Frostpunk News – Amazon Has Inadvertently Been Selling Pirated Copies of Surviving Mars and Frostpunk
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A word of warning if you’re looking at picking up some gaming bargains on Amazon today. The retailer has been selling pirated copies of PC games such as Frostpunk and Surviving Mars, a practice that has possibly been going on for as long as a year.
The dodgy dealing arose when Frostpunk surfaced for the low, low price of $3, while Surviving Mars was available for just $4. Both are pretty big PC games that launched only recently in 2018.
Over on ResetEra, one bargain hunter decided it would be worth the gamble to see just what the catch was. After all, these games were being bought directly from Amazon, there couldn’t be much wrong, surely? Well, ‘CodependentlyWealthy’ was surprised to discover these are actually pirated copies of the games. Someone has downloaded the GOG DRM-free version of these games, repackaged it within their own installer, and then submitted it to Amazon for sale on its storefront.
“I decided to pay $3 to play detective,” explained CodependentlyWealthy. “It’s piracy. Someone took the GOG version of the game, repackaged it with their own installer signed and published by “Ace Media Group LLC” and submitted it to Amazon. The installer looks fairly legit but the uninstaller doesn’t work. They left GOG-specific metadata files and Galaxy64.dll (for GOG Galaxy client integration) in the install dir.” Amazon, in all its all-seeing wisdom, either didn’t notice or didn’t see a problem with this arrangement.
Lewie Procter, who runs bargain hunting gaming site SavyGamer, took it up with Amazon’s customer care, who rather unhelpfully told him to “contact the manufacturer”, by which they meant the publisher of the game. Over the course of a back and forth with Amazon during the weekend, Procter managed to obtain a refund and both of the offending games are currently unavailable for purchase.
What’s quite incredible about this situation is that Amazon allowed a foreign installer to be downloaded directly from its own store without checking its veracity. It could’ve contained just about anything. It also looks as if the scheme has been going on for quite a while as well. Numantian Games discovered $1.99 copies of its game Lords of Xulima all the back in October, notifying Amazon but failing to get the game removed.
Someone, somewhere, has probably been building up quite a nice nest egg with this scheme. Aside from the legality of the situation, it’s certainly worrying that Amazon would allow this to happen on its store unchallenged.
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“lovely, piracy is now official business”
“This is not the only problem. Artwork sold by online retailers may or may not be legitimate, especially if it is third-party. One has to do research in order to filter out copyright infringement.”