I have no idea where I stand on this whole “3rd party key” debate. I’m talking about keys bought from Green Man Gaming, G2A, etc. What I do know is that people are always looking for deals, and when buying from a fairly reputable company like GMG (which I have done a dozen times), no one ever stops to think the keys might be stolen or that what they’re doing might not be legitimate.
On June 30th, Daybreak Games banned thousands of players from its games because they were linked to keys from 3rd party retailers. They then turned around and unbanned those people and issued them a warning instead. Have a read:
This is a notification from Daybreak Game Company. We regret to inform you that the account name: [Name] has been issued a warning due to a Community Standards violation. After reviewing our records, one of the characters on this account was found to have committed the following violations:
On Thursday, June 30th, Daybreak Games identified and suspended a number of accounts across EverQuest, EverQuest 2, PlanetSide 2 and DC Universe Online. These accounts had redeemed content via keys sold on third-party key selling sites. Those keys had been invalidated due to credit card chargebacks, which is often indicative of fraudulent purchases. Players should always beware of keys sold outside of Daybreak Games or our official affiliate partners like Steam.
Daybreak understands that some players may not have known that they were purchasing invalid keys. We will be reversing the suspensions through the holiday weekend so players can continue to play and enjoy our titles. However, we want to emphasize that players should be wary of any game keys purchased from sellers other than Daybreak or Steam, as those keys may not be valid, and we cannot provide any refunds for keys that were purchased from third-party sites.
We do not take situations like this lightly and are informing you that future incidences could result in further action against you, up to and including permanent account ban. You may view the full Terms of Service here: https://www.daybreakgames.com/terms-of-service
Thank you for your consideration,
Daybreak Games Support
Punishing the player is stupid. Most of these people likely had no idea they were doing anything wrong, and in many people’s opinions (mine included) they didn’t. The player isn’t to blame because they thought they bought a perfectly legitimate copy of a game from a seemingly legitimate company. And they didn’t just ban the offending game — they banned ALL of the games on the account. Meaning if you bought an EQ2 expansion from a reseller then you lost your H1Z1 game too. Daybreak likely realized this was asinine, and that suddenly half their players went missing. What? No one to buy from the cash shop anymore?
Serious Question to Daybreak: What about those streamers (who you love to pimp out so effing hardcore) who promote G2A all over their streams? How do you reconcile THAT?
I get it. Some people buy keys from the equivalent of the back of a van and get them for $5 when the game costs $35. There’s obviously something wrong there. But that’s not the majority, that’s the exception. There needs to be ways to discourage that, incentivize people buying from appropriate (or preferred) sources, and still respect your players.
So while I still can’t decide where to find a side or a position in this debate that makes sense to me, I know that punishing good customers with blanket and overcompensating bans is not the answer.