Natural Selection 2 scam sees over a thousand game keys deactivated

Friday, 8th March 2013 12:20 GMT By Dave Cook

Natural Selection 2 was at the heart of a $30,000 credit card scam that saw over a thousand bogus keys sold via third-party distributors. Valve has now blocked all of the keys in question, locking out anyone who bought them.

PCGamesN reports that 1,341 keys are said to have been bought using stolen credit card information and then sold on at a discount via third-party traders over Steam.

After each key was sold, the sellers in question then requested a ‘charge-back’ on their original purchase, which cost the developer $22 a time, costing them around $30,000.

Responding to Valve’s block, the developer said in a statement, “This episode is a prime example of why all gamers need to beware discount Steam keys and those offering them.

“If you see Natural Selection 2 available anywhere else — like the many sites out there that sell Steam keys at a discount — then you are not buying it from us and there is no way to know if that key is legitimate.

“As as result, we strongly discourage purchasing from these sites. It’s unfortunate that players who believed they were buying legitimate games were hurt by these unscrupulous resellers.”

As a precaution, all gamers should only buy Natural Selection 2 via Steam or the developer’s own webpage. Stay smart people.



  1. Tavarish

    Nice to see that at least one dev has balls to take action against scamming like this. There is no anyway to make this right, that you buy key and then use “I feel bad now” -function to avoid paying for product.

    Kudos to Unknown Worlds for doing this :)

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Hirmetrium

    @1: I think Unknown Worlds have handled this in a bad way. At this point, they are 30k out of pocket AND have hurt potentially new fans/players for it. They could of done a massive gesture of goodwill, and then at least kept some face. Now there are folks out there whom have lost out on the game, and are also out of pocket. Their only option is to now Chargeback, which assumes they used a credit card (which not everyone does).

    UW won’t get back that 30k. They’ve had to made a very hard decision, and I feel that a goodwill action would of been much more… well, becoming of an independent dev.

    So, yeah. I think they made a difficult decision, but its not benefited them like getting the good PR from being nice would of. I would personally have let it lie and released a statement letting folks know what happened.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Tavarish

    @2 Depends how you look at it I think. That they released statement AND took action against this scam sends also rather clear message to these stores and also to consumers. Personally I wouldn’t mind to know if store X that I bought from is scamming like that and this is one way to find out about it.

    #3 2 years ago

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