Indie Dev Says People Stole 30,000 Steam Keys From Him

Indie Dev Says People Stole 30,000 Steam Keys From Him

On Wednesday, Dave Gilbert launched a promotion for one of his PC adventure games, Blackwell Deception. Two days later, he says people have exploited that promotion to steal over 30,000 copies of his game.

Gilbert, an indie developer who has been making adventure games over at Wadjet Eye Games for quite a few years now, decided to give away Blackwell Deception for a limited promo starting Wednesday night. That didn’t go too well.

Gilbert explained the whole story in an interview with a website called Red Door Blue Key. Here’s the short version:

1) Gilbert learns that people are ordering lots and lots of Steam keys — “hundreds at a time,” Gilbert says — to resell them later, when the game is no longer free.

2) Gilbert asks his sales provider to create some sort of generator to ensure that they only give out one code per IP.

3) People start masking their IPs to bypass this system.

4) Gilbert asks his sales provider to cancel everything and remove the link. They do…

5) …yet they don’t disable the generator itself, which people start sharing and linking on other websites. Using that link, people download some 30,000 Steam keys Thursday night, Gilbert says.

“This whole thing has made me terribly terribly sad,” Gilbert wrote on Twitter. He says Steam has disabled all 30,000 codes that were given away after midnight on Friday, but all other codes will be honoured. No accounts will be banned.


    • Being totally pedantic then it probably isn’t but people taking stacks of free codes meant to be for promo with the idea of selling them later, potentially taking revenue away from the games maker, rates pretty poorly on a moral scale.

    • But they were totally taking advantage. You weren’t supposed to be able to gets 100s of copies, you were supposed to get one. So they were gaming the system big time.

  • It’s unfortunate that this happened. I myself was given a steam key for this yesterday and i assumed that the friend who gave me it had no use of it. It seems it was one of the links mentioned above, as my game has been removed from my steam library.

    • Yeah, me too. I didn’t realise how the key was obtained.

      This is why we can’t have nice things.

  • This shouldn’t be done at all obviously, but if you’re gonna be a cunt, at least have the decency to do it to someone like EA who can actually afford it. Leave the poor indies alone 🙁

  • Poor fella, I almost want want to buy a copy just to help him out, he has done something really nice and generous and people have just exploited it mercilessly. The internet really brings out the jerk in lots of people.

  • Just noticed that this article doesn’t link to the game… If you’re going to write an article and earn money off news about an indie game (about people stealing it even!), wouldn’t it be polite to link to it at least…?

  • That sucks! I enjoyed the Blackwell games and can’t wait to play the last game in the series. @mrwaffle – here is the link to the developers website. I agree if you are going to do an article like this, you should really provide a link to the guys website.

  • That’s pretty bloody disgusting, but it’s normal. Give away anything for free, in real life or online, and people will try to milk it for all it’s worth. I don’t think people stop to think how their greed and stupidity impacts other people. I doubt many of these arseholes even stopped to think about the morality of what they were doing. Hey, he had a free promo, so obviously that means they can take what they want and do whatever.

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