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Key resellers & grey markets

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,424 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    CDkeys is an online retailer with a massive following. Countless boards users having been buying from them for years without any issues. That alone speaks for their credibility.

    I'm not for a second saying they don't provide keys reliably. All I'm saying is I don't know a damn thing about them other they're based in the UAE, and would rather know more about the sources I buy from :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,397 ✭✭✭✭Digital Solitude


    I'd find that difficult to believe. I don't think devs are Robin Hood charging the wealthy to give to the poor.

    Developers are just charging whatever they can in other regions. Steam gives them the data regarding the RRP for those specific regions and they charge accordingly.

    Until I see decent, fair prices here I wont be buying titles from Steam or other online retailers charging big money.

    Better to say €60 as that's what the majority cost.

    I never likened them to Robin Hood or anything like that, they charge a reasonable price according to the region. Western EU prices subsidise Eastern EU prices. They could charge everyone €60 and tell them to sod off if it's a weeks wages in their country and still make a hat of money.

    Even if Steam listen AAAs for €30 at launch I think most here would still go to the grey market where the keys would be €23.

    Have you looked at many other retailers? Steam is probably the highest price of any of the main ones.

    And is your problem with game devs or with Steam? Even grey market sellers have to sell above what the devs are charging them. I don't think devs have any blame to take for pricing models.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,405 ✭✭✭gizmo


    Steam advises developers on price per region based on their analysis. Bad advice though IMO. Way too much here.

    They need to find a sweet spot for game prices. €70 is taking the piss. I for one will never pay such crazy money for PC games.

    Game developers these days seem to be producing less content and charging more. They also frequently launch AAA titles with a load of issues.

    When it comes to really small indie studios I would definitely support them as long as they aren't charging crazy money.
    While Valve offer a range of tools to analyse sales data and control pricing and may indeed offer general advice regarding pricing to those publishers or developers who seek it, the decision is still solely in the hands of the publisher or developer if self-published. Blaming Valve for pricing is totally off base in this respect.

    With regards the amount of content you're getting, yes in some cases it may be reduced but that's simply because the cost in creating it has risen so dramatically. As I said above, something has to give, whether it's the quality or quantity of the product, its pricing or the amount of additional content sold post-release at a premium price point.

    When it comes to PC games specifically, when Eurogamer looked at the pricing breakdown a few years back based on data from various publisher and developers, they found the average amount given to platform holders on the consoles was 20% so at absolute most, that would be the largest discount one could expect for a PC title versus a console one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭FAILSAFE 00


    ... Have you looked at many other retailers? Steam is probably the highest price of any of the main ones.

    And is your problem with game devs or with Steam? Even grey market sellers have to sell above what the devs are charging them. I don't think devs have any blame to take for pricing models.
    Both :)

    I don't buy new releases from Steam due to the high prices. I buy the vast majority of my keys from a load of different resellers. All the usual ones mentioned on this thread.

    Regarding this thread, what I don't like is this whole grey market high horse BS attitude. People think if you don't buy from major retailers that the keys are stolen and that the devs are on their hands and knees making no money because you bought a key at a fair price which is a load of crap.

    I'm not for a second saying they don't provide keys reliably. All I'm saying is I don't know a damn thing about them other they're based in the UAE, and would rather know more about the sources I buy from :)
    Probably funding a terrorist cell :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,397 ✭✭✭✭Digital Solitude


    Both :)

    I don't buy new releases from Steam due to the high prices. I buy the vast majority of my keys from a load of different resellers. All the usual ones mentioned on this thread.

    Regarding this thread, what I don't like is this whole grey market high horse BS attitude. People think if you don't buy from major retailers that the keys are stolen and that the devs are on their hands and knees making no money because you bought a key at a fair price which is a load of crap.

    I don't think anyones saying that, it's certainly not the opinion I have. As far as I'm concerned some grey market keys are stolen, some are nVidia/AMD rewards, some are Russian/Brazillain/etc. keys and the vast majority are sound.

    I'd just rather not run the risk of having to worry about a dodge key. The devs are still getting whatever they want to charge either way, not sure where that argument comes from. Once it's not a cross region key the devs don't really come into it.

    My main issue with the grey market is getting cross region keys.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭FAILSAFE 00


    ...

    Once it's not a cross region key the devs don't really come into it.

    My main issue with the grey market is getting cross region keys.

    I don't follow, the issue with cross region keys?

    I thought its the ones that are for example Russia only and need a VPN are the dodgy ones.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,397 ✭✭✭✭Digital Solitude


    I don't follow, the issue with cross region keys?

    I thought its the ones that are for example Russia only and need a VPN are the dodgy ones.

    Yeah... I made myself look a lot stupider than I am with how I phrased it :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,405 ✭✭✭gizmo


    Regarding this thread, what I don't like is this whole grey market high horse BS attitude. People think if you don't buy from major retailers that the keys are stolen and that the devs are on their hands and knees making no money because you bought a key at a fair price which is a load of crap.
    But the resellers we're discussing are the very definition of grey market traders, what they do is generally legal but they operate outside of the manufacturers (or publishers/developers in this case) intended or authorised distribution channels. Whether you care about that is another matter entirely.

    Again, no one here is saying you should have to buy from a major retailer, there were plenty of smaller outfits listed in the OPs post who offer good deals on various titles which are sourced through the proper channels. To echo what Digital Solitude said also, the reason I don't buy from some resellers listed isn't because I think I'm going to get a stolen key, it's because I don't like how and where they're getting their keys from.

    Take CDKeys for example, they're currently selling games at 50% off the RRP. Do you even ask how they're able to do this? Over on Steam, Valve take a sizeable chunk of 30% from sales but these guys are going a further 20% lower again. By their own admission the company "buy from all corners of the globe to ensure the cheapest possible prices" so I would argue the logical conclusion is that they're sourcing non-region locked keys from developing countries where the RRP is lower due to the lower purchasing power of consumers and reselling them to western consumer at higher prices.

    Fundamentally, that to me isn't a "fair" price for anyone other than the person taking advantage of it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,084 ✭✭✭✭Kirby


    But when you talk about "fairness" in pricing we are into a whole other discussion. Because ultimately what are they buying and selling? Keys. A line of digits. If you have one key or one million keys, they cost the same to the publisher. If I have a million cars on order, its going to cost me alot to produce those cars. They have physical value. Games and virtual media does not. If you sell 1 copy of a game or 1 million, your costs remain the same.

    We have moved beyond the market that has been around for thousands of years which is why this is so morally and legally murky. If I was an american company and I wanted to sell my goods in Spain, I had to factor in setup costs in that company, dealing with foreign shipping companies, local agents, etc. etc. My physical goods price is calculated due to all these factors. Which is why it cost a certain amount in one country and a different amount in another.

    But times have changed. I can play an american game, watch a russain movie and read a japanese novel from my chair.....and those companies can provide this to me at no extra cost than it would to provide these products to people in their own countries.

    What exactly is the rationale behind an Irish person paying 60 euro for digital Fallout4 when a Russian person pays 30? The cost to the publisher and distributor is the exact same.

    "Charge what the market will bear" is great for the seller but its not great for the buyer. I don't have to be able to speak fluent russian or have a buddy over there anymore. I can buy that bundle of virtual data from my chair.

    Times change. You either change with it or you get left behind. Trying to scare people off won't work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,707 ✭✭✭✭K.O.Kiki


    The average wage in Russia is 60% that of average Irish wage therefore pricing a Russian key lower IN RUSSIA makes sense to me.


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  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 28,633 Mod ✭✭✭✭Shiminay


    No one seems to have mentioned international licensing laws that plague the world of film and tv. I'm pretty certain that it comes into play with the games market too as you have some cross over of the players (Sony, being the most obvious example).

    You also have distribution chains with bricks and mortar for the Luddites or internet impoverished who can't/don't have access to online sales and they can't cannibalise their relationships with these retailers cause if nothing else, they need them to shift hardware and accessories.

    Finally, if none of you are willing to consider or accept that different countries have different standards of living and therefore luxury goods MUST be priced accordingly then I urge you to consider your position in the world and remember that you are one of several billion and it's not all about you :P


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,084 ✭✭✭✭Kirby


    Shiminay wrote: »
    No one seems to have mentioned international licensing laws that plague the world of film and tv. I'm pretty certain that it comes into play with the games market too as you have some cross over of the players (Sony, being the most obvious example).

    You also have distribution chains with bricks and mortar for the Luddites or internet impoverished who can't/don't have access to online sales and they can't cannibalise their relationships with these retailers cause if nothing else, they need them to shift hardware and accessories.

    Finally, if none of you are willing to consider or accept that different countries have different standards of living and therefore luxury goods MUST be priced accordingly then I urge you to consider your position in the world and remember that you are one of several billion and it's not all about you :P

    I dont subscribe to that thinking and frankly I'm not sure why some people do. We arent talking about bread here. Games aren't a necessity. They are a luxury, as you yourself said. A Ferrarri costs the same to a Russian man as it does to an English man. They dont make it cheaper to buy because of econmic climate in Russia. "The cost is the cost. If you can't afford it, we arent lowering it for you."

    There are a host of other luxury items in the same bracket and there are other items which the cost is lowered due to the standard of living. Who decides which is which? The selling company does. And with digital goods there is virtually no justification for it.

    Netflix, for example costs nearly the same in Russia as it does everywhere else. They arent going to price it at 100 rubles just because the standard of living is poorer. It's marginally lower. It's not half the price like other virtual media such as games.

    Its a choice. There is no law here stating what you can and cannot charge. They are performing their right as business and capitalists to charge what they want. And thats fine. But its ALSO fine for the consumer to exercise their right to shop around and get a better deal. Thats capitalism.

    They can't have it both ways, as evidenced by the success of the key selling sites.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,824 ✭✭✭ShooterSF


    K.O.Kiki wrote: »
    The average wage in Russia is 60% that of average Irish wage therefore pricing a Russian key lower IN RUSSIA makes sense to me.

    Fair enough. And I should be able to import that key just as much as I can import and other good.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,397 ✭✭✭✭Digital Solitude


    Kirby wrote: »
    I dont subscribe to that thinking and frankly I'm not sure why some people do. We arent talking about bread here. Games aren't a necessity. They are a luxury, as you yourself said. A Ferrarri costs the same to a Russian man as it does to an English man. They dont make it cheaper to buy because of econmic climate in Russia. "The cost is the cost. If you can't afford it, we arent lowering it for you."

    There are a host of other luxury items in the same bracket and there are other items which the cost is lowered due to the standard of living. Who decides which is which? The selling company does. And with digital goods there is virtually no justification for it.

    Netflix, for example costs nearly the same in Russia as it does everywhere else. They arent going to price it at 100 rubles just because the standard of living is poorer. It's marginally lower. It's not half the price like other virtual media such as games.

    Its a choice. There is no law here stating what you can and cannot charge. They are performing their right as business and capitalists to charge what they want. And thats fine. But its ALSO fine for the consumer to exercise their right to shop around and get a better deal. Thats capitalism.

    They can't have it both ways, as evidenced by the success of the key selling sites.

    Ferrari aren't going to sell more cars, or lose sales to piracy because your average Russian can't afford it. If the average Russian was asked to pay our equivalent prices for a game why shouldn't he pirate it.

    Even for a minimum wage worker here, a new AAA cost's 6 hours work. Thats almost 12 hours for a Russian.

    There's two sides to the digital goods argument.

    You charge a reasonable price in each territory, which needs to be relative to what brick and mortar costs too, and lose some sales to piracy, or else charge everyone the high prices and sell virtually nothing in the poorer territories, because people can't afford to give away 1/3 or 1/4 their weekly income, so they'll get it free instead.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 28,633 Mod ✭✭✭✭Shiminay


    Also, a Ferarri is a luxury designed as an elite super rich "look at how rich I am!" purchase, a computer game is and impulse buy for the proletariat :P If you're going to try and break down the argument, at least try to compare like with like or you just look silly :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,432 ✭✭✭✭Skerries


    I hate getting Caviar on my keyboard


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,878 ✭✭✭Robert ninja


    You'd swear some people here have investments in Valve or something. These 'legit' publishers get up to plenty of unfavorable practices themselves and usually in a grander scale than some brazillian key reseller.

    Making a case for indies is fine... but there's really no need for anyone in here to be going out of their way to protect huge corporations with 7-digit networth. Remember, they astroturf enough so you don't have to.

    My buying priority is this for non-AAA

    1. Directly from developer
    A lot of indies have a little standalone website with a purchase button or a list of a few of their games with payment options.

    2. DRM free &/or platform support
    I'll usually buy from the place with full linux support and the most features before I buy DRM free. However this can change depending on the kind of game, multiplayer, how its implemented and how old the game is.

    3. Cheapest
    Humble, chrono.gg, indiegala, steam, bundlestars, G2A, kinguin. Wherever is cheapest, really.

    For AAA it's the same priority if they have been loyal to their customers, honest and not getting up to anything I dislike. GOG were like that for me until the whole Nvidia deal with CDPR, console focus among other things. That's why I went with a reseller for TW3 just days after its release instead of directly through GOG which I had intended.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Is another area that affects digital pricing on 1st party stores like MS/Sony that they keep their prices in line or close to what b&m retailers charge so as not to upset the likes of Gamestop etc? Surely that has at least some bearing on what MS charge on xbox live?


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,707 ✭✭✭✭K.O.Kiki


    Kirby wrote: »
    A Ferrari costs the same to a Russian man as it does to an English man. They dont make it cheaper to buy because of econmic climate in Russia. "The cost is the cost. If you can't afford it, we arent lowering it for you."

    Ferrari cars cost more in Ireland, Russia and China than the equivalent in USA or Italy.

    Please try again. :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,084 ✭✭✭✭Kirby


    So you are saying a Ferrarri....a physical good......costs less in Italy....than in other places.

    I'm not quite sure your point was the stroke of genius you thought it was Kiki. :p

    You just proved my point for me. They aren't lowering the price of the vehicle for a poor market. The price is the price. It sells for less in the US and Italy because it costs less to sell it there. Its simple economics.

    The cost to sell a game digitally to Ireland, Italy, Iceland and India is the same. Yet the price is not. Why pay more? We live in a different world now. Digital distribution is the future. They can't fight it. Get on board.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,558 ✭✭✭✭dreamers75


    my 2 cents copied from somewhere else on the same subject. Also posted here a few times.
    Used to work in a DVD plant and worked distributing games from manufacture to point of sale. I know the full cost saved in digital games but don't see any saving in online shops. New steam game is 59.99 they used to be 40 when it was physical. I am aware I am breaking copyright law but willing to take that chance due to the savings involved. I am buying a legit key how the seller got it is not my problem.

    To me its about the product and how much I am willing to pay for it. There is no justifcation other than "console players pay it"for new release PC game to go from 40 to 60 quid with nothing to add to the product.

    So yeah I will keep buying games from whatever and downloading from Steam servers as they get a cut either way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,911 ✭✭✭SeantheMan


    I just got a Private Message on here, post I made 4 years ago.
    It's a site that compares all the Key Sellers we use, I still use it tbh as I'm sure most people here do too.
    Don't know how he dug up a post from 4 years ago, anyways, sent a mail...let you know what comes of it :P
    This is Lionel CEO of Allkeyshop.com, I appreciate your good remarks & for sharing my site http://www.boards.ie/b/thread/2056775486

    I would like to extend my gratitude by giving a reward to you. Please contact me with this email ceo@allkeyshop.com and following winner code as subject: not-telling-you


    Best regards,


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,084 ✭✭✭✭Kirby


    I would be wary about what sort of information you give in an email like that. From a phishing perspective.....that seems rather suspect.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,911 ✭✭✭SeantheMan


    Kirby wrote: »
    I would be wary about what sort of information you give in an email like that. From a phishing perspective.....that seems rather suspect.

    I copy and pasted that message , and that's all. Didn't give any personal info of course.
    But I'll give him my Steam User/Pass if he needs in case he wants to give me free games but can only put them on himself :P


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,452 ✭✭✭✭The_Valeyard


    I used to buy everything from Steam, a new game cost 39-45 Euro. But in the last 6 months new titles have been 60+ euros.

    For a digital copy.


    So have no problem with cdkeys, seems pretty legit to me!


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,432 ✭✭✭✭Skerries


    SeantheMan wrote: »
    I just got a Private Message on here, post I made 4 years ago.
    It's a site that compares all the Key Sellers we use, I still use it tbh as I'm sure most people here do too.
    Don't know how he dug up a post from 4 years ago, anyways, sent a mail...let you know what comes of it :P

    you get a million points to enter draws for free games
    each ticket costs between 2 and 5 thousand an entry


  • Registered Users, Subscribers Posts: 47,304 ✭✭✭✭Zaph


    SeantheMan wrote: »
    I just got a Private Message on here, post I made 4 years ago.
    It's a site that compares all the Key Sellers we use, I still use it tbh as I'm sure most people here do too.
    Don't know how he dug up a post from 4 years ago, anyways, sent a mail...let you know what comes of it :P

    Would you mind reporting the PM when you get a chance and we can take a look at the sender. Thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,911 ✭✭✭SeantheMan


    Skerries wrote: »
    you get a million points to enter draws for free games
    each ticket costs between 2 and 5 thousand an entry

    Yeah, it's what they gave me :p

    You have to enter competitions, each costing a certain amount of tickets, with a limited chance of winning.
    Not really too bothered about it, anyways it says their reward system is ending on the 26th of May.


    Update : Managed to win 1 x RocketLeague CD Key and 1 x (Any game of your choice) ...I chose Overwatch. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 55,512 ✭✭✭✭Mr E


    Interesting read this morning on Eurogamer.

    Murky world of PC game key reselling exposed by indie developer


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,449 ✭✭✭Rob2D


    I'm so sick of all the bleeding heart idiots being taken in by this.

    IT'S ALL A BUSINESS

    None of these companies ever complain when some crowd wants to buy a few thousand keys from them in the first place. Publishers will always sell as much as they can to whoever can pay. Do some digging on this and I bet you'll find they were all legally sold. Nobody stole some poor ordinary Joe's credit card and used it to buy a quarter mill worth of keys, that's ridiculous.

    These companies are just using the whole grey market fear thing to try and recoup some money because they're butthurt at how well it's doing. And as soon as the next big release happens you can be sure that the phone will ring with someone on the other end looking to buy a few thousand keys and they'll be told "yes sir, no sir, how many would you like sir".

    And the whole thing will start over again.


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