Just like you can always count on a Humble Bundle to offer up some fantastic deals for ridiculously low prices, you can also count on someone to take advantage of a service to make a profit. It turns out that, via Game Informer, several digital distribution sites owned by 7 Entertainment have been caught red-handed selling keys for games that were originally part of bundles for a significantly lower price than users would pay on Steam.
Sites like Kinguin, G2Play, and Fast2Play are among the offenders in this retailer scam, with other distributors seemingly involved as well, which is effectively taking money out of the hands of developers and charities and placing it directly into the grubby paws of those simply looking to make a quick buck. For example, you can purchase Thomas was Alone currently via Steam for $9.99, where Fast2Play is illegally reselling Humble Bundle keys for as little as $3.78.
Ed Key, half of the Proteus development team, confirmed to Game Informer that Fast2Play is indeed responsible for the illegal sale of Proteus keys at this point, but at the time of this post they've already been removed from the site. They remain available at Kinguin, though they're listed as out of stock.
Key investigated on his own to bring the shady dealings to light, suggesting the scam may be operating on the benevolent practice of Humble Bundle's pay-what-you-want approach by exploiting the minimum price of $1 for maximum profit. While it's easy to see why these actions are shady to begin with, it's also important to note that Humble Bundle's terms of service do state that any products purchased within the service are not intended for commercial use.
With plentiful devs affected by these underhanded practices, Game Informer reached out to 7 Entertainment for comment, prompting a response from "Matt," owner of Kinguin.
Matt went on to explain that, essentially, Kinguin is like "an eBay for gamers" and that Kinguin does not own the products for sale on their marketplace. He also highlighted the fact that Humble Bundle purchases no longer offer the option of singular keys, instead having buyers log in directly to their Steam accounts to redeem purchases. Interestingly enough, he did mention that Fast2Play receives products from "official suppliers" only and at this time they have removed the offending listing while waiting on a response from said suppliers.
"I hope this information will help you understand that neither Kinguin nor Fast2play.com meant to cause any harm to producers, developers of those games and Humble Bundle organization, which we strongly support," Matt continued. It will be interesting to see how this situation works itself out, as regardless of the intention it has undoubtedly caused several developers and Humble Bundle itself due stress.
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6:00 PM on 02.04.2015