble Bundle sales. they not only offer gamers a great selection of games for cheap, but they also allow for the proceeds to be split between the developers and charity. Unsurprisingly – because one should never underestimate human greed – malfeasant slimebags have been selling the Steam keys from those sales for profit.

PC games digital distributor 7 Entertainment and the sites under its banner have apparently been reselling games, originally purchased as part of Humble Bundles, for discounts; usually more than the Humble Bundle, but less than Steam.

Sites under 7 entertainment’s helm include Fast2Play, Kinguin, G2Play. Kinguin works as a sort of eBay for digital codes, so those keys would be sold by users. Fast2Play doesn’t operate that way, and they insist all of their keys are legitimate. One indie developer found this to be untrue.

Proteus developer Ed Key purchased a key for his own game through Fast2Play. He then cross-referenced the  key he’d received and it matched up with one he’d sold through a Humble Bundle – so there’s definitely some sort of illicit shenanigans. Either way, it’s illegal under the Humble Bundles’ and Steams’ terms.

“In this case the ‘resale’ was prohibited by the terms under which it was purchased,” says Alex Tutty says, legal counsel for affected indie developer Paul Taylor. “What was obtained (‘sold’) in this instance was a non-transferable license to use a game and hence why I have put ‘resale,’ ‘sold,’ and ‘resell’ in quotation marks, as while it is helpful to use these terms, they are not actually correct. Unlike physical goods, digital products can have these restrictions placed on them and while the law is developing in this area, this is where it currently stands in the EU.”

Key says that this sort of profiteering is even worse than piracy.

“I don’t really consider this to be any different from piracy in my mind,” Key says. “The only difference is that they’re charging money for something that The Pirate Bay would give out for free. It’s the same kind of breach of license conditions with a digital good, and the few pence we’d have got from the initial bundle purchase doesn’t really excuse it.”

7 Entertainment has since issued a statement regarding its alleged profiteering.

My name is Matt and I am a representative of 7 Entertainment, the owner of Kinguin platform. First of all, we would like to apologize for the situation. It was never in our intention to expose any indie developer to any financial losses or to cause them troubles. Please be advised, Kinguin is a digital platform for vendors from all around the world to sell theirs digital goods. Kinguin is not the owner of those products. If you can put it simple – Kinguin is like an Ebay for gamers.

We have already contacted vendors selling those products in order to receive some information regarding the origin of those keys. We are sure that this situation will be resolved within next week. Our Terms of Service is really clear – it’s prohibited to sell games commonly offered as free or games from any charity events.

That said, we strongly believe that products offered by our vendors give benefit to indie developers at its original purchase. If someone puts his offer on our marketplace, we can only verify validity of the key, not knowing its source.

I want to state it very clearly – Kinguin Team supports Humble Bundle events with all our hearts. It’s a great way to raise some money for noble goals, while supporting indie game developers.

Fast2play.com is our other project – english e-store with a wide choice of products. All products come from official suppliers and again, we don’t have any means to verify the source of codes. We were assured those products come from official distribution and we are still waiting for explanations from the supplier. Until the resolution of this problem, all those products were removed from our site. I want to mention that Humble Bundle is no longer providing any user with keys, just a link to activate it directly on STEAM platform. On Fast2play.com you are not able to buy accounts, digital currencies (like World of Warcraft gold) or other digital goods that are not available for sale via official channels.

I hope this information will help you understand that neither Kinguin nor Fast2play.com meant to cause any harm to producers, developers of those games and Humble Bundle organization, which we strongly support.

With Humble bundles no longer issuing keys and instead activating directly on a user account, this is a problem we expect to see disappear, but reselling games for profit when that cash could and should have gone to charity still strikes us a dick move.

Last Updated: March 31, 2014

34 Comments

  1. Admiral Chief of Auraxis

    March 31, 2014 at 13:41

    SCUMBAGS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Luckily charity got a little piece of the action though, I hope

    Reply

  2. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    March 31, 2014 at 13:41

    Oooh man that is a whole other kind of low. Like games arent being bled dry enough as is!!!

    EVERYONE, GRAB YOUR PITCHFORKS!!!!!!

    Reply

    • VampyreSquirrel

      March 31, 2014 at 13:50

      *grabs fresh-porks!!!!*

      Reply

      • Kromas

        March 31, 2014 at 13:51

        Tactical Bacon!

        Reply

        • VampyreSquirrel

          March 31, 2014 at 13:53

          lol @ Fully Cooked and the directions for use… “Receive Bacon”… does it just appear?

          Reply

          • Kromas

            March 31, 2014 at 13:56

            Well you still have to open can. Here is the add for it.

          • VampyreSquirrel

            March 31, 2014 at 14:00

            LMAO! “What does it taste like? BACON!”

        • VampyreSquirrel

          March 31, 2014 at 14:38

          I’ll see your Tactical Bacon and raise you this…

          http://randomphotooftheday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/bacon_soda.jpg

          Reply

          • Kromas

            March 31, 2014 at 14:42

            I am stocking up on Tactical Bacon and Bacon soda for the post election Zombie apocalypse!!!

          • VampyreSquirrel

            March 31, 2014 at 14:48

            BACON! Why? cos MURICAAAA!!!

      • Rince

        March 31, 2014 at 13:52

        0-O

        Reply

        • VampyreSquirrel

          March 31, 2014 at 13:55

          Ask no questions, hear no lies.

          Reply

  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    March 31, 2014 at 13:41

    This is what they call “business ethics”. It’s when you do something that’s ethically reprehensible, but it makes money, so it’s okay. Just don’t get caught.

    Reply

  4. Kromas

    March 31, 2014 at 13:43

    Guess what I do with my extra Humble Bundle keys. GIVE THEM AWAY!

    These guys make me sick to my stomach.

    Reply

  5. Maxiviper117

    March 31, 2014 at 13:46

    Cunts

    Reply

  6. Rince

    March 31, 2014 at 13:48

  7. Rince

    March 31, 2014 at 13:49

    Low. Almost as bad as those bastards who pretended they needed $5000 for a wheelchair and were caught out when the guy jumped up to go to the bathroom with his webcam on. SCUM

    Reply

  8. Umar hearts Grandia

    March 31, 2014 at 13:50

    Naw brah……

    Reply

  9. UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    March 31, 2014 at 13:56

    Honestly if it wasn’t in the terms that it was not allowed it would be a very legitimate business idea. Buy it somewhere for cheap and resell for a profit. It was kind of a obvious exploit with the EA or Warner Brothers bundles. Those savings were AMAZING. I still have a Batman Arkham City GOTY just sitting there in my Humble library waiting to be claimed since I already owned it.

    I normally just give my doubles away or sometimes hold them to give them as birthday gifts.

    Reply

    • Rince

      March 31, 2014 at 13:59

      True. Not like that whole Kalahari issue… I mean, uhhh, too soon? 0-O

      Reply

      • VampyreSquirrel

        March 31, 2014 at 14:02

        *unfriend, unfollow, uncrew* Way too soon… way too soon…

        Reply

        • Rince

          March 31, 2014 at 14:07

          Bwahahaha 😉

          Reply

      • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

        March 31, 2014 at 14:02

        Hahahahaha! I am also 100% okay with people using obvious exploits like that too… They were legit coupons used to buy products.

        It is their fault for having that happen and they should have let people keep the purchases and learned from the mistake.

        THAT said Kalahari offers awesome prices and honestly I am always happy with their service. Received my Diablo 3 RoS pre-order 10am that morning.

        Reply

  10. Kensei Seraph

    March 31, 2014 at 14:06

    It shouldn’t be to hard to setup a web service that checks against the dev’s key database or even the Humble Bundle database to determine if the key came from Humble Bundle purchase or not.
    You could even have it flag the user who purchased the key and prevent them from making further purchases or even have them pay the difference on their next purchase.

    Reply

  11. ZumaIsPoes

    March 31, 2014 at 14:08

    hey , you should meet our president (read , Hitler ) you guys would have a blast stealing from the poor

    Reply

    • Kensei Seraph

      March 31, 2014 at 14:17

      President: “There is much you have yet to learn.”
      7: “Oh please teach us your ways great master.”

      Reply

  12. Brady miaau

    March 31, 2014 at 14:24

    Um, did the money for the original sale go to Charity as it was supposed to? I suppose it did, from the initial purchase of the Humble Bundle.

    While I think this is massively against the spirit of the humble bundle, I wonder if it was against the rules. Steam rules?

    Business ethics: someone will always find a way to make a quick buck, some people do not even see the moral ambiguity. The internet casts a wider net, so more moral ambiguity is to be expected. (different cultures also has an impact)

    Face it, people are people and there are many people out there that are blind to this sort of thing and will call it a legitimate business tactic. Perhaps a few hours with mom in the kitchen and the wooden spoon may cause them to see that this is wrong, but somehow I doubt it.

    Reply

    • Johan du Preez

      March 31, 2014 at 14:44

      Quote:
      “While I think this is massively against the spirit of the humble bundle, I wonder if it was against the rules. Steam rules?”

      They clearly state its against the Humble Bundle terms and conditions in the article …

      Reply

      • Brady miaau

        March 31, 2014 at 14:45

        yeah, I saw later. Um. oops?

        Was on a “humanity is evil” trip again.

        Reply

        • Johan du Preez

          March 31, 2014 at 14:48

          Hey I’m always on that trip 🙂

          Reply

          • Brady miaau

            March 31, 2014 at 14:48

            Yeah, I MET the bastards. Cannot trust them

          • Johan du Preez

            March 31, 2014 at 14:52

            All of them!!!

  13. Jedi JJ

    March 31, 2014 at 15:36

    I was scrolling through the articles just now since it’s my first chance I’ve had today to get on LzG and this one caught my eye. This is disgusting. Hang them. They don’t deserve prison.

    Reply

  14. Axon1988

    March 31, 2014 at 15:56

    That reminds me… I have some keys I will never use. Here’s a list if anyone wants them. I don’t own these games so cannot use them.

    Steam:
    Gotham City Imposters – Professional Kit

    Batman: Arkham Origins DLC

    Mortal Kombat Kollection

    The Lord of the Rings Online: Steely Dawn Starter Pack

    Origins:
    Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 – Uprising Origin Key

    Eh that’s about it I guess…

    Reply

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